Sometimes we wonder why God has blessed someone so much, why some people seem to be so lucky, or why we are not seeing headway in our own lives when compared to those around us. I'm looking at you Oprah!
I have read countless self-help and personal development books by “successful” giants to gain insights into their strategies only to conclude that they often fail to acknowledge that the key ingredient to anyone’s success in applying these principles is what we commonly refer to as "luck" or favor (or God, as I would say).
You can read all the self-help and business books in the world but the key to experiencing success always boils down to this:
You must be faithful with what you have been given.
That’s it. That’s the post. But I will elaborate…
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines faithful in this sense as, “firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty: CONSCIENTIOUS.”
This means that...
Honoring the opportunities you have been given by performing your duties to the best of your ability, maximizing, and being careful not to squander the gifts and opportunities you’ve been given allows you to be successful in that area and rewarded with more and bigger opportunities.
Faith in not just yourself but in something outside of yourself—the something that shapes the course of history, designs everything in nature to evolve to the best version of themselves needed to thrive in a changing environment, and opens doors that you did not arrange—is what will keep you hopeful in the process.
I’m a Christian. And as such, I believe that God is good. All the time (And all the time?... come on church!) And it is out of His goodness that He bestows favor to those who are faithful with what He has given them (however small or large). This is true with world-class athletes, business professionals, superstar preachers, real estate gurus, Tyler Perry… literally anyone.
You may hold other beliefs about what or who designed the world (my own spiritual journey has taken some twists and turns). The great thing is that this principle is universal.
We live in a world governed by patterns. Pay attention to what happens when you honor that which you have already been given. You will soon see that “luck” tends to find people that can be trusted to turn that luck into so much more.
Here’s what you can do today to position yourself to experience more success in your life:
Practice Gratitude. Push past any dissatisfaction and practice gratitude for the opportunities you’ve been given. Stop complaining about all you have to do, how bad it is, and what you hate about it, and find joy in having the opportunity at all. I heard someone say once, “someone is praying to have the problems that you are complaining about.” And I’ll add that that someone might've been YOU just a few years ago!
Honor what you already have. What do you currently have in your hand? Maximize your current gifts, abilities, and opportunities by giving them your best, and investing in them with your thoughts, words, resources, and heart-led actions.
Ask for what you want. Set your intention for more, better, or different. You can do this through prayer. Or you can try other methods of setting intentions and asking for more like journaling. As you ask, examine your motives. Be sure that it is not just a self-serving request, to receive more so that you can squander it all for your own pleasures. How will receiving what you are asking for allow you to positively impact the lives of others? Even if it's a desire to get a different job or start a business in a field that you like or otherwise fulfill a personal dream, most dreams are tied to a “why” that has ramifications for more than just you. If you ask to hit the lottery so that you can buy whatever you want, you’ll find that you most likely won’t hit the lottery and even if you do, the money will fly and you will be left unfulfilled.
Expect that you will receive. And get to work. This step is twofold. First, expect an answer to your request. This looks like making quiet time or stillness in your life to listen for a response. Imagine if you were expecting a visitor to bring you some news. You would make sure you were available, that the doorbell was working, perhaps turning the tv down or off so you can hear the knock or ring. You await their visit with eager expectation. Too often, we ask for things, then go about the busyness of our lives, never stopping to listen for a response. Instead, we assume that God (or the Spirit) works like an app and will surely deliver a push notification straight through all of the noise. It doesn’t quite work that way, so set aside time to seek guidance and to listen. Second, get prepared. Start to make the necessary changes to welcome the more that you asked for into your life. This may look like updating your resume, applying to jobs, getting your finances in order, and building margin in your life for you to take on more. Expectation.
Pay attention. Opportunities are often disguised as work and don't always come in the specific manner we asked for. Instead of winning the lottery, you may receive a new business idea that could prove to be even more beneficial to your and others’ growth, development, and finances. When opportunities are presented to you, even if they aren’t exactly what you asked for, pray about them, evaluate them, seriously consider the pros and cons, and use right judgment to determine if it is worth exploring. Seek wise counsel and decide on whether to pursue.
Bonus tip: As you wait in eager expectation, keep your mind, heart, and spirit uplifted by surrounding yourself with positive media, words, and thoughts. Here’s a free downloadable wall art of a Bible scripture that serves as a reminder to do this (Philippians 4:8).
Some other passages to hold in your heart are Matthew 7:7-12, Mark 11:22-25, James 4:2-3, and Phillippians 4:4-8 (about asking and expecting); and Matthew 25:14-30 (about honoring what you have been given and receiving more as a result).
I’m rooting for you!
Monique (Nikki) Murphy is the award-winning author of Home For Hurricanes, and a passionate Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) and Motivational Speaker and Leader in New York. She speaks about diversity, equity & inclusion, career, and resilience, customizing the content and experience to meet the desired outcomes of her clients.
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