I write this first post in the “Useful Articles For Your Personal and Business Life” standing on the shoulders of giants. There isn’t much new information under the sun, and all of the proceeding advice is obviously not original and has been written in many books and articles by successful people.
Do you ever find yourself looking for that latest book, video, or program to provide you the secret to success, or the plan that leads to riches? This is quite common. Never have we had so much quality advice, and information to succeed in business as we do today. There are some legitimate business people giving away great advice on the Internet for free. (I might also mention the mass amount of non-sense.) Even with all of this great information the majority of us are still not wealthy. Why is that? We may have loss site of a timeless truth. In almost all cases big success requires massive action. You have to work and work really hard. There is just no substitute.
Another reality that most don’t consider is that the majority of those who succeed, failed several times before succeeding, and were successful in a business very different from the one they first started. Business is a learning experience like everything else in life. The typical story is that someone tried to succeed in one business, and it either failed or was slow, and in the process of failing in that business they discovered something different, but in both cases they worked hard and sacrificed.
Armed with this truth and the willingness to work hard, there is still something else you should consider. If it is just the money you are after it probably won’t lead anywhere good. Most people who start a business for just the money don’t succeed. If they do succeed they eventually reach a place where they find that even with all that success and money they are still not fulfilled. Although I have never been rich, I did come to that empty place in life and went a different direction.
If you want to do something great in life, and achieve great success, just pick something and do it. While working hard, even if you fail you may find that one thing that will get you where you want to go.
Does truth matter? Up until thirty or so years ago we lived in a culture where the majority of our citizens believed in a common set of moral values. Since that time we have transitioned into a post-truth culture. Right and wrong have become a matter of personal opinion. Friedrich Nietzsche, an atheist philosopher who’s was popular for the “God Is Dead” philosophy in the mid to late eighteen hundreds recognized the instability that is caused when a populous suddenly loses it’s moral compass. In “The Parable of The Madman” after proclaiming “God Is Dead” the madman asked, “Who gave us permission to wipe away the horizon?”. “What kind of games will we need to invent?”, “Will lanterns not need to be lit in the early morning hours?” “Is there any more up or down?” “How will we comfort ourselves, the murders of all murders?” Nietzsche clearly understood the perils society who reasoned away God, and rightly predicted that the twentieth century would be the bloodiest century in history. Chairman Mao, Joseph Stalin, and Adolph Hitler, all atheists who were more than familiar with Nietzsche’s work took millions of lives in the twentieth century. I am not blaming atheism for the actions of these men, the way that the new atheists blame Christians for the lives taken by the Roman Crusades, but they both occurred from the same denial of ultimate truth. It wasn’t the Christian faith that motivated the killings carried out by the Roman Empire but was instead the perversion of a religion and greed of men. It was in both cases humans who ignored the value of truth, and decided to form their own truth. We are at another point in history where the world is headed down the same road. The Roman empire never believed it would fall, and in America we seem to believe the same. I believe that we have hope in America, if we turn to God and His Truth. I am not asking that you take the word of a largely uneducated Christian like me, but I am asking you to examine the truth for yourself. God has not only provided us with the bible but has also provided us the evidence of history. He has provided us with ministries like Ravi Zacharias International Ministries where you can find answers to both your Intellectual and Spiritual questions. If you are a student who has been told in school that Intelligent Design is not a real possibility visit The Discovery Institute. I challenge you to open the bible, and read the four gospels of the New Testament, and then ask God to reveal Himself to you.
Do you find yourself overwhelmed with life? Do you notice that more and more of your friends are suffering with anxiety and depression? Does your modern lifestyle feel almost unbearable most days? Are you living each week for a day or two off, and feeling empty again the night before you return to work or school? I found myself in exactly that situation just a little over two years ago. So much so, that I left a good job of fifteen years and moved my family a thousand miles away from home. It didn’t take me long to figure out that you can’t run away from it. It goes wherever you go. It wasn’t the job that had me it was the culture around me.
After you finish reading this post, please take a minute and think through what follows. About twenty years ago I first read the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by the late Dr. Stephen Covey. One of the points that Dr. Covey made in the book was that true effectiveness, fulfillment, and success in life have their foundation on common principles of character. He mentioned things like Integrity, hard work, honesty, and trust among many others. This was a clue to where I would find the ultimate answer, but being a little denser than most, it took me over twenty years to piece it all together. Even though it had never been far from me. There are three basic types of cultures. The first is one where the few rule the many and dictate what must be done. The second is one where a common set of moral principles are held by the majority and the influence of those principles guides the majority. The third type of culture is one where everyone determines ultimate right and wrong based on their opinion. The first kind of culture we find in countries like Iran, the second is what America used to be, and the third is where America is right now.
About six months after moving to my new home, I came across a video from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries where Dr. Ravi Zacharias was explaining these three types of cultures. Like a lightning bolt, it hit me. It wasn’t just the long hours at work, smart phones, or constant communications and information that was causing my lack of fulfillment. It was that everywhere I looked in society, people were no longer trusting and caring for one another. We were no longer able to discuss our differences with respect. There was no longer a sense of right or wrong in our world. Our politicians were and still are unable to compromise. Truth is no longer sought, it is only ones view of the truth that they search for. Where do right and wrong find their origin? You can search science and history and you can’t find them. You may find scientist or neuro biologist who will provide a theory, but in the end, they are motivated by more than science.
I could spend days writing about all the intellectual cases that I could use to make the case that Jesus Christ died on the cross to save us, and I could recount all of the nearly miraculous ways in which God has changed my life, but what I really want is for you to give serious thought to what has been written here and seek the truth for yourself. The future of our world depends on it.