Monthly Archives: October 2014

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In this world who experienced a lot of distrust, with people who in one way or another been a victim of betrayal, of fraud, of scam, of misbehavior, trust has become scarce, and it seems that it has become a "hard currency", it's rare to find. Even some of the people you call "friends" don't trust you that much, even your family members, your mom, your dad, your daughter, your son, your siblings. It seems that trust has joined "honesty" on being labeled by the song "such a lonely word". Trust, has been the currency that every people wants to keep and don't want to spend. And the world has suffered the problems caused by the non-ciculation of "trust" currency. 
For some people, they'd give you some trust but would ask you to pay for more. For some people they just choose to keep trust to themselves, and live their long-boring-lives with distrust. For some people, they trust blindly, thinking they have already been to worst, so just bring it on!
As I was thinking about this issue on trust, I have been aided by this book I am reading by Stephen M.R. Covey called "Smart Trust" and I have encountered several successful people and/or companies in their business because of trust. And it inspired me to give and circulate trust with the people around me. Yet, I am using "Smart Trust" not "Blind Trust" nor "Distrust". 
Here is a list of the philosophies  of leaders and companies with regard to their lives and organizations:
  1. Isadore Sharp, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts "Trust was the emotional capital of Four Seasons, our ethical imperative for long-lasting success, a code and a compass enshrined in the corporate culture. . . [It] had been the primary reason for our success, crucial to the reputation that precedes us in every deal, in every hotel opening, and in all our operations. . . Like the invisible hand that regulates the free market, the invisible hand of trust had been our guide and our dynamic. And every year, as trust rose, our reputation rose with it."
  2. Al Carey, Frito-Lay "Our team trusts each other. We move faster on difficult decisions. So when you trust each other there's no need for all the extra bureacracy. It can allow you to reduce layers of management. It can allow you to move directly to decisions quicker, because you trust each other. You don't have multiple groups overlooking each other to make sure that people are doing things the right way.
  3. Andrea Jung, Avon "Our entire model has been build around personal relationships with our customers, and that is based on trust. The power of those relationships is the key to our success and to the future.
  4. Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway "Our model is a seamless web of trust that's deserved on both sides. That's what we're aiming for. . . Not much procedure, just totally reliable people correctly trusting one another."
  5. Meg Whitman, eBay "More than a decade later, I still believe that Pierre [Omidyar] was right; the fundamental reason eBay worked was that people everywhere are basically good. We provided the tools and reinforced the values, but our users built eBay. Our community's willingness to trust eBay - and one another - was the foundation of eBay's success. . . eBay is all about trust."
  6. Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank "We were convinced that the bank should be built on human trust, not on meaningless paper contracts. . . People everywhere prefer to live in an environment of trust."
  7. Jim Goodnight, SAS Institute "I believe management must trust the people who work for them. You have to treat people like they make a difference. And if you do, they will... When you trust people to do their best, the revenue takes care of itself, even in challenging economic times."
  8. Azim Premji, Wipro "Values are a matter of trust. They must be reflected in each one of your actions. Trust takes a long time to build but can be lost quickly by just one inconsistent act."
  9. Terri Kelly, W.L. Gore & Associates "[T]here are some fundamental things that hold Gore together. One is values to which we all subscribe, in terms of how we're going to treat each other - there's a huge trust element in the Gore culture.
  10. Tony Hsieh, Zappos "We trust our employees to use their best judgment when dealing with eac and every customer."
  11. Ken Chenault, American Express "The competitive advantage of trust has never been more important or more valuable."
  12. John Wooden, UCLA "I believe the following: 'It is better to trust and be disappointed occasionally than to mistrust and be miserable all the time.'"
  13. Google "Too many companies have been built on not trusting people but on making rules and prohibitions, telling customers what they cannot do, and penalizing them for doing wrong. Google has built its empire on trusting us. (Jeff Jarvis, What Would Google Do?)"

If you learned something from this, feel free to buy Smart Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey, and please do spread the news about trust by hitting share. I would also appreciate it very much if you can hit like. Thanks!

Smiling, proof that you are happy and enthusiastic, is always a choice, not a result. It is a decision that must be consciously made. Enthusiasm and joy and happines will improve your personality and people's opinion of you. It will help you keep a proper perspective on life. Helen Keller said, "Keep your fact to the sunshine, and you cannot see the shadow."
The bigger the challenge you are facing, the more enthusiasm you need. Philippians 2:5 (NIV) says, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." I believe that Jesus was a man who had a smile on His face and a spring in His step. 
Our attitude always tells others what we expect in return.
A smile is a powerful weapon. It can break the ice in tough situations. You will find that being enthusiastic is like having a head cold; both are very contagious. A laugh a day will keep negative people away. As enthusiasm increases, stress and fear decrease. The Bible says that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10)
Many people say, "Well, no wonder those people are happy, confident, and positive; if I had their job and assets, I would be happy too!" Such thinking falsely assumes that successful people are positive because they have a good income and lots of possessions. But the reverse is true. Such people probably have a good income and lots of possessions as a result of being positive, confident and happy.
Enthusiasm always inspures action. No significant accomplishment has ever been made without enthusiasm. In John 15:10-11 (NIV) we have a promise from the Lord that says, "If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."
The Lord's joy and love are yours - so smile!
(From John L. Mason's "An Enemy Called Average")

Wayne Cordeiro has made a very good list of how to enjoy the ride we call "life". In his book "Attitudes that Attract Success", he has illustrated a very simple yet mind-opening example of missing the ride. Let me share it here.

One of the ways the Lord has trained my heart to cultivate gratefulness is by teaching me to enjoy the ride called life. There are going to be challenges and hills to climb on this journey. That's a given. Once you know that hills and trials will always be there, you will be able to expect them and no longer be surprised by them, which will free you up and enable you to enjoy the ride. 

God created things for us to enjoy. Stop and enjoy them. Enjoy life. Enjoy the sunshine. Enjoy the rain. When you go home, enjoy your meal. When your wife says, "Please mow the lawn, Dear," enjoy the mowing of the lawn! Take the dog for a walk. Enjoy the walk and enjoy your time with your dog. This life is too short for us to not enjoy it. Enjoy the ride.

The Bible says the joy of the Lord is our strength (see Neh. 8:10). But we often limp weakly through life because we have forgotten to take it along. For every activity in your day, take along a fresh pack of joy.

One summer, our family went to Disneyland. One of the attractions my son wanted to check out was the Indiana Jones ride. I said, "Let's go for it!" Now, I'm analytical person, and I watch stuff. As we were working our way through the line I said, "See that, Aaron?" See that little creature on the rock? It's not really a creature at all. It's a mechanical device that's computer activated."

"Really?" he asked.

"Yeah! And see the shapes on the wall? They're made by a light projected through a special filter. That filter's called a gobo. See it?"

"Oh, yeah! said Aaron. "Cool, cool."

Spurred further by his interest, I continued. "See that rock face over there, with the mist gliding across it? That's smoke coming from a machine, not really morning mist at all."

 "Really?"

"Yeah. And see that over there, Son?"

"Uh-huh."

"That's a mirror."

"Really?"

We climbed into the car. "Do you see how this jeep is painted to look old, Aaron?" 

"Yeah."

"It's brand-new, though. Check out the serial number."

"Yeah, it is!"

"And look under the dash. There aren't any wires. You know why? Because it's on a track." As I was transforming into a combination of Mr. Spock and Sherlock Holmes, the jeep lunged forward and we were in motion. The speed increased, and we whipped around a corner, eliciting screams from the girls in the car next to us.

"That was goo, Aaron, but if it was banked another 10 degrees, the G-forcewould have been better. It really would have made your stomach drop!"

"Great, Dad!" said Aaron, having to shout in order to be heard.

"You see that, Aaron? That's another mirror!" I yelled, as we zipped down the track.

By this time, Aaron wasn't responding to my cogent analysis of the ride. He was midflight, with his head and body being jostled, twisted and pulled with every turn of the track.

"See that rock coming at us? It's on a track!" I yelled, "It'll go back and get reset for the next car behind us! Not very effective, huh?"

Soon the jeep came to a halt and the ride was over. "You know, Aaron, if we could have made a sharper turn on the second hairpin, it would've been even better. And if the smoke had come out sooner, we could have traveled right through it."

Aaron stopped me with a less than gracious tone, "Hey, Dad! Enough!"

"What do you mean, 'enough'?"

Without answering, he turned and stalked off. "Hey, you, get over here. I've got more things to tell you," I called after him. He kept walking.

"Enough!" he called back. "I ain't riding with you no more!"

"Okay, I'll meet you later!" I said. Then, under my breath, I muttered to myself, "Dumb kid! He doesn't listen, does he? That's his problem."

As I was walking around kicking dirt, the Lord spoke to my heart: "You missed the whole ride, didn't you? You were so busy trying to figure everythig out, you missed the whole ride."

I stopped and thought, You know, that's right! I don't even remember the ride. I was so involved in all the little details, I missed the whole ride!

Have you ever done that? Have you ever gotten so caught up in the details of life that before you know it, the ride is over? Ever get so caught up in the preparations of a wedding that you miss the wedding? Ever get so distracted with cleaning the house before guests arrive that you alienate your whole family in the process? So often we are short with others, blaming our families and hissing at our neighbors in times of stress. We're like Martha, who was so "distracted with all her preparations" that she began to complain. Turning to her honored houseguest, Jesus, she exploded, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me." (Luke 10:40). We get so distracted with the little details, we forget to enjoy the ride!

We miss the sunrises and sunsets, too often our children grow up without us, and the beauty of this ride called life goes unnoticed. My own children have grown up so quickly they were walking across the platform to receive their high school diplomas! The next minute they're gone, and the ride is over.

We begin our days with a jolt of coffee, motor from task to task, and return home exhausted - only to get up and do it all over again. Don't miss the ride! Instead of driving through at a relentless pace, let's slow down. God has given us a beautiful world to live in, a world filled with His wonders, His people and Himself. It's all there, if we will only take the time enjoy.

It's taken me a while to learn this essential lesson. And I'm so glad I finally caught it! Here are a few ways I've learned to enjoy ride:

  1. Take five minutes today and write down the names of two people you appreciate. They may be people who have gone unnoticed. They could be a spouse, a friend or someone who did a good deed that slipped by everyone's notice. Write them a note of thanks. Be sure to add as much detail as you can about how that person's actions blessed you. And send it!
  2. Don't forget to laugh. Some of us need to learn to laugh again. There is plenty to laugh about in life, and we need to laugh. Stand naked in front of the mirror. That alone should take care of your laughter quota for a day or two. Keep a record of how many times you laugh today. It could be for any reason at all, but try to laugh at least five times! You'll find great opportunities by listening to children or spending a few more minutes in the lunchroom with your coworkers. If that's not working, go into the bathroom (again!) and imagine you're entering a funny-face contest. Practice before a mirror. (Be sure no one else is in the restroom at the time! You might want to check all the stalls before proceeding.)
  3. Do one thing for yourself today. Write in into your shedule. Often I will stop on the way home at a little yogurt shop for a frozen treat. Oh, the ecstasy of those few minutes! This slows me down before I arrive home. For you, it could be a short jog, a walk or listening to some of your favorite music. Whatever it is, take time to enjoy life in its simplest form.
  4. Make a new friend today. If you were given an assignment to make a new friend, how would you do it? It only takes a few minutes to stop and truly be interested in another person's life. Ask that person about his or her family, dreams or struggles. Then listen. Truly listen. You'll be surprised how many friends you will collect over a period of just a few days! By the way, a great place to start is with your family. You'll be surprised how many of us are related but not friends. Life is too short for that. By establishing deep friendships with your family, you'll begin to reap one of God's greatest promises and rewards.

Pause long enough to enjoy the ride. Train yourself to see what is good. Take the time to laugh with each other. Laugh at yourself. Although there will be imperfections and periodic setbacks, you will be surprised how wonderful life can be when you have a good attitude. 

You will hear God better. You will enjoy His presence.

You will be pleasantly surprised how a new perspective will help you to develop an attitude that attracts friends, laughter, joy and success!

In Habakkuk 2:2 the Lord tells the prophet, "Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, the he may run that readeth it." This scripture reveals the key to successful goal setting.
The vision must be written. When you keep a vision in your mind, it is not really a goal; it is nothing more than a dream. There is power in putting that dream on paper. When you commit something to writing, commitment to achievement naturally follows.
God wrote His vision for us in the form of the Bible. He does not rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us; He put His directions in writing. We are told to make the Word of the Lord plain upon "tables" (tablets) so that the vision is clear and "so that he may run that readeth it."
The key word is "run". God desires that we run with the vision in our lives. As long as we are running with the vision, we will not turn around. When you walk with a vision, it's easy to change directions and go the wrong way. You cannot stroll a goal.
In Proverbs 24:3-4 (TLB) we read: "Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts." Simply stated; effective goal setting provides an opportunity to bring the future to the present so that you can deal with it today. You will find that achievement is easy when your outer goals become inner commitment.
Even though we have the Holy Spirit, we still need to prepare; He just makes us better equipped to do so. God does not desire for us to disorderly or to waste funds. That's why proper planning is so important. Plan for potential. Believe for God's biggest dream. When you plan, look to the future - not to the past. You cannot drive forward effectively when  you are looking out the rear window.
Always involve yourself with something that's bigger than you are because that's where God is. In the beginning every great success seems impossible. We all have opportunity for success. Having a bad life requires as much energy as having a good life, yet most people live meaningless lives because they never decide to write their vision down and then follow through. If you cannot see the mark, you cannot press toward it.
"Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established." (Proverbs 4:26). You will find that what you learn on the path to your goals is actually more valuable than achieving the goal itself. Columbus discovered America while searching for a route to India. Be on the lookout for the "Americas" in your path. Put God's vision for your life on paper and begin to run with His plan. 

Don't quit. There is a big difference between quitting and changing, however. I believe that when God sees someone who does not quit, He looks down and says, "There is someone I can use."
In Galatians 6:9 (NIV) we are told, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Look at this verse carefully. It urges us not to become weary, assuring us that we will - not might, will - reap a harvest of if we do not give up.
God does not quit. It is impossible for him to do so. In Philippians 1:6 (NIV) the Apostle Paul writes about "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." There are several important points in this verse. The most crucial is the fact that God does not quit. Therefore, we can have great confidence that He will complete the good work He has begun in us. He will see us through every step until we reach our ultimate destination.
One of the best scriptural examples of a person who did not quit is Joseph. He had many reasons to justify giving up. When he was trapped in the pit where his brothers had thrown him because of their jealousy, I am sure he said to himself, "This is not the way  I dreamed my life would work out!" Later, he had a marvelous opportunity to become discouraged adn quit when he was thrown into prison for a crime he did not commit. Again he could have said to himself, "This is not right; I'm not supposed to be here." Although Joseph did not understand the steps through which the Lord would lead him, he remained true to his God. Despite the trials he faced, he did not quit. Eventually the dream that God had given Joseph became reality. he was elevated from a prisoner to a prime minister in one day!
There is no greater reward than that which comes as a result of holding fast to the word and to the will of God. Only you can decide not to lose. Most people quit when they are on the verge of success. Often, success was at their fingertips. There is only one degree of difference between hot water and steam. 
In Luke 18 (NIV) Jesus told the parable of the persistent widow. The Bible reveals His purpose in relating this story. Verse 1 says, "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them they should always pray and not give up." The psalmist tells us, "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." (Psalm 37:5).
The only way we can lose is to quit. Quitting is the only decision we can make that can keep us from reaching God's goals in our lives.

Every person has a hero. Who is(are) your hero(es)?
Your hero(es) would help you refine your definition of things. In my previous blog I have shared to you how changing your definition changes your mood and your emotions. Your mood/emotion mixed in action will become your attitude. 
Let's take a look at one of the heroes in the Bible, which most people (Christians especially) know, David. The man after God's own heart (see 1 Sam 13:14). He faced perplexing situations yet he seemed to have risen over every trying circumstance. Even when he is facing enemies that are way beyond his built, structure and/or even age, something made him carry on with life still. How was he able to do this? David was a man who defined things, not as he saw them, but as God saw them.
When David was still a young shepherd and Israel was at war with the Philistines, he faced his most famous challenge. Instead of the two armies waging full-scale battle, each side agreed to choose its finest, most spartan warrior and let the two of them duke it out, each on behalf of his entire army. The winner would bring victory to his entire nation, while the nation of the loser would become slaves to the nation of the winner.

A giant named Goliath was chosen to represent the Philistines.He towered over the men of Israel, measuring over nine feet tall. His armor weighed more than 100 pounds. I'll bet he was uglier than sin, too.

Goliath made such an impression that every Israelite warrior cowered in fear (see Sam. 17:24). They darted behind rocks, hid in caves and ducked behind bushes. Goliath stood on a hill like a bully, taunting the Israelites and cursing them by his gods. 

David saw the giant making fun of the trembling Israelites, who were hiding in the thickets. Despite having a clear view of the situation, David defined the Israelites as "the armies of the living God" (1 Sam 17:26).

They sure didn't look like warriors of an almighty God! They looked more like a bunch of chickens that had just seen a fox, or perhaps a group of hog/swine the night before the town fiesta.  If David had described the situation according to how it looked, he might well have defined these men as wimps. Instead, he called them the armies of the living God.

David walked up to his overgrown, unruly opponent and exclaimed, "You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted." (1 Sam. 17:45).

Righteous indignation filled his soul, and courage flooded his veins. David withdrew one of the five smooth stones in his bag, loaded his slingshot and let it fly! His years of practice on the back side of the desert paid off, and the stone caught the gian right between eyes.

The giant muttered, "Boy nothing like this ever entered my mind before," and he fell on his face to the ground. (Version created).

David chose to see things the way God saw them. And because he made this critical choice, God was able to use David to overcome impoosible circumstances and lead His people to an overwhelming victory against the Philistines. So great was the victory that we still speak of it even today!

A second example of David defining things as God does is found in 1 Samuel 24. Some time after the Goliath incident, David found himself running from the wicked King Saul who wanted to take the young warrior's life. Saul short-lived gratefulness for slaying the giant had turned into long-term jealousy. Although David was innocent, Saul's insecurity had driven him to rid his throne of any possible competitors, and yet David kept looking for the best in Saul, in spite of it all.

It was the in the cave of Engedi where David displayed a quality of leadership that was to become hallmark of his life. He was hiding in the cave when saul entered, unaware of David's presence. Weary from his pursuit of David, Saul fell asleep. Here was David's golden opportunity to rid himself of Saul and end the king's merciless crusade! David's men urged him on:

And the men of David said to him, "Behold, this is the day of which the Lord said to you, 'Behold; I am about to give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.'"

So [David] said to his men, "Far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord's anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the Lord's anointed." (1 Sam. 24:4,6)


Let me ask you, did Saul deserve to be called the Lord's anointed? Did he act like the Lord's anointed? Obviously not! 

But then again, did the Israelites, dismayed by a bully's threats and fleeing in every direction, resemble the army of the living God? Surely this was misnomer! Yet despite David's seeming blindness to the obvious, God gave David victory over his enemies and made him Israel's greatest leader. 

Here's the gem: David chose to define things as God defined them.

David chose to see circumstances and events from God's perspective, and in so doing, he received strength and courage from the Lord. His "eye was clear" (see Matt. 6:22). His perspective was God-pleasing. This is why God made David successful in all he did. That kind of strength comes only as a result of having the right attitude!

David was a man after God's own heart, because he defined events the way God defined them.
(From Wayne Cordeiro's "Attitudes that Attract Success")
Reading this article, would make us realize that we often define things as they are seen by our ordinary eyes. Men tend to see the "obvious" to their eyes, yet failed to recognize the fact that they are part of a humongous schemes of a greater author. We even define people with their current action, we define people with their history not with their potential. We mock people for what they have done, and we condemn people because they have wronged us. This article, opens us into a new perspective in life. That even with a situation where God seems to be absent, your mind and your attitude is to recognize that God is present! 
CHOOSE TO DEFINE THINGS AS GOD DEFINE THEM!

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I want to encourage you today, with the words Wayne Cordeiro in his book "Attitudes that Attract Success"
One way to cultivate staying power is to change your definition of an event or circumstance. After all, the way in which you define your circumstances will determine, to a large degree, how you will respond to that event.
Consider it all joy, and watch your faith grow.
I lived in Eugene, Oregon, for many years. Eugene is known for, among other things, frequent gray skies and rain. Being from Hawaii, the absence of the sun's warm rays on my body took a toll on me, especially during the winter. Believe it or not, I actually resorted to buying a sunlamp one year when I felt I was about to die from a lack of solar exposure!
I remember walking to a coffee shop with a friend one November morning when it began to rain. Not looking forward to another rainy day, I complained, "Rain again! I wish it would quit.!"
My friend's response surprised me. "Hooray!" he cheered exuberantly. "Rain, I love it!"
"Why in the world are you celebrating this horrible weather?"
"Because that means it's snowing in the mountains. Ski season has begun!"
My friend was an avid skier. He had defined "rain" as heralding the beginning of a great ski season. I, on the other hand, had defined it as cause for another day of depression and sunlamp therapy. Between each event and your attitude concerning that event lies your definition of that event.

Consider [define] it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials (Jas. 1:2).

James instructs us to define our events carefully because how we see our circumstances will affect our attitudes and actions. Not only does James tell us to define them carefully, but he also tells us to define it all as joy! Not just the good times but all of our circumstances, including trials, are to be defined as cause for joy. 

How can we possibly do that? Read on, as James continues:

Consider [define] it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking of nothing (Jas. 1:2-4).

We get to define it all as joy, even our trials, when we know the positive outcome any event can have on our lives - deepening our faith, producing endurance and making us complete and lacking nothing. Wow! Now that's powerful promise!
Change your definition, considering it all joy, and watch your faith grow, your endurance increase and your life become complete. You'll lack for nothing, simply because you've chosen to define things the way God defines them. 

We make decisions every day. We are confronted daily with options. We must choose one or the other. We cannot have both. These options may include many of the following:

  • Being better versus bitter
  • Decisiveness versus indifference
  • Enthusiasm versus being lukewarm
  • "How we can" versus "if we can" statements
  • Saying "Get up" versus saying "give up"
  • Security versus risk
  • Overcoming evil versus coping with evil
  • Standing out versus blending in
  • How much we get done versus how much we attempt to do
  • Opposing darkness versus coexisting with darkness
  • Development versus destruction
  • Obtaining versus complaining
  • Committing versus trying
  • Peace versus strife
  • Choice versus chance
  • Determination versus discouragement
  • Growing versus dying
  • Demanding more of ourselves versus excusing ourselves
  • Doing for others versus doing for ourselves
  • Progress versus drifting
  • Priorities versus aimlessness
  • Accountability versus irresponsibility
  • Action versus activity
  • Solutions versus problems
  • More of God versus more of everything else
  • Being in Who's Who versus asking "Why Me?"

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According to Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich" there are thirty-one major reasons or failure. As you go over the list, check yourself by it, point by point, for the purpose of discovering how many of these causes-of-failure stand between you and success.

  1. Unfavorable hereditary background. There is but little, if anything, which can be done for people who are born with a deficiency in brain power. This philosophy offers but one method of bridging this weakness - through the aid of the Master Mind. Observe with profit, however, that this is the only one of the thirty-one causes of failure which may not be easily corrected by any individual.
  2. Lack of a well-defined purpose in life. There is no hope of success for the person who does not have a central purpose, or a definite goal at which to aim. Ninety-eight out of every hundred of those whom I have analyzed had no such aim. Perhaps this was the major cause of their failure. 
  3. Lack of ambition to aim above mediocrity. We offer no hope for the person who is so indifferent as not to want to get ahead in life, and who is not willing to pay the price. 
  4. Insufficient education. This is a handicap which may be overcome with comparative ease. Experience has proven that the best-educated people are often those who are known as "self-made," or self-educated. It takes more than a college degree to make one a person of education. Any person who is educated is one who has learned to get whatever he wants in life without violating the rights of others. Education consists, not so much of knowledge, but of knowledge effectively and persistently applied. Men are paid, not merely for what they know, but more particularly for what they do with that which they know.
  5. Lack of self-discipline. Discipline comes through self control. This means that one must control all negative qualities. Before you can control conditions, you must first control yourself. Self-mastery is the hardest job you will ever tackle. If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self. You may see at one and the same time both your best friend and your greatest enemy, by stepping in front of a mirror.
  6. Ill health. No person may enjoy outstanding success without good health. Many of the causes of ill health are subject to mastery and control. These in the main are, (a) overeating of foods not conducive to health. (b) wrong habits of thought; giving expression to negatives. (c) wrong use of, and over-indulgence in sex. (d) lack of proper physical exercise. (e) an inadequate supply of fresh air, due to improper breathing.
  7. Unfavorable environmental influences during childhood. "As the twig is bent, so shall the tree grow." Most people who have criminal tendencies acquire them as the result of bad environment, and improper associates during childhood.
  8. Procrastination. This is one of the most common causes of failure. "Old Man Procrastination" stands within the shadow of every human being, waiting his opportunity to spoil one's chances of success. Most of us go through life as failures, because we are waiting for the "time to be right" to start doing something worthwhile. Do not wait. The time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.
  9. Lack of persistence. Most of us good "starters" but poor "finishers" of everything we begin. Moreover, people are prone to give up at the first signs of defeat. There is no substitute for persistence. The person who makes persistence his watch-word, discovers that "Old Man Failure" finally becomes tired, and makes his departure. Failure cannot cope with persistence.
  10. Negative personality. There is no hope of success for the person who repels people through a negative personality. Success comes through the application of power, and power is attained through the cooperative efforts of other people. A negative personality will not induce cooperation. 
  11. Lack of controlled sexual urge. Sex energy is the most powerful of all the stimuli which move people into action. Because it is the most powerful of the emotions, it must be controlled, through    transmutation, and converted into other channels.
  12. Uncontrolled desire for "something for nothing." The gambling instinct describes millions of people to failure. Evidence of this may be found in a study of the Wall Street crash of '29 , during which millions of people tried to make money by gambling on stock margin.
  13. Lack of a well defined power of decision. Men who succeed reach decisions promptly, and change them, if at all, very slowly and change them frequently, and quickly. Indecision and procrastination are twin brothers. Where one is found, the other may usually be found also. Kill off this pair before they completely "hog-tie" yo to the treadmill of failure.
  14. One or more of the six basic fears. These fears have been analyzed for you in a later in a separate blog. They must be mastered before you can market your services effectively.
  15. Wrong selection of a mate in a marriage. This is a most common cause of failure. The relationship of marriage brings people intimately into contact. Unless this relationship is harmonious, failure is likely to follow. Moreover, it will be a form of failure that is marked by misery and unhappiness, destroying all signs of ambition.
  16. Over-caution. The person who takes no chances generally has to take whatever is left when others are through choosing. Over-caution is as bad as under-caution. Both are extremes to be guarded against. Life itself is filled with the element of chance. 
  17. Wrong selection of associates in business. This is one of the most common causes of failure in business. In marketing personal services, one should use great care to select an employer who will be inspiration, and who is, himself, intelligent and successful. We emulate those with whom we associate most closely. Pick an employer who is worth emulating.
  18. Superstition and prejudice. Superstition is a form of fear. It is also a sign of ignorance. Men who succeed keep on minds are afraid of nothing.
  19. Wrong selection of vocation. No man can succeed in a line of endeavor which he does not like. The most essential step in the marketing of personal services is that of selecting an occupation into which you can throw yourself wholeheartedly. 
  20. Lack of concentration of effort. The jack-of-all-trade seldom is good at any. Concentrate all your efforts on one definite chief aim.
  21. The habit of indiscriminate spending. The spendthrift cannot succeed, mainly because he stands eternally in fear of poverty. Form the habit of systematic saving by putting aside a definite percentage of your income. Money in the bank gives one a very safe foundation of courage when bargaining for the sale of personal services. Without money, one must take what one is offered, and be glad to get it.
  22. Lack of enthusiasm. Without enthusiasm one cannot be convincing. Moreover, enthusiasm is contagious, and the person who has it, under control, is generally welcome in any group of people.
  23. Intolerance. The person with a closed mind on any subject seldom gets ahead. Intolerance means that one has stopped acquiring knowledge. The most damaging forms of intolerance are those connected with religious, racial and political differences of opinion. 
  24. Intemperance. The most damaging forms of intemperance are connected with eating, strong drink, and sexual activities. Over-indulgence in any of these is fatal to success.
  25. Inability to cooperate with others. More people lose their positions and their big opportunities in life, because of this fault, than for all other reasons combined. It is a fault which no well-informed businessman or leader will tolerate.
  26. Possession of power that was not acquired through self-effort. (Sons and daughters of wealthy men, and others who inherit money which they did not earn). Power in the hands of one who did not acquire it gradually is often fatal to success. Quick riches are more dangerous than poverty.
  27. Intentional dishonesty. There is no substitute for honesty. One may be temporarily dishonest by force of circumstances over which one has no control, without permanent damage. But, there is no hope for the person who is dishonest by choice. Sooner or later, his deeds will catch up with him, and he will pay by loss of reputation, and perhaps even loss of liberty.
  28. Egotism and vanity. These qualities serve as red lights which warn others to keep away. They are fatal to success.
  29. Guessing instead of thinking. Most people are too indifferent or lazy to acquire facts with which to think accurately. They prefer to act on "opinions" created by guesswork or snap-judgments.
  30. Lack of capital. This is a common cause of failure among those who start out in business for the first time, without sufficient reserve of capital to absorb the shock of their mistakes, and to carry them over until they have established a reputation.
  31. Under this, name any particular cause of failure from which you have suffered has not been included in the forgoing list. 
In these thirty-one major causes of failure is found a description of the tragedy of life, which obtains for practically every person who tries and fails. It will be helpful if you can induce someone who knows you well to go over this list with you, and help to analyze you by the thirty-one causes of failure. It may be beneficial if you try this alone. Most people cannot see themselves as others see them. You may be one who cannot.

Train your eyes to see evidence of God's presence, not evidenceof His absence. If you are looking for God's absence, you will conclude that this world is a God-forsaken place! On the other hand, if you are looking for evidence of His presence, you will soon see that He is with us even in the darkest of moments.
Sometimes we have a mistaken notion of spirituality. When stricken by this disease, once-stalwart Christians become pharisaical at best. This malady can infect any believer, but it more often strikes older Christians who have been in church for five or more years. The veterans seem to be the most prone and susceptible. One telletale symptom heralding the presence of the disease is that we begin to think our own spiritual maturity is measured by how many faults we can detect in others. If I spot more faults than anyone else, then obviously I'm more spiritually mature. 
But watch out! Because if you are looking for cursing, curses will find you!

He also loved cursing, so it came to him; and did not delight in blessing, so it was from from him. (Psalm 109:17)

If you are not looking for what's good, then even what good there is present will be difficult to recognize.