by Andrew Cromwell
H.P. Liddon once said, “What we do on some great occasion will probably depend on what we already are: and what we are will be the result of previous years of self-discipline.”
I have often marveled at how people suddenly come into the public eye. Perhaps it is an actor that bursts onto the scene and suddenly is the hottest commodity in town. Maybe it’s an author that suddenly everyone is reading. Or a comedian that everyone just can’t get enough of. These people seem to rocket straight to the top from nowhere.
But nine times out of ten, they didn’t come from nowhere. What appears from the outside to be an overnight success, was no overnight success at all. It was the result of a lot of hard work, effort, and discipline. I have no doubt, that they probably also benefited from a favorable word from a well-placed individual or an “accidental” connection made that resulted in an open door. But even these happened mostly because the person was ready!
I don’t believe in overnight successes. It’s not that they are completely impossible, but they’re more like winning the lottery than anything else. The problem with winning the lottery is that rarely are people prepared to deal with the money they win. As a result, the lottery becomes more of a curse than a blessing. According to the New York Daily News, 70 percent of lottery winners lose all of their money or go bankrupt within seven years of winning. Most people are just not prepared to be overnight millionaires.
What’s true of money, is true of success in other ways as well. When success comes too quickly, then it is usually lost just as fast. The Bible says in Proverbs that money quickly gained is quickly lost, but hard-earned money continues to grow (Proverbs 13:11).
We have all seen people rocket to the top and then plunge right back out of view just as quickly. There have to be ten “one hit wonders” to every one true success. Fame and fortune are as fleeting as the morning dew, particularly when they are based on a lotto ticket, one performance, or temporary beauty. Honestly, we all should pray that God not make us successful or rich until and if we are ready! It just might destroy us.
But true, lasting success is possible. Lasting success happens when people have put in the time and done the work. Like Colonel Sanders going door to door, when the moment came for him to finally burst onto the scene, he was ready. He had honed both his recipe and his communication skills over many years, and many closed doors.
Are you preparing for success or are you hoping to win the lottery of life? Many of us keep throwing our money away, hoping that this week’s hail mary will fix things in our life. Whether it’s our work life or our home life, our relationships, or our finances, far too often we would rather buy a scratcher and hope for the best then do the hard work of preparing for success. But if we want great marriages, solid jobs, and the respect of our family and friends, it is going to take more than a wish and a prayer. It’s gonna take some hard work.
The great news is, Father God is always willing to work with those who want to work with Him! And that is one formula for success that will always work.