SUCCESS STARTS NOW
Today we conclude our series on Success Principles, and I want to share our governing quote from Thomas Edison one last time: "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves."a
Using Jack Canfield's insightful and empowering book, The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where you Want to Be, this month we have recognized and aligned with our inner creative power to succeed, acknowledging that success is God-ordained.
As we succeed, we prove the fundamental spiritual principle of our Unity teachings: There is a power for Good in this Universe, and we can use it!
In the book Your Aladdin's Lamp, it is reported that Ernest Holmes did a simple prayer treatment for Bill Hornaday's success as the newly installed speaker at the Belmont Theatre and then said, "That's good. It's done, Bill. Now, go and prove the Principle."b
That's what we are doing when we succeed. We are Proving the Principle! And there is one other thing we are doing when we succeed and it is that we make a difference in this world!
Think about the honeybee. Its primary objective is going after nectar to support itself and its hive, but it is unknowingly involved in a much bigger purpose! As it flies from flower to flower in search of more nectar, it picks up pollen on its wings and thus ends up cross-pollinating all the rooted botanicals in the world. It's an unintended by-product of the bee's nectar-seeking activity. So it is with you. As you pursue and achieve your success, there will always be unintended by-products of good! Some you may see, some you may never. But rest assured, that you will make a difference, because as we often say here, there is no private good!
SUCCESS PRINCIPLE NO. 30 SAYS: FACE WHAT ISN'T WORKING
Today, we are going to conclude our series on this topic today by looking at two final principles that take us to the place where SUCCESS STARTS NOW - to use the name of today's talk --although it may not appear so on first blush. Let's jump right in!
1. Success Principle No. 30 says: Face What Isn't Working.c
Wow! That doesn't sound like much fun. I like last week better when we wrote down all our successes! Well, hang in there with me on this one, ok?
The visionary writer Aldous Huxley once wrote: "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."d
For a good metaphysician, this Success Principle may seem contradictory to our teachings and beliefs. We're not supposed to hang out in the space of what we don't want (or that which isn't working), right?! We're supposed to be positive and focus on what we do want. So, isn't this success principle contradictory to New Thought principle?
I believe it calls us to do what Walter Starcke in his book It's All God tells us we have to do -- double think.e We have to be able to look at the facts (the current "what is") while absolutely at the same time know the Truth (the spiritual essence underneath the facts.)
Canfield writes: "If you are going to become more successful, you have to get out of denial and face what isn't working in your life. Not to dwell in it, but to face it and deal with it! Do you make excuses for your bad marriage? Are you in denial about your lack of energy, your excess weight, your ill health or your level of fitness? Are you failing to acknowledge that sales have been on a constant downward trend for the last 3 months? Successful people and organizations face these circumstances squarely, heed the warning signs, and take appropriate action, no matter how uncomfortable or challenging it might be. They are willing to look at what is and deal with it rather than hide and deny it."f
I'm sure you've all heard that de-nial ain't just a river in Egypt. Often denial is based on the notion that something even worse will happen once we stop denying a situation and face it. In other words, we're afraid to face facts squarely because we don't want them to get worse. But, from a spiritual perspective, facing the facts can catapult us into a new level of beingness, frankly a new level of success.
Religious Science minister Rev. Dr. Arthur Chang authored an article in the Science of Mind Magazine a number of years ago. In it he wrote: "Succeeding through the creative pathway requires that we grasp the notion that the category of experiences we label 'problems' [in today's context, we will call them 'those things which aren't working'] are simply disguised opportunities. The Chinese understood this and correctly rendered the same character to represent both crisis and opportunity. It is said that it is one thing to pray for opportunities, but quite another when opportunity knocks, to complain about the noise. Problems are the noise opportunity makes as it knocks at our doors. . . . Our problems provide the creative tension necessary to make us go deeper within and find the unsuspecting spring of Spirit just when it may appear that we don't have enough to get the job done."g
I love this line: "Our problems provide the creative tension necessary to make us go deeper within and find the unsuspecting spring of Spirit just when it may appear we don't have enough to get the job done."
Face them; deal with them and then let them take us deeper.
Canfield, being outrageously practical, suggests that we make a list of what isn't working. What if you took an inventory of your life in the five key areas, what would you discover?
Health -How is your physical, emotional and mental well being? Is there anything in there that needs attention?
Finances - How is the flow of money and material good through your life? Do you have leaks that could be patched up?
Relationships - Take a look at the quality of interaction with others (family, friends, neighbors, mates, co-workers). Anything to be cleaned up here?
Career & Creative Self Expression - How you express your special gifts and talents whether for income or not. Are you living on purpose?!
Spiritual & Personal Growth - Your relationship with yourself and with the God of your being. Where are you in this critically important dimension of your life?
Depending on the area you choose, you may want to enlist the help of others (i.e., family members, colleagues, office staff, etc.) Ask: What is not working? What do I need to do? What action steps can I take to get my life on the affirmative track in this area?
Choose one action and do it. Then keep taking another action and another action until you get the situation resolved.
There's a saying in Religious Science: "Treat and move your feet." This success principle is the "move your feet" part! And, and as I have said in Sunday's past, our Chaplains are here to support and empower you in all of this through their strong spiritual awareness and prayer! So, use them if the prospect of cleaning something up feels scary. Use them; they are here to help.
This takes us to the final success principle we will explore from this great book which is . . . .
SUCCESS PRINCIPLE 63 - START NOW! JUST DO IT!
2. Success Principle 63 - Start Now! Just Do It!
Oliver Wendell Holmes once said: "Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out."h
Let's not be one of those! There is no perfect time to start. Don't wait for signs from the Universe or for the stars to align or for your astrological chart to give you the go ahead. Give it to yourself. Begin now! Remember the great quote from Goethe:
"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!"i
The true key to success - however you have defined it this month - is to take what you know right now and put it into action. Do all you can with what you have where you are! It doesn't mean there still isn't growth, learning, expanding, releasing - you name it - to do. But if you wait for all of that to happen, you just may die with the music still in you!
I am sure that you have recognized the name of the author of our book for this month, Jack Canfield, as the co-publisher of the outrageously successful, meaningful and valuable book line called Chicken Soup for the Soul, right?! Well the line didn't start out like that! I want to read you what Canfield had to say about the early days:
"When Mark Victor Hansen and I first released Chicken Soup for the Soul, I thought it would be a good idea to sell the book in bulk quantity to some of the larger network marketing companies, thinking they could give them or resell them to their sales force to motivate them to believe in their dreams, take more risks and therefore achieve greater success in selling. I got a list of all the companies that belonged to the Direct Marketing Association, and I started cold calling the sales directors of the larger companies. Sometimes I couldn't get the sales director to take my call. Other times I was told, 'We're not interested.' Several times I was actually hung up on! But eventually, after getting better at getting through to the right decision maker and properly discussing the book's potential benefits, I made several significant sales. A few of the companies liked the book so much they later hired me to speak at their national conventions. Was I a little scared making cold calls? Yes. Did I know what I was doing when I started? No. I had never tried to sell mass quantities of books to anyone before. I had to learn as I went. But the most important point is that I just got started. I got into communication with the people I wanted to serve; found out what their dreams, aspirations and goals were; and explored how our book might help them in achieving their objectives. Everything unfolded because I was willing to take a risk and jump into the ring. You, too, have to begin - from wherever you are - to start taking the actions that will get you to where you want to be."j
You and you alone are responsible for taking the actions to create the life of your dreams. Nobody else can do it for you. You have all of the talent and the resources you need to start right now and eventually create anything you want. I know you can do it. The God of your Being knows you can do it even if you don't think you can!
So what is yours to do, my friends? What is your first - or next - step? How has this month inspired you to move into your expanded level of success? Ponder these questions. Answer them and then take action.
And remember these powerful words from New Thought authors Jack and Cornelia Addington in Your Needs Met: "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. There is no scrimping in the fullness thereof. In the infinite Mind there is enough and to spare, plenty of ideas, plenty of customers, plenty of the symbol known to us as money. The only requirement is that we receive it first in consciousness. Nothing is withheld when we look to consciousness for our supply. God accomplishes through us. Our success is God's success. God does not know failure. How, then, can we?"k
bYour Aladdin's Lamp
cJack Canfield The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where you Want to Be
eWalter Starcke It's All God
fJack Canfield Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be p. 221
gRev. Dr. Arthur Chang
hOliver Wendell Holme
jJack Canfield The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where you Want to Be p. 426
kJack and Cornelia Addington Your Needs Met, p. 143