How can one be successful in life? - James C. Bell

This is a question many people ask, and spend most -- or perhaps all -- of their lives seeking to achieve. The true answer can be found in knowing what one wants and how much he is willing to give to realize success.

I recall when I was in elementary and high school, I wanted to be promoted to the next grade, but I wasn't willing to study hard enough to make high grades. I was content just to get by. It wasn't until I started playing basketball that I found I couldn't just get by, but had to play my best game to make the team.

There were other boys who came out to make the team, and the only way to beat them was to be a better player. We had a great coach, who taught us well and insisted each of us play fairly, and respect the other team. This was competition at its best, and I loved it!

Being successful in life is very similar. One must know what he wants, be willing to work hard to learn, and stay focused on his goals. I played a lot in my junior year, and it seemed automatic that I would be the first string center my senior year. Then, a guy, who was 6' 10" tall, transferred from another school, and he came out to make the team. There is a saying: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going!" I accepted the challenge, gave my best and was the first string center my senior year at Forest Park High.

Being successful in life involves many things: a good education, opportunity, discipline, strong desire to succeed, a willingness to work long and hard, an ability to focus on what's important, the knowledge of how to plan and set realistic goals to guide your efforts. One should seek the counsel of successful people and follow their advice.

I believe one should not neglect the spiritual part of life. All develop the physical and mental areas, but many fail to believe in God and develop a proper relationship with Him. This is like trying to defend yourself with one arm tied behind your back. It makes it much more difficult. Without God, one limits himself severely. Psalm 1:1 says, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful." The advice of the Lord is always true and right;, the counsel of God has no limits, because He has no limits.

Nothing is impossible with God! The Holy Bible is God's Word and is filled with worthy instruction, and His precepts. The advice of the world is plentiful, but is based on the thinking of the world. It tends to be relative, human and shortsighted. It usually considers the self at the expense of others. Verses 2 and 3, of Psalm 1 says, "But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on His law he mediates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season -- whatever he does prospers."

How can one be successful in life? He should prepare well and work hard while laying his plans and setting his goals to achieve success. However, one must include God in his life and plan to obey and serve Him. In Mark 8:36, Jesus says, "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul?" We must be sure to choose the right road of life to follow, and we can be sure of going in the right direction when Jesus Christ is our master and guide!

Success in life doesn't come easy. The road to destruction and failure is broad, and always seems easy to travel. Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death." Be sure to choose God, who loves you and wants the best for you. He gives this choice to all men, regardless of what sin one has committed, all we have to do is sincerely admit our sin and ask His forgiveness, in Jesus' Name.

May God bless you today!