When others ask me I what it takes to succeed I respond with a two-part answer.
“First, it takes the will to work hard. The world is thirsty for those willing to work.
Second, to succeed one must be willing to listen. Listen with every fiber of your being. Listening is more than hearing. Listening is putting what one hears into action.”
Even as the echo of the question and answer session fades, I find myself closing my eyes and remembering individuals that modeled this for me. One of the best was a quiet, down to earth person. While I will take credit for recognizing his potential at a young age, he had everything within him to succeed with and without my help. He put all that he had into everything he did – work, play, and especially listening. He did not follow the crowd or act blindly on what he heard. He listening and acted from deep within, using what was useful, saving the rest for a rainy day when it might be useful.
I have reflected on the man and father he has become and I am reminded of two truths. First, in contrast to the world’s expectations, “down-to-earth people will move in and take over, relishing a huge bonanza.” (Psalm 37.11) They will be the ones to know happiness and peace.
I also realize that examples of great living are all around me. There are no monopolies on truth. You and I can learn from the lives of others. We can gain insights from their beliefs and values. We can avoid mistakes if we use the lessons of what works as well as what fails.
Each image in my mind has a weakness or two. As I see the total picture, I realize that you and I can continue to grow. There are no limits. Within us is the potential to be God’s hands and voice. Divinity sees it. The challenge is our awareness; in responding we will see our weaknesses more clearly. The good news is that full knowledge, God believes in us.