Summary: A person who will become or is an achiever is one who is interdependent on others and understands what habits must be dominant in their lives.
How Too Achieve in Life?
Thesis: A person who will become or is an achiever is one who is interdependent on others and understands what habits must be dominant in their lives.
Introduction: We have a lot of people today writing books telling people how to become successful. The American dream is all about achievement – success in the financial realm. I hear very few people say that achievement is based on living by the teaching of Jesus and his word.
Jesus redefined achievement when he addressed the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-30:
16Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
17“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”
18“Which ones?” the man inquired.
Jesus replied, “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”
20“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
21Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
26Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
27Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”
28Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
Our society defines achievement – or success differently than Jesus does. In the eyes of the Lord you are successful and an achiever if you serve others – not one who is served. You are an achiever and successful if give your money into the areas that will benefit others – not hoard the money for yourself. You are successful and an achiever if you tithe/give offerings to the Lord’s work – not if you withhold his money and steal from the Lord. You are successful and a over achiever in this life if you faithfully serve the Lord – not faithfully serve your own self-centered interests. If you learn that you need to be interdependent.
I look at some titles on the market today an these where some of their themes:
How to retire early
How to be a millionaire
How to make it big
How to invest to get rich quick
All the self help books focus on success in the financial realm. You’re an over achiever if you have money! But money does not define whether you are successful and achiever when it comes to what matters in life. The truth is our ability to achieve is based not on how much money we have but our habits.
Our ability to achieve in life is based on our daily habits.
Covey states, “Habits are powerful factors in our lives. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character and produce our effectiveness…or ineffectiveness” (46).
Daily habits are the key to success in life and they are revealed by the way we answer these three questions:
• What to do?
• How to do?
• Want to do?
The three combined together create our habits and determine our ability to achieve or not achieve. Because the way we answer these questions tells if we are dependent, independent, or interdependent.
Covey gives us guidance in this area by challenging us to determine which area we find ourselves in. He defines them this way:
Dependence is the mindset of -You take care of me! You come through for me! You did not come through for me! I blame you for the results in my life!
Independence is the mindset of - I am responsible! I am self-reliant! I can choose!