What's Keeping YOU from Real SUCCESS?
Plain Truth Magazine
December 1967
Volume: Vol XXXII, No.12
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What's Keeping YOU from Real SUCCESS?

There are definite "keys" that can make your business — your family — your LIFE — more successful. Few know what they are!

   WHY do many ASSUME that life should be drab, mediocre, uneventful? Why, especially, do so many religious people assume God designed it to be that way?
   It's time you ask yourself these questions — and answer them!
   Did you know an abundant, successful life is the very thing God's WAY is intended to produce?
   Let's UNDERSTAND how!

You SHOULD Be Successful

   Surprising to many, the Bible directly encourages those who read it — and believe it — to live successful and PROSPEROUS lives.
   Jesus Christ Himself said: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more ABUNDANTLY" (John 10:10). The Greek term for "abundant" means just that —a full, happy, prosperous and interesting life.
   The apostle John was inspired by God to write a fellow Christian: "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth" (III John 2).
   Those two qualities — health and prosperity — certainly play an important role in making our physical lives happy and successful.
   These New Testament scriptures clearly indicate that God wants us to be SUCCESSFUL and happy. However, you need to learn the WAY to success.
   The Ambassador Colleges teach the principles of success to students through many classes, forums, assemblies and special activities. Through this article, you can share some of the insights we have gained toward truly SUCCESSFUL living.

What IS Success?

   Roughly speaking, there are three broad areas of success for the average individual.
   First would be the satisfaction that comes from the continued mutual sharing of love, affection and fellowship with family and friends. Certainly this is an extremely important area of life — and one that will make anyone's life more complete if handled properly.
   A second major area for success in life — and one that is often put first — is the area of business, career and financial success. This, of course, involves much more than making money. For the intelligent person, his interest in and satisfaction from the building of a successful career or business is one of the high points of life.
   In this area of life, everyone will certainly acknowledge that there are definite "keys" which can aid one greatly toward progress and ultimate success.
   The third area of life in which success should be achieved is the personal and spiritual sphere. This, of course, may have different meanings to different people.
   However, there is no question but that the ability to find out why you are here, where you are going — whether to "excel" or not and in what direction — these understandings are basic ingredients for TRUE SUCCESS in the personal and spiritual aspects of everyone's life.

Define Your GOALS and Plan To SUCCEED

   Having briefly discussed three broad areas in which you should work toward success, it now becomes imperative that — within these areas and perhaps others of your own choosing — you define your specific GOALS.
   For instance, in the "family, friends and social" area you may have definite feelings about the type of family and social life which will fit your background, personality and ability and give you a deep sense of personal satisfaction and fulfillment. If you are a bachelor, you may have in mind a certain type of girl — though not, too specifically, we hope — who will best complement you and happily share with you your overall "family-friends" goal.
   If you already have a family, perhaps you may realize the need to write for our free booklet on The Plain Truth About Child Rearing so that you may become a more effective parent and have the loving, obedient and disciplined children which you realize will make your life, their lives and the lives of others more happy.
   In the "business and financial" area, you may genuinely wish to remain in the field in which you find yourself but simply become more effective and more successful in this field through developing better attitudes and more successful working methods.
   Or, if you are young or just starting out, you may wish to change the field of endeavor in which you are now beginning. This, of course, is not a thing to do lightly and should only be done after much thought, wise counsel and advice.
   In all these areas of life, however, one thing is certain — you must find out your own basic tendencies, strengths, talents, abilities as well as weaknesses and dislikes, and choose and CHART your own course toward success! Otherwise, you will simply lose by default and be buffeted about by circumstances and the winds of chance to a final destination of mediocrity or abject failure.
   So in each of the above areas of success, define your own personal and practical GOALS.
   Do be practical and reasonable and take your own talents, tendencies and weaknesses into account. But on the other hand, insist that your goal be high enough to give you something to "reach for" and to satisfy your own deep-down realization of what "success" for you should be in each particular area.
   Area by area, write these goals down!
   Have a purpose — PLAN for the future! Kindle within yourself a sense of enthusiasm, drive and anticipation of achieving your worthwhile goals.
   Then begin to work toward these goals systematically and continually. Think, read and educate yourself toward achieving each of these goals. Don't go overboard or get unbalanced or silly. Use wisdom and common sense. Get the advice and counsel of others whom you respect on how best to achieve the goals you have in mind.
   Remember that unless you want events and blind chance to control you, you will have to set your sights and MASTER yourself and your environment. You will have to define your goals — absolutely determine to succeed — and DRIVE toward achieving your goals with relentless zeal and enthusiasm!

Develop Successful Working Methods

   Whether in planning activities in your work or business or in considering the need to spend time in family fun and fellowship or in child rearing, you need to learn to schedule and organize your time.
   Nearly every successful person knows this. Very often this is one of the out-standing KEYS to their success!
   Taking into account your individual goals in the three areas of success we have described, learn to plan or write out an overall schedule for each day, week and month.
   Allow yourself enough time in the area of business and career success including extra reading and self-education assignments. Allow plenty of time for family, friends and fun — especially to really build the right relationship between you and your mate, and with your children as well. Then be sure to plan and schedule enough time for development of personal and spiritual interests.
   Many of you will find it extremely profitable to buy a book on the proper use of time in scheduling. There are several such books available which are worthwhile. One of these I personally recommend is, How to Gain an Extra Hour Every Day, by Ray Josephs, published by E. P. Dutton Company, Inc.
   In scheduling your day, you should certainly allot definite periods of time for study and prayer on the BIG questions of life — why are we, what are we, where are we going and how are we progressing toward the real PURPOSE of human existence.
   In your personal work day, learn to write down the things you want to do. This in itself saves much time and effort later on. Many people call these little slips or cards "to do" lists.

Put First Things FIRST

   William I. Nichols, Editor of This Week magazine, says that learning to write it down was the equivalent of his Harvard education!
   Learn to put first things first. Don't neglect minor issues, but get at the big jobs early in your working day and allow plenty of time for their accomplishment.
   Concentrate on one thing at a time! As you begin on one project, learn to discipline yourself so that other jobs, interruptions and mind-wanderings do NOT intrude. If at all practical, stick with this one job until you finish it. Put all your energy and mind-power into this one thing and complete it with zest!
   Former President Eisenhower is a strong believer in one thing at a time. So is, the famous Counselor of Presidents, Bernard Baruch, who says: "I find my greatest time saver is to do one thing at a time and stick to it until finished."
   If you've got a particularly important job coming up on a certain day and you know that office interruptions — or "child interruptions," if you're a mother — may interfere with its accomplishment, then learn to get up early and get going full blast before these interruptions can interfere.
   Or, if your mind and body function better the other way, occasionally work until midnight when the office is quiet or the children are already in bed. You will gain time for uninterrupted thoughts and work in this way.
   It may sound old-fashioned or "difficult," but the really top leaders in business and industry often find themselves doing this sort of thing in order to get the job done.
   Another key is to learn to speed up your routine tasks and learn to be more efficient. Again, you may wish to read and think about how to solve this problem. But you will undoubtedly find many ways in which certain of your tasks can be done in less time — and probably much more efficiently.
   Learn to organize your desk or work space. You may save a great deal of time and effort simply by learning to have a definite place for everything — and keeping everything in its place.
   A well-organized file cabinet and filing system is of inestimable value to a business or career man. Even in the home, a limited filing system may help the modern wife far more than she realizes until she tries it.

Making Accomplishment An Exciting Challenge

   One of the most important keys to success in business and life is the sense of zest and DRIVE which really successful men and women almost universally have and cultivate in their work and in their lives. This is certainly one of the most important qualities which has made this very Work of God grow rapidly in size and scope over a period of some thirty years.
   Anyone reading Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong's Autobiography can sense the unusual CHALLENGE this Work of God has been to him, and the unusual ZEST and DRIVE he has put into it with God's help.
   Currently, the newspaper and magazine reporters are almost fascinated by the tremendous drive and zeal which President Johnson pours into his job. For the President, who has already suffered a heart attack several years ago, rises about 6:30 in the morning and goes fast and hard all day until 10 or 11 p.m. nearly every night!
   The same drive was exhibited by his predecessor, former President John F. Kennedy.
   A noted Washington correspondent reported: "Kennedy is amazing many old-timers in federal government and almost horrifying others by the speed and DRIVE with which he conducts the presidency. (Emphasis mine)
   "It is quite common for the Chief Executive to stride into his office about 9 in the morning, calling to various staff members as he crosses the threshold. He wants detailed information on a certain situation in government and he wants it in a hurry; at least, before the day is over.
   "This, to some veteran administrators, is quite a shock. During the past administration, they frequently had more time on comparable assignments. But what surprises these men even more is that Kennedy is waiting in his office at 7 or 8 at night when the requested report arrives."
   Certainly the above description of former President Kennedy's work day indicates the zest with which he tackled his many responsibilities and the DRIVE he put into their accomplishment. In case after case, this is certainly the "key" to the success of many great leaders.

Learn the KEY of TIME

   Your life itself is composed of just so much time. Viewing it in this manner, your time is your life.
   This realization and the guarded use of time that naturally follows from it is a success "key" that has been or is being used by nearly every great leader of our time.
   We are all "millionaires" in time. Each of us has just as much time as the early Rockefellers, Morgans or Fords. Each of us throughout each day —has just as much time as Einstein did.
   The question is — how do we use this tremendous gift of TIME? You can only waste the present moment. You cannot waste tomorrow. It is kept fresh and waiting for you. You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.
   Day by day, you can learn to use time to tremendous advantage!
   Realizing the value of time, learn to get up early, learn to get up when you wake up. Learn to dress quickly in the morning and prepare for the day with ZEAL.
   Organizing the layout of your bathroom and your wardrobe saves a great deal of time. Housewives will find that applying efficiency techniques to their kitchen will save them a great deal of time in getting the family fed and off to work — and for their own activities as well.
   Again, the thought of scheduling your time throughout each day, week and month comes into the picture. You certainly don't need to be a schedule slave, but you Do need to have a schedule!
   The late Henry J. Kaiser was an extremely successful and wealthy man — the leading figure in at least sixty different companies. Referring to his success techniques, an article in Reader's Digest stated: "Henry Kaiser is one of the most time-conscious people in the world. Even the five hours he allots himself for sleep are productive. This is what he calls his 'idea period,' and he always has a pad and pencil next to his bed."
   To be truly successful in every area of life, you will learn as other successful people by the millions have — to guard and CONTROL the use of your time intelligently and zealously. You will set your mind to use the time God gives you in this life in an organized and productive manner. And through this very means, you will be enabled not only to accomplish your goals in business and personal areas, but you will have time for the desired and needed fun and fellowship with family and friends as well.


   There comes a time when — to use the vernacular — you must "put up or shut up." If you really want success, you must be willing to pay the PRICE.
   If you would succeed, you must learn to say "NO" to yourself.
   You must learn to turn down invitations, social visits, TV, cards, movies, golf, and other interruptions when these would interfere with accomplishment.
   A balanced life with enough sleep, exercise and recreation is absolutely prerequisite to ultimate success. But while you are "on the way up," you must beware of distractions.
   As each idea of diversion presents itself, you should ask: "Will this use of time and energy help me accomplish my GOAL in life?"
   You must discipline yourself to do the hard jobs first! The unpleasant job that is put off is likely never to get done. So roll up your sleeves and do it FIRST.
   People who procrastinate and "putter" are usually putting off something unpleasant or difficult. They putter over little, inconsequential, easy things so they will not have to face what they subconsciously regard as the "big obstacle" — the real job that NEEDS to get done!
   The best way to master this problem is to put the jobs you dislike at the top of each day's schedule. Then, if you roll up your sleeves and wade into it, you will soon be too busy to worry about the difficulty.

Make Yourself Produce

   Keep DRIVING yourself until work has become a habit that is stronger than your human inclination to loaf.
   Solomon was inspired to write: "He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls" (Prov. 25:28).
   Self-control — self-DISCIPLINE — are vital "keys" to real success in any area of life.
   You must discipline yourself to get started in the morning. You must discipline yourself to get at your work and really PRODUCE instead of puttering with trivia's. You must discipline yourself to avoid distractions and to use your time and energy where it will COUNT.
   In addition, we should state here that one of the most searching areas of self-discipline is in regard to your own physical health.
   If you are "run-down" or sick, you simply CANNOT produce and achieve the success you wish. Therefore, you must discipline yourself to get enough sleep, enough vigorous exercise suited to your age and condition, eat a balanced diet of basically lean meats, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables with very limited amounts of bread, sugars, and desserts. You are invited to write for our valuable free article, "The Seven Laws of Radiant Health," in order to get more complete information on this subject.
   But building and constantly increasing your health and energies is a vital "key to success." This will enable you to put renewed zest and DRIVE into your accomplishments and may well make the difference in many critical situations.
   Another vital area in the field of self-discipline is learning to FINISH a job properly. Again, this means avoiding distractions and concentrating completely on the job at hand. It means mentally and spiritually helping to create a "second wind" for yourself so that you complete a task with a final spurt of energy and zest.
   As you learn to discipline yourself you will find yourself getting many more things done. You will also find your ability to motivate and inspire others who assist you greatly enhanced.

Learn to Employ Spiritual POWER

   God says: "A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children" (Prov. 13:22).
   A successful man is a "good" man — a man who has learned his purpose in life and seeks to obey His Maker. He will have strong family ties and — through hours of fun and fellowship with his children and grandchildren — he will want to help and assist even his grandchildren in getting a start in life. Then, as the above proverb clearly indicates, he will have God's BLESSING to be able to help even his grandchildren!
   But Jesus showed that we must not set our heart on the physical things, but rather on God's Kingdom and righteousness (Mat. 6:33). Then, He said, all the material blessings WILL be added unto us.
   To be truly successful, you need to establish direct contact with the true GOD. You need to learn His way — and the real purpose for your very existence and the breath of life you breathe.
   Jesus said: "Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46) Many professing Christians today do just that. They talk about Christ and religion — at least on rare occasions — but they seldom trouble themselves to OBEY what Christ taught in the Bible and to live as He lived.
   You need to build and cultivate personal contact with God through PRAYER. In this way, you will come to have the inspiration, strength and divine HELP which goes far above and beyond anything you could "work up" on your own strength.
   Then, you should try, test or "prove" these principles in your life by actually LIVING THEM and seeing the BLESSINGS they produce through contact with the true God and His Spirit!
   As you surrender to and obey God you are promised the gift of His Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
   Notice the qualities for success God's Spirit imparts: "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of POWER, and of LOVE, and of a SOUND MIND" (II Tim. 1:7).
   As you yield to God and exercise His Spirit, you will have direct, spiritual POWER to overcome your own weaknesses and shortcomings — to discipline yourself — and to become a real success.
   You will have the outgoing concern and LOVE so that your success will not be a selfish thing — but motivated deeply by your concern toward God and fellowman. And you will be given the soundness of mind and WISDOM you need to keep from becoming unbalanced, making wrong decisions or stumbling through life down blind alleys.
   The very help and POWER of God can be yours if you are willing to seek Him and obey Him!

Take ACTION — and Get Results

   Every one of you who wants success should also write immediately for Mr. Armstrong's free booklet, The Seven Laws of Success. This attractive free booklet contains even more extensive information than space allows in this article, and outlines seven definite laws for successful living.
   These principles really WORK — so start using them immediately! You were created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). You were created to be a success!

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Plain Truth MagazineDecember 1967Vol XXXII, No.12