The Four Rules of Success for a Prosperous Soul: Part 3
When you consider the idea of success and what makes a person truly successful, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about a Nazi war camp.
Yet that is where Viktor Frankl was after losing his wife and children in the Holocaust. It is amazing to me that despite his grief and horrific conditions, this believer in God dared to look at success and happiness and try to figure them out. What is it that truly brings us meaning in life?
In Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl writes these incredible words:
Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it.
He articulates so well the final point in the four rules of success. What does ensue mean and what role does it play in living a meaningful life?
Success Is an Inside Job
The word ensue means something that happens as a result of something else. In the context of success, the word illustrates authenticity or being genuine. Frankl writes that true success ensues when we are dedicated not to our own success but to something bigger than we are.
Authenticity is rare in a world of fake news, faux identities and responsibilities, and fiat money. We live in an environment in which everything is cosmetic and disposable and in a time when authenticity itself is being challenged. But when we are authentic, it means we are who we are all the time, whether we are standing in front of a crowd or sitting at home on the couch. There isn’t a public persona and a private, secret persona, but we just are who we are.
Authenticity leads to success.
Your Identity as a Prosperous Soul
Authenticity is a unique advantage to followers of Christ. Out of all religions, Christianity reveals the heart of God—that He is interested in knowing you and me and being known by us in return. Because of our relationship with Him, we become known and our identity can ensue.
So here are the four rules of success in a nutshell:
Rule Number 1: If You Can’t Dream It, You Can’t Have It
If you’re tired, burned out, or frustrated to the extent that you can no longer dream, that’s evidence of the enemy working in your life to cause you to toil. It isn’t normal for a follower of Jesus to be depressed, unhappy, or empty on the inside. It may be common—but it isn’t normal.
Rule Number 2: The Long Arm of Reality
As we begin to practice the Sabbath, we begin to dream again. The long arm of reality allows us to reach into the big idea we’re dreaming about and pull it into today, where it breaks down into tasks and goals we can steward faithfully.
Rule Number 3: Timing
Timing is God’s job. He shows us favor as His kids and makes incredible connections for us. Because we’ve done our part with rules 1 and 2, when He drops great opportunities in front of us, we’re able to pick them up and carry them.
Rule Number 4: Ensue
Success is an inside job. It happens because we are living out who we authentically are.
God used these four steps to bring me out of a long season of deadness of heart and into a place of life and prosperity, where I could dream again and experience joy. May the same happen for you. God bless your Prosperous Soul.