On the first Monday of each month when my children were in high school, I wrote a letter to them describing a secret of success in life. Recently I compiled a year’s worth of secrets into a small book. Secrets of Success is a great gift for graduates. To give you a glimpse, I posted Secret #3 here.
Secret #3: Accept Responsibility
One of the most important qualities of all successful people is that they are able to accept responsibility.
1. Step into opportunities.
You will grow in life when you see an opportunity, step out and accept the responsibility involved. Look at each opportunity as a chance to learn something new and challenging.
The apostle Paul encourages you to make the most of every opportunity (Ephesians 5:16 and Colossians 4:5). The popular phrase carpe diem–“seize the day”–should be your motto.
2. Own your actions and choices.
Like everyone else, you make choices and take actions. When your actions have positive results, it is easy to take credit and compliments for what you’ve done. That is appropriate to do, as long as you receive praise with humility and are aware that God helped you.
However, “owning” your choices and actions that don’t turn out well is much harder, isn’t it? Yet if you are to grow, learn and earn respect, you must be just as willing to accept responsibility for failures. It is easy to blame others or circumstances for your own wrong choices or inadequacies, but the Bible instructs you to take responsibility for what you do or don’t do (Proverbs 19:3, 8 and Proverbs 27:23, 24).
3. Learn from failure.
Hopefully your life will be full of many successes. But all of us have times when we fail. You may make the wrong choice, fall short of the standard, or not fulfill your responsibilities. You may get discouraged or down on yourself, or even give up. But these failures are often the best stepping-stones to future success. If you will welcome them as teachers, you can grow and achieve greater success in your next effort.
God has great plans for you! He will provide many opportunities for you in your life. My prayer is that you will step into each one and allow Him to use both successes and failures to help you become the person He has created you to be.
c2011 Judy Douglass