Understanding and diligence - the means of success
A wise leader develops a team of talented people around them and a network of friends and partners who support so that they become rich in social capital. What we can learn from the world's richest man ever.
Copyright (c) 2008 John Kenworthy
The world's richest list is topped by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Imagine being ten times wealthier than these two combined. Impossible? Not at all!
There's plenty of books on Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, to discover how they made their fortunes. All you have to do is create the next critical component of everyone's lives, or invest in absolutely the right thing at exactly the right time. The track records and phenomenal success of these businessmen are inspiring, yet how can we apply this to our own lives? Yet, there's another whose wealth utterly dwarfs that of today's richest people, if the accounts of his wealth are accurate. King Solomon's wealth would today top 1 trillion dollars!
King Solomon's secret? At the age of 12, he ascended the thrown of Israel when, according to the Old Testament, God appeared to him and offered to grant him one desire. Solomon did not ask for riches and honour, he asked for wisdom. Concerned that he was young and inexperienced, Solomon asked God for something that would help him rule effectively and judiciously lead the people. Because Solomon asked for wisdom (or a 'Hearing Heart) and did not ask for riches and honour, God blessed him with wealth also.
Solomon was bestowed with riches and honour far greater than any king before or after him. His sage advice was sought by rulers of nations. His success and wealth increased beyond even your vivid imagination. His gold reserves are the subject of legend, his palace immense. He penned the Proverbs in the Bible which not only survive but his writing on wisdom, understanding and diligence remain a world influence after three thousand years.
So what can we learn from Solomon about diligence and understanding?
He who cultivates his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless people and pursuits will have poverty enough. (Proverbs 28:19 - Amplified)
Surf around the Internet and you soon find people guaranteeing you instant riches with little or no work. Follow such get-rich-quick schemes and you show your naivety and ignorance. Solomon cautions against following worthless people as leading to poverty - those who work hard will reap the rewards of their efforts.
The appetite of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the appetite of the diligent is abundantly supplied. (Proverbs 13:4 - Amplified)
Those whose desire is high yet their diligence to work is slight remain unfulfilled. Having a great dream is one thing, now to put in the effort required to achieve it.
The hand of the diligent will rule, but the slothful will be put to forced labor. (Proverbs 12:24 - Amplified)
Lazy or slothful people have their time and effort dictated by others. Banks and credit card companies, most frequently these days, are the rulers of those lazy with their money. Instead of choosing how to enjoy our disposable income, we are forced to sue it to repay debts from living beyond ourselves earlier.
But I've worked hard, very hard! I put in more hours than anyone else. I just haven't had the breaks I need. It's not my lack of diligence, it's the economy, the government, the system, the market, the competition... (choose one or many). Yes, but what is it all for?
Define your dream
Where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18 - KJV).
Without a vision or a dream, we are directionless. We lose motivation to do much at all, we're not committed to anything. Our joy disappears and our energy wasted. But bring your dream forward into a clear vision and the opposite is true. You'll find the spark that ignites the fuel to send you rocketing towards your dream.
Wake up and smell the coffee.
How long will you sleep, O sluggard? When will you arise out of your sleep?... poverty come like a robber or one who travels [with slowly but surely approaching steps] and your want like an armed man [making you helpless] (Proverbs 9,11 - Amplified).
The real enemies of procratination and excuses cause the wasteful hours that lead to empty days, inactive weeks, months without meaning and years of unproductive toil. Pointless activities that yield no fruit and a life of regret and unfulfilled dreams.
What I need is time management! Time is relative, but it simply isn't within your powers to manage it. Get off the sofa and give your dream a chance.
Partner with others
A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgement (Proverbs 18:1 - NKJV)
A wise leader develops a team of talented people around them and a network of friends and partners who support so that they become rich in social capital. When we isolate ourselves, we cut off that all important support. Have you ever met a wealthy, successful and fulfilled person who was completely isolated and did it entirely alone? I didn't think so.
Solomon was the richest man who ever lived, yet his true wealth was in his godly wisdom. We can all learn from this - and whilst we may not like the advice, you know that living a life of purpose and godly diligence will satisfy.
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