I may have a different philosophical view to the lady I am about to quote below but I have read her work and wholeheartedly recommend it, particularly Atlas Shrugged which I regard as her masterpiece.
If we only read books by authors who tickle our ears…who we know write in line with our existing viewpoint, how will we ever learn and broaden our horizons? If we are not secure in what we believe and are afraid to debate and discuss then our faith will falter eventually anyway since it is not really faith but dogma. If we dare to believe we already know all we need to know we are sadly mistaken and are in a dangerous place.
“It is the Communists’ intention to make people think that personal success is somehow achieved at the expense of others and that every successful man has hurt somebody by becoming successful.” – Ayn Rand
I wrote in my previous blog post about the power of words and what can happen just by changing even a single word…if you read the post you will remember we had a card on which we wrote a task to be completed by a certain deadline. In the beginning we referred to the card as a “Chore Card” and then we switched its name to “Service Card.” The atmosphere around the card and the task changed instantly and although the goal was the same the personal pleasure derived from good performance was far greater. If I am doing a job to tick a box I can’t get very excited but if I am serving my fellow man, well that’s entirely different.
Ayn Rands comment above is not peculiar to communists. I have often heard people who see themselves as unsuccessful refer to those they perceive to be more successful as having cheated in some way, deprived others to gain what they have. Whilst this is not helped by the television soaps who seem to depict successful business people as rogues more often than not it is no excuse because we are all responsible for our own thoughts and the words that follow.
In truth very few rogues have ever made it to the top and stayed there.
I recently heard a quote. “People say, “It’s lonely at the Top” but they don’t know, they have never been to the top because nobody gets there on their own”.
In truth the great majority of people who achieve and maintain success are the people who serve the most people well. They take other people with them on the journey and they recognise that greatness comes with humility and a desire to serve.
The Master Teacher said “if any would be great among you let him first be your servant”
If you are not currently as successful as you would like to be you are the best person to change that situation and you can start right now. I want you to take action immediately. If you have in the habit of using negative words regarding other people because you are jealous of their success I want you to apologise right now. I understand they are not with you and you may not even be able to name a particular person. That doesn’t matter, you are apologising to yourself for your attitude to others in general. Do you see, you have never been able to affect anyone else by your attitude and you have not diminished their success but you have bound yourself. If you resent someone else riches and say so your thoughts and words have cursed you with poverty.
So now repent…say out loud “I am sorry I have taken such a churlish attitude regarding people who have done better than I…I see now that their success has been achieved because of their willingness to give and serve where I have too often expected something for nothing. I forgive myself, I ask God’s forgiveness and I resolve to change from this moment on.
I will no longer see my work, even though it may be menial right now, as a chore but I will do it proudly as a service to others. I will guard my heart for out of it come the issues of life, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Then I will guard my lips and ensure that only words of praise and encouragement come from them. If I feel negative emotions or unhelpful thoughts come into my mind I will not try to suppress them. I will use the Law of Substitution and immediately begin to replace them with new thoughts of something good, something great, perhaps I will sing a song of Praise, croaky and difficult at first but rising in tone, clarity and volume. Soon I will be lifted higher. I will get to work and I will do the best I can and I will resolve to read in my profession so that I can do even better tomorrow. I will learn to use positive words. I will eliminate idle curse words from my vocabulary. If I cannot think of something good to say I will say nothing.
Can I promise you if you will do that for even a few days you will feel better, you will soon begin to see better results. People will begin to favour you and if you maintain this new positive attitude of yours for thirty days it will become a habit and will sink deep into your inner man and you will be a new person. True success is available to every person…it is never achieved at the expense of anyone else and in fact you becoming successful will be a service to many around you. You may have heard it said, “A rising tide lifts all the boats”