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Monday, December 17 , 2018, 4:54 am | Overcast 55º


Jim Langley: Finding True Success in Life

The name John Wooden is synonymous with success. With 10 NCAA men’s basketball championships at UCLA to his credit, one can easily see why his “Pyramid of Success” became a foundational teaching tool in sports and business.

If we were to look at the tenets that make up his pyramid we’d see each of the building blocks working to complement each other in team building. Wooden is a legend and certainly a worthy person of get to know better.

One of my favorite devotional books was written by Wooden and Jay Carty in 2003.

Coach Wooden One-on-One has become more than a devotional resource for me over the years. It’s become a wonderful reflection of this man, whom I did not know yet I feel that I’ve come to know him intimately by reviewing the conversations of Jay and Coach.

And, our wonderful Father in Heaven is seen in each of the 60 topics presented in the book. Success is an elusive topic and what it really represents means something different to each of us.

Let’s take a hard look at success.

“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” Those are the words of Coach Wooden. And since he’s had more than his share of success, I believe we’ll just settle on Coach’s words for this discussion.

What we won’t find in Wooden’s quote is any mention of winning, gaining wealth or fame, attaining honors or finishing with more wins than losses. He also places no time frame on achieving success.

I believe Coach Wooden considered success to be a lifelong process. I’ll have to ask him that question when I meet him in Heaven.

One of my favorite people in scripture is King David. Certainly David was not perfect but he was a man after God’s own heart (See Paul’s account in Acts 13:22).

King David then instructs his son, King Solomon, in the building of the temple in 1 Chronicles 22:13, “Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”

Perhaps what we are really seeking is the peace of mind that Coach talks about so lucidly. Inner peace is attainable and I gladly share that it’s available to everyone, if we will only get out of the way and allow God to guide us in the life that lies ahead.

In dissecting Wooden and Carty’s devotional, I see that peace displayed again and again in the lives of both men. Perhaps this gained peace is the success that we all should strive to attain.

It has nothing to do with wealth or status or anything tangible. It’s that intangible factor that allows us to know that we are pleasing to our God and that He will one day tell us, “Welcome home my good and faithful servant!”

If you are having trouble relating to this idea, I suggest you confront successful friends who seem to be content with their lives even though they may be facing obvious adversity. Hopefully, they’ll be able to share the Truth that can lead you to “real success” as well.

Passages to Ponder

» Genesis 39:23

» 1 Samuel 18:14

» 1 Chronicles 22:11-13

» Ecclesiastes 10:10

» Joshua 1:6-9

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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