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The Word in the World

The Word in the World – Success is not a solo pursuit (Proverbs 12:15)

Today’s Reading: Proverbs 12-15

Today’s Reflection: Proverbs 12:15

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

A truly wise man is wise enough to know he can’t accomplish much of anything all by himself.

During his 2012 re-election campaign US President Barack Obama was attacked by his political opposition for suggesting that successful people are not solely responsible for their achievements.  But in the bestselling book “Outliers” author Malcolm Gladwell explains that success is never a matter of a lone figure.  Rather it is the achievement of a person supported by community.  Bill Gates would never have founded Microsoft had his mother and the local PTA not lobbied to have a computer lab built in his high school over a decade before personal computers even existed.  That vision ignited Gates’ own vision, and the rest is history.

If you talk to successful people they will mention family, friends, educators, business partners and community as contributing factors.  The advice, examples, teaching and support from these people are critical in creating, testing and shaping plans, helping to ensure their success.  I know in my life God has a great habit of sending people with just the right information at just the right time to help me take the next step in my life and career.

And yet many continue to believe in the myth of the ‘lone genius’, including many would be geniuses who think they’re too smart to listen to anyone else, but can’t figure out why they haven’t succeeded yet.  The truth is God built us to need one another, to help one another, to work together, and to accomplish success together.

Proverbs 15:22 – Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.

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