Heart to Heart
Personal from Pappa Joseph
The Queen of Sheba Kneeling before King Solomon. Solomon is recognized in several faiths as the greatest human achiever in history.
As the former editor of several business magazines and corporate publications, it was part of my job to research, glean and compile the world’s best ideas in business management and professional excellence. And now I have given up all other jobs and returned to my native country to focus on searching out and bringing you the most effective and proven principles for personal and professional fulfillment for today’s aspiring men and women.
If you are a young professional, you very likely began your career with a dream goal. You wanted to reach a certain high station in your career journey. You are now headed in that direction, and it is most probable that you will reach that station if you are diligent and persevering enough.
Motivational writers, management gurus, seminar presenters, professional trainers, and business consultants make millions of dollars in royalty and fees showing lesser mortals how they too could make it to the top echelons of their business or profession. They share with their readers and audiences the proven secrets of effective management, or the various strategies for corporate dominance, or the core principles of right decisionmaking, or the seven spiritual laws of success, or the bunch of golden keys to becoming an influential leader.
Here, in this message, I would like to share yet another ‘secret’ for aspiring achievers – of a different dimension. This secret comprises a set of keys that most success propounders have little knowledge of, or if they do, they do not have the gumption to ruffle the settled feathers of their readers and audiences by clinking these unusual keys before them. You see, these keys are corporately and professionally of sensitive nature and the risk of making a politically incorrect statement might mean fewer readers and fewer invitations to speak in chandeliered corporate meeting halls.
Almost always, all the laws and principles of success that are presented by management experts have one basic origin: in the pia mater of brilliant men. And because these laws are extruded from the wide experience and exceptional knowledge of wellknown achievers, their application in the lives of aspirants often do produce better work and greater achievements.
I had been a fan of motivational writers from my boyhood. I enjoyed collecting all kinds of motivational books – how to win friends and influence people, how to fall in love or make a woman fall in love with you (after several pathetic flops in sincerely applying the laws of attraction revealed in this book, they finally worked with the umpteenth woman I tried to draw into a longterm relationship), how to be assertive and confident, ‘how to develop a million-dollar personality’ (in those days nobody had amassed a personal fortune that reached ten figures, or the author, J. V. Cerney, would have revealed the secrets to developing a billionaire-grade personality; but I recommend that you get a copy of this book from Amazon – in the least it will take you on memorable fantasy rides), how to generate mind power by thinking positively, how to ‘bluff your way in publishing’ (also available on Amazon), how to build a powerful memory (this book set me on a brief career course where I found myself conducting memory training seminars in companies…until my own memory began to give way), how to successfully raise kids and rear chickens at the same time (the kids worked, the chickens didn’t), and on. I enjoyed jotting down notable passages from the writings of the great in business, politics, religion, sciences, arts, military – starting from Dale Carnegie and Napoleon Hill to Peter F Drucker and Tom Peters, from Norman Vincent Peale and Dwight D Eisenhower to Warren Buffet and Herb Kelleher (former CEO of Southwest Airlines, my favorite model among business leaders of this generation. I strongly recommend every young executive to read his influential article ‘A Culture of Commitment’, available free online – just type the title in your search engine). Their books, articles and the passages I have jotted down are literally among my most prized possessions today.
Just a few days before I gave up my job in Dubai and returned to India to take up this mission, I received an invitation to meet seven of the world’s ‘top leaders and leadership thinkers’. The invitation said it was my ‘once in a lifetime leadership experience’. The seven leaders mentioned were Rudolp W Giuliani, Jack Welch, Tom Peters, Alvin Toffler, Lester C Thurow, Frank Maguire and Michael E Porter. I was familiar with the names of three, very familiar with one, and hadn’t the faintest clue who the other three were, but the seminar seemed to promise some precious nuggets of insights I couldn’t dig up anywhere else on good earth. Of course, there was some cost to accepting the ‘invitation’ – about US$ 3000, with a substantial discount of $450 if I pay up five months in advance. Anyway, I had to leave the country permanently before the seminar was held, but I don’t think I missed much by not meeting these ‘top minds’ as I had tunnel access to a nugget mine with incomparably more prodigious output than all that the savviest brains could offer me. Nevertheless, I would certainly encourage my readers to get their eyes on the writings of these and other respected authorities whenever they can. What they say is based on their successful experiences in leading global corporations, in researching into what makes excellent companies, in analyzing world events, in probing the profound depths of human innovation, and in laying bare treasures discovered from previously unknown gorges of the human subconscious.
The World Daily Bread site of inspiration for current and aspiring decisionmakers does include insights gleaned from the quintessence of the lessons promulgated by the world’s great leaders and successful people. But the provision of such insights is only supplemental to the core purpose of this site, which is to inspire men and women of intelligence and deep compassion to go beyond the borders of their imagination, beyond the frontiers of the ordinary achiever’s aspirations, and blaze through paths never trodden before and reach territories never attained in corporate or national, or even global, history before.
Based on my decades of observing various categories of achievers and studying the writings of many successful people, I am convinced beyond a shadow of doubt that if a person diligently applies the principles propounded by them, he or she will attain a high level of success in their respective fields of endeavor. But this success is not guaranteed, and even if one achieves his dream goal, the duration of his tenure at the helm of success is never certain. There are a thousand factors that can keep a diligent and intelligent person mediocre or a failure all his life. There a million negative forces everywhere, any one of which could pull the success rug off the feet of a promising achiever.
While I know many earnest men and women who have achieved what they had aimed for, I know far more equally capable people who have been prevented from reaching their goals because of a sudden or eventual physical infirmity or other adversity that cropped up in their lives. Some were hindered because of mere bad luck or bad timing (for example, a small invention in Japan obsoletes overnight a product of years of dreams and hard work of an earnest entrepreneur in a third world country); others were trapped in political circumstances (think of the potential achievers languishing in the turmoil and upheaval prevailing in many war-torn countries).
Some have all the material success they had aimed for, but are now more miserable than the biggest flops in corporate history, because of a marriage gone sour, or a death in the family, or quickly diminishing eyesight, or something else their otherwise fine intellect can’t cope with. One old friend of mine was having all the success he wished for in his life: fine wife, three mansions, great business. One day, while driving his car, he rapidly began losing vision in both his eyes. His whole life course changed from that moment. After some time of struggling to cope with her husband’s handicapped state, my friend’s wife quit and left him alone. His business also left him and probably his mansions too might have changed hands – I didnt ask him. But he survived. After his series of calamitous misfortunes, he slowly started to pick up his broken life, and a few years ago I met him and arranged to have him visit a wellknown eye specialist in my country to see if he could regain at least partial sight so he could go about his life without having to depend on anyone to take him around.
But not so in the case of another friend of mine. In the prime of his life as a successful executive, he, like my other stricken friend, began to lose his eyesight, but at a less galloping pace of deterioration. When total darkness continued to become increasingly imminent and he realized he could not continue much longer before he had to totally depend on others to move around, he reached an emotional nadir. Rather than choosing to live in total darkness and complete dependency, he chose to consume poison and cut short what he believed would be a tragedy swept life. He was an ardent believer in God but hadn’t grown in understanding yet to realize that it is in tragedy that God gives those who depend solely on him their supreme opportunities for success in life.
You see, achieving the pinnacle of one’s goals as taught by most success teachers is dependent on too many factors beyond man’s control. It can never really be guaranteed by any human..
Many consider King Solomon as the most successful man in history. His final conclusion about his great achievements?
‘Vapor of vapors and futility of futilities. Smoke, nothing but smoke. There’s nothing to anything – it’s all smoke. What’s there to show for a lifetime of work, a lifetime of working your fingers to the bone? What profit does man have left from all his toil at which he toils under the sun? Oh, I did great things: built houses, planted vineyards, designed gardens and parks and planted a variety of fruit trees in them, made pools of water to irrigate the groves of trees. I bought slaves, male and female, who had children, giving me even more slaves; then I acquired large herds and flocks, larger than any before me in Jerusalem.
‘I piled up silver and gold, loot from kings and kingdoms. I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and – most exquisite of all pleasures – voluptuous maidens for my bed.
‘Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all. Everything I wanted I took – I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task – my reward to myself for a hard day’s work!
‘Then I took a good look at everything I’d done, looked at all the sweat and hard work. But when I looked, I saw nothing but smoke. Smoke and spitting into the wind. There was nothing to any of it. Nothing.’1
The greatest achievements of mortals on earth in the final analysis count for literally nothing and will eventually prove to be mere smoke ascending into nothingness from a fire that burned for a fleeting moment and snuffed out forever. Unless…unless those achievements are based on the one success secret.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Nobel laureate and tireless critic of Soviet totalitarianism, was among the most persecuted men in Russian history, but today he is regarded by his nation as one of their most successful and esteemed citizens. Solzhenitsyn wrote:
‘Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” ’2
So what is this one absolute secret of lasting success? The greatest human achiever in history, whom I mentioned earlier, and who finally saw the real worth of all his efforts, concludes his life findings in the following words:
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is man’s all.”1
Whatever a person’s faith, when he or she determines at the outset of their pursuit of success, at the outset of undertaking any great project, that they will always fear God and keep his commandments – specifically, The 10 Commandments – then that person is guaranteed absolute success in his or her life.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, one of the greatest men of the 20th century. By Verhoeff, Bert / Anefo [CC-BY-SA-3.0-nl], via Wikimedia Commons
Consider the lives of the leaders in the political world who towered in their lifetimes during the 20th century. Ponder the achievements of the billionaires of that era who reigned in the corporate world. The ones who feared God and kept his commandments have left a lasting legacy that continues to benefit not only their descendants but thousands and millions of other people long after they were gone. Their memories are cherished and the earth is now a little better place for their brief existence. But the many leaders and billionaires who disdained belief in God and did not base their thoughts and actions on their Maker’s laws of success, left behind works that eroded into oblivion some years after they departed. And if any continue now, those works, if you care to go deep into probing them, are festered with the sores of strife, sexual depravity, and social upheaval. The earth is today a worse place for their having come into existence.
This website will explore the lives of political leaders and business magnates of the two kinds and examine the fruits of their achievements.
All the secrets of success expounded by motivational writers and speakers work only if they are acknowledged and applied as ramifications of the laws of perpetual success revealed by the Lawgiver himself, which he codified as ‘The 10 Commandments’. And the plain exposition of these ‘secret’ laws is what this website and all my books are about. Every message in here is based on these laws of success which have proven themselves astonishingly effective in the lives of men and women of exceptional achievements throughout history – men and women who attributed their great success solely to their earnestness in keeping The 10 Commandments – the Creator’s greatest gift to men and women who seek good success.
1 Ecclesiastes 12:13
2 “Solzhenitsyn – Voice from the Gulag”, Ericson, Edward E. Jr.