To Be A Success In 2004

The following was printed in the Omaha World-Herald newspaper of Omaha, Nebraska USA on Sunday, September 12th, 2004, on Page 14-A.

by Dan Boeckman (email:

(Version 5, 08-17-2004, 11:05 PM CDT)

What does it mean to be a success in 2004? Who is a success? Is it people who are powerful leaders, like George W. Bush? Is it people on TV, like Katie Couric? Is it those who have wealth, like Bill Gates? Is it the musically gifted, like Sara Evans? Is it those who help others, like Mother Teresa? Is it people who coach winning teams, like Frank Solich?

Can a homeless person be a success?

A successful person sets goals. Write down your goals each morning. Check them during the course of the day. This keeps you focused. It sets the direction for your life.

A successful person listens. Make an effort to concentrate on what others have to say to you. Be present to that one person. You can learn many things, if you pay attention. You will make that one person feel special.

A successful person forgives. If someone has hurt you, you must forgive them. This is so hard to do. Work at it. This is very important to being a success.

A successful person is patient. Take the time to do tasks well. If you are ahead of someone, stop and help them in their journey. Invest your time in other's lives.

To be a successful person you must have friends. You need to spend time with people. Share your life with others; laugh and cry with them. Hold someone's hand. Give them a hug.

To be a success you must be thoughtful. You should think of others. Be aware of the needs of those around you.

A successful person prays every day. You ask God to make you a success. You ask for direction on what to do with your life. There is a reason why you are alive today. You are part of God's plan.

To be a success you must be honest. You need to tell the truth. You should be someone that others can believe in. One day the truth will be known. It will come out. If you have not been truthful, it will destroy all you have worked for. If you tell the truth, it simplifies your life.

A successful person has followers. People will want to be like you and follow in your footsteps.

A successful person changes the course of history. You make the world a better place. You make a difference.

A successful person is dependent on others. You need others to help you be a success. You need to be a member of a team. The classic example of this is the Apollo 13 rescue effort. I asked friends near me to help me with writing these words to you today.

To be a success you must be dependable. You should be a person of your word. Be faithful with your commitments to others.

A successful person does not cheat on their spouse. I just returned 6 days ago from Los Angeles where marriage is not taken seriously by the movie stars. Many people follow their every move, as they trade/change partners. This creates too much interest in these artificial relationships resulting in the perception that unstable marriages are the norm. But you live right here in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area, not Hollywood. Love your husband/wife. Don't take them for granted. Make them number one in your life after God. Give them a big hug and a kiss right now. Tell them you love them every single day.

A successful person admits when they are wrong. You must apologize, if you screw up at work, home, school or anywhere or anytime. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others.

A successful person is positive. You are glad to be alive. You say positive words to others. Give sincere compliments. Make someone's day!

To be a success you must use the talents that God has given you. If you have a beautiful voice, sing. If you can lead, show others the way. If you can speak, encourage. If you can teach, share your knowledge. If you understand, patiently explain things. If you are on a team, contribute. If you understand medicine, heal the sick. If you're in school, study. If you can grow things, feed the hungry.

One successful person that lived 2,000 years ago was a homeless man. He had little or no money. His name was Jesus. He taught us about how to be a success. He showed us what to do. He listened to people. He forgave people. He taught them what he knew. He loved them and fed them. He cried with them. He healed them. He gave sight to the blind. He raised people from the dead. He prayed. He was a leader. He stood up for the truth. He changed the course of history. He said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." He gave his life for what he believed. He rose from the dead and conquered death to give us eternal life. He has many followers. He said, "Follow me." Today ask Jesus to show you the way. Ask him to forgive your mistakes. He will forgive all your sins. Ask him to give you wisdom. Jesus' goal was to see that you achieve eternal life. He wants you to live forever with him. Will you follow Jesus? Buy a Bible and read it. Start with the Gospel of Matthew. Read one chapter a day. You need to be part of the team. Attend a Christian church every Sunday. You are not going to make it on your own.

To be a success is to make Heaven your goal.

Next Sunday, September 19th, watch for "The Day My Dad Died" in Section A or B.

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