My Key to Success

04 Feb

Key [kee]

1. a small metal instrument specially cut to fit into a lock and move its bolt.
2. key card.
3. something that affords a means of access; i.e., the key to happiness.

Keys are important to our lives…while we don’t think about them too much, it is likely that you use at least one of them every day…whether it’s the key to start your car, or the key to unlock your office door at work, or even the key you want to use to scratch the car door of the idiot who took two spaces in the parking lot (and causing you to park twice as far from the office during a driving rainstorm), we all need to have keys.

And we all know the frustration that comes from losing our keys…

“Have you seen my keys?”

“Who borrowed my keys?”

“I can’t find my keys…did you take my keys? Well, then who did? No I did NOT lose my keys again!”

There is another key that is important to our life…it is the key referenced in the third definition above: “something that affords a means of access.”

The key I am talking about is my own personal key to success….

Now please don’t misunderstand…I am not about to give you some profound wisdom that will propel you to previously unknown heights of wealth and fame…because that is not how I define success. My definition of personal success is much more modest than that. I define success as accomplishing the goals I need to accomplish that will make the lives of me and my family run more smoothly.

Not very glamorous, is it?

Well, sorry about that…but we have all found ourselves in a position where we are not getting the simple daily tasks of life done…and the reason is often because we don’t “feel like it.”

And I have discovered MY personal key to success as I define it…

Are you ready?

Ok, here it is…

But wait…before I tell you what the key is, maybe I should tell you what I need to do on a daily basis in order to make the rest of my day a success…

I need to plan out and prepare my food for the day. As a compulsive eater, if I do not know what I am supposed to eat for each meal, I will just graze my way through each meal without keeping track of my calories. That leads to weight gain, and general unhappiness;

I need to have devotions. If I do not center my mind and my heart on God at the beginning of the day, I tend to carry a cynical attitude with me throughout the day;

I need to plan the day’s activities. If I have meetings, I need to remind myself when they are and what they are about. If I have classes, I need to plan some prep time to review what I will be teaching. If I am going to work out, I need to plan my time in the gym so that it does not interfere with other items in my schedule. I also need to plan my tasks. Whether it is returning phone or e-mail messages, grading papers, or preparing a report, I need to plan those things into my day;

I need to write. I have journaled for years. It is only recently that I have started to blog, but I find that writing is a creative outlet for my mind. It also helps me to focus on the things that are important.

If I get those things (planning, devotions, and writing) done on a daily basis, the rest of my day becomes SO much more productive. I can look back on my day and feel that it was a success.

For me, I need to get these things done in the morning…that’s when I have been most successful with these tasks. Doing them at night does not work for me. I usually wake up the next morning and forget half the stuff I planned from the night before.

So, you might think that the key to my success is getting up early.

You would be close…

But you would be wrong.

The key to my personal success is…

Going to bed by 9:30…

That’s it…

Not very exciting, I know…

But it is the one thing I have identified that has a powerful impact on my day…

And it is not easy to do…

I go to bed before some of my kids…

I go to bed before my wife…

I go to bed before David Letterman…

Now THAT’S hard…

But when I do that, I am able to get up early enough the next morning to take care of the morning routine that makes my day a success.

I’m not perfect…I don’t make it every night…

But I have learned that when I do, the next day will be so much more successful.

What about you?

Can you identify a “key” to your own personal success? Share it here…maybe you will inspire someone to try something new.

After all, we all want to be successful.

But not everyone wants to go to bed at 9:30. 🙂


Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Focus, Motivation, Self-discipline


Tags: , , , ,

3 responses to “My Key to Success

  1. Jereda

    February 4, 2012 at 7:44 am

    9:30???? HA! We are in bed and comatose by 8:30 in the Snyder house.

    • jbecker007

      February 4, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      Not at our house…wish I could be that disciplined…


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