According to Dorothea Brande, author of the book, Wake Up and Live, the most important success secret she has ever discovered is to “[A]ct as if it were impossible to fail, and it shall be.” From a business perspective, I can tell you that in my 31 years of practicing law and working with numerous business owners, Brande’s “secret” really is one of the true principles of success in the business world.
I believe that this same success principle is critical to spiritual growth. Two people who practiced and lived this success principle were Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. Both of these great Catholics acted as though it were impossible to fail because they had a strong belief that as long as they were doing the work of God, they would not fail. They had faith that God’s grace was with them in everything they did. Our own achievements pale in comparison to what they were able to accomplish.
As a lawyer, I regularly deal with people who have problems that they believe are insurmountable. These people suffer immense mental anguish because they feel as though their lives are out of control.
As humans, we get frustrated when we are not able to exercise complete control over everything in our lives, including our health, jobs, relationships, and financial security. But as we grow older, we realize that most of the things we worry about really are beyond our control. In the chaotic and unpredictable world we live in, how can a person ever hope to maintain a sense of control over his or her life?
Psychologists tell us that before individuals can have true peace of mind, they must first have a feeling of being in control of their lives. I’m not so sure this is true. I rarely have a feeling of being in complete control of my life. I do, however, often feel at peace after completing a holy hour in the presence of our Lord in the adoration chapel.
There is really only one thing in this world that we have complete control over and that is our conscious thoughts, which include the decisions we make and the actions we take as a result of our decisions. Most everything else is unpredictable and outside of our own control.
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and Saint John Paul II lived lives in which they were rarely in control of what was going on around them. However, for the most part, both of them lived lives in which they appeared to have a great sense of confidence and peace.
You and I can learn from these two great modern-day saints. What was the most important decision they made every day? They made the decision to pray. I’m not just talking about attending daily Mass or praying a daily rosary. They spent several hours each day in prayer.
I know, I know, you have a different vocation. You have a spouse, children, and a job to tend to. So instead of praying several hours each day, can you pray at least one hour every day? How about a half hour every day? Or what about attending Mass every day?
Most people avoid making a conscious decision to dedicate more time each day to prayer. They know they should be praying more, but they avoid thinking about it.
How can we expect to enhance our relationship with God if we’re not willing to spend more time interacting with Him every day?
How about it? Are you willing to make a commitment now to go to daily Mass, pray a daily rosary, pray an additional 30 minutes every day, or set aside additional time each day for spiritual reading?
Do you sometimes feel as though your life is out of control? If you do, you can change the way you feel by making a commitment to dedicate more time to prayer each and every day.