Wednesday, May 29, 2024

OPINION: Success and failure

by BRENT REGAN/Common Sense
| March 17, 2023 1:00 AM

People who have achieved success usually understand the relationship between perspective and outcome. Every action begins as thought; an idea that gives perspective. Martin Luther King had a dream, and John F. Kennedy issued a challenge. From these perspectives came great achievements.

Success is envisioned through perspective, so having the right perspective is essential. Along the way you may encounter the occasional failure but chronic failure is an indicator of having the wrong perspective. Having the correct perspective may not lead immediately to success but you will reap rewards in the fullness of time.

Here are some of the perspectives that lead to success.

Optimism is the foundation. Successful people approach their task with optimism because as Henry Ford observed: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, either way you are right.” If you can’t see yourself as successful, why would anybody else?

Gratitude is important; being grateful for the things you have and not sorrowful about things you don’t have. Imagine that tomorrow all that you love is taken from you. Now imagine that the day after tomorrow all that you love is restored. Imagine your joy when your situation returns to that of today. Allow yourself a measure of that joy today.

Reciprocity is the glue that binds society. Actor Danny Trejo observed: “Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else.” Deliver more than expected. Do your best work. Help pull the neighbors car out of the ditch.

Take personal responsibility for your actions and your fate. If you fall short of your goal, consider what you could have done better. Focus on those things that are within your control.

Relationships with successful people allow you to leverage your skills with theirs. You may lack an essential skill or knowledge that you need to succeed. Networking can open the door to needed resources. You may be the smartest person in the room but you are not smarter than everyone in the room.

Faith provides a moral footing; a belief in a higher power that is the immutable source of our rights. Faith provides a rational framework for dealing with things we cannot understand. Faith takes over where science falters.

If these are the policies and perspectives that lead to success, it is reasonable to conclude that taking the opposite approach will lead to failure, and indeed it does.

This is not to say that the opposite conditions don’t exist because clearly they do. The question is whether or not you internalize them and allow them to dominate your perspective.

Replacing optimism with oppression places your fate in the hands of others. You believe the system is rigged against you and powerful forces will deny you success no matter how hard you try. You believe systemic oppression makes it impossible for you to succeed so why bother trying.

The opposite of gratitude is grievance. Feeling aggrieved by random or even deliberate events has no benefit to your future success. Life isn’t fair, get used to it.

If you replace reciprocity with entitlement you will make demands on others. This may provide a short term gain but your return will be limited to what others are willing to provide. Because they are acquiescing to your demands, what they provide will be the minimum needed to satisfy those demands.

Dependency comes when you fail to take personal responsibility. An attitude of dependency cripples your own agency and ensures you will be shackled by the charity of others.

Being a member of a Group may feel a little like relationships but a group identity is typically based on one small characteristic like sex or skin color or national origin. These may accompany traits that would help you be successful but it is unlikely that group identity alone would be beneficial.

If you adopt atheism you are entrusting your most basic of rights to your fellow man. If the majority believes that you should be denied life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness, then the tyranny of the majority will prevail. Purely secular societies fail.

We can clearly see that the attitudes of oppression, grievance, entitlement, dependency, group identity and humanism are not conducive to success, happiness, and prosperity. As with all things involving human nature, these are not absolutes. However, in general one would be wise to shun these perspectives that lead to failure and not associate with people who promote them.

The reality is that each of these perspectives that lead to failure are part of the progressive Democrat agenda, they just call it something else:

Oppression — Systemic Racism

Grievance — Critical Race Theory

Entitlement — Reparations

Dependency — Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT)

Group — Identity Politics

Atheism — Separation of church and state

This is not a denial that any of these factors exist. They do and they are real, but adopting and promoting these perspectives leads to failure, which largely explains the sorry condition of many Democrat controlled cities and states, and the failures of the Biden administration.

Everyone is born with gifts and deficits. Embrace your gifts so that you may overcome your deficits and avoid people who would deny you your full potential.

It’s just common sense.

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Brent Regan is chairman of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee.