The Secret of Success

The Secret of Success
The secret is, there isn't one. It's all about what you believe.

Years ago everyone was all in a tizzy because Oprah covered the fascinating story about “The Secret.” People believed that they had uncovered some new truths that would catapult them into financial, social, career fame and fortune. It was an exciting time. We had all been told “the secret!”

However, there were some who weren’t as thrilled.

Religious folk felt it was insulting to put God, a book and DVD into a magic formula to build faith.  God is not a magician.

It was interesting to me though because I grew up in a home where my mom’s side of the family were “Plain Jane” Christians with operatic singing on Sunday mornings where the high C’s would ring your ears. I liked it. Then you had my mom’s father’s side of the family who were Christian Scientists were sickness was not discussed or believed.  (Try having allergies to THEIR pets around them and see how well that goes over).  The singing was about the same, just a more aggressive, let’s say, approach to faith. I mean, there had to be some reward from God for having to move around all those bookmarks and complex tab system Christian Scientists use to mark their bibles weekly. Mary Baker Eddy must have been a school teacher or librarian in her former life. Clearly, my opinion, not hers.

So that’s half of me.

Then add my father’s side of the family with Pentecostal jumping and shouting and tambourines, and now you have got yourself a Holy Ghost party! They make the “Plain Janes” look just that. Bor-ing.

But what it produced in me is what I am grateful for because it gave me two things I will always have that will never leave me: “book smarts” and belief, or better yet, passion and intelligence–a most winning combination.

What does this have to do with today, the right here and now?

For me, everything, because recently my fire got reignited from a seemingly trivial experience, that did something to me inside. It was like the sound of a yoga gong had gone off in my heart and soul.

Bradley Cooper, an ordinary man with extraordinary talent.

Bradley Cooper, an ordinary man with extraordinary talent.

What was it you ask? Well, you may be just as surprised as I was.  It was an interview I just happened to catch of Bradley Cooper on 60 Minutes, coincidentally (which I learned there really is no such thing; it’s all divine) was after seeing Cooper in “American Sniper.” If you didn’t catch the interview, you can click here to see it in my blog.

Now, I told you about my religious background. Well here’s another piece of me. I’m not into war movies. I don’t like all the shooting and blood or any of it. Movies, for me, have to fill two categories: Happy and Love. So needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled about watching this movie.

But Bradley was so captivating. From his Southern drawl to his gargantuan physical transformation, he just mesmerized me in this role. And I also couldn’t help but be proud to be an American. I know there are people who boycotted and criticized the film, and they may have valid points, but at the end of the day, common men and women, sign up to defend our country, and God only knows what all that entails. I was proud, and still am.

As for the whole notion of success, as the title of this blog suggests I will eventually talk about, I sat there and hung on Bradley’s every word in his interview because as I looked at him, I realized he is just a man. A very handsome man, without question. But he’s an ordinary man with extraordinary talent who believed, long before a door of opportunity was opened to him, that once through it, he could “bring it.” That’s what he said in the interview.  He knew that about himself.

And it hit me once more: Successful people have developed a mindset and practice of two things–FAITH AND DEEDS. No matter what side you fall on in religion, that truth is unwavering. You have to have both.

Successful people have developed the habit of taking steps in faith.

Successful people have developed the habit of taking steps in faith.

This isn’t new information for me. For me, it was the Universe’s umpteenth time reminding me to believe in myself. To trust the process. To set my mind, not on earthly things, but on things above. You see, if you’re not careful, you can become discouraged, bitter, and faithless when what you are praying for and believing SHOULD happen seems no where in sight. As a matter of fact, right here and right now, neither my savings or checking account have balances that make my heart sing like the “PJs” (remember: Plain Janes).  But that’s just it! It’s not the account you “sing” about, it’s the belief in what it will be, if you continue to focus on heavenly things, like love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, forgiveness, kindness, self-control, and discipline. And that, my friends is THE SECRET!

Sixty Minutes showed a brief clip of Cooper’s Broadway performance of the Elephant Man. And if my account weren’t the way I just shared with you, I would be on a plane to go to New York to go and see it. It was something to witness! But when Cooper, and all great actors, are in that moment, in that space and time, they aren’t thinking about interviews, awards, and red carpet. Great actors must become who and what they are portraying.

We can learn from them.

I know I have.

Vowing to live “In FITNESS and In Health” is much more than just exercise, diet, and nutrition. It’s also a mindset. I have a dream of being the world’s first black health and fitness spokesperson who brings the Good News and a great workout. I see myself as a combination of Joyce Meyer, Paula White, Billy Blanks, and Richard Simmons. Now you gotta admit. That just sounds like fun. But in this moment, I’m nowhere near “that”, whatever “that” is because right now  it doesn’t exist. But do you know what is here? My refrigerator. What I choose to eat when no one is around. My gym. How I choose to workout. And my mind. What I believe about myself.

That’s why self-control and discipline are highlighted above. When people talk about fruit of the Spirit, often times they conveniently skip over those two components, when those two are the ones that separate the wheat from the chaff.

So I wanna thank you Bradley Cooper and all those who inspire us to greatness.  I know that I’m like Bradley Cooper. If and when that door opens for me, and it will, I will “bring it.”  I know, success is a mindset. Now, I just have to continue to take steps in the right direction.  As I affirm each and every day: I’m here and I’m ready.

(I think it’s interesting to note that at the time I wrote this blog, I had no idea Jack Canfield had written a book “The Success Secret.” If you ask me, I must be headed in the right direction!)

About Me: Wife. Mother. Writer. Fitness and health enthusiast.  A woman with a lot on her plate with voracious vitality for life, health, happiness, and prosperity. Click the About Me tab above to learn more. And you can have my blogs sent right to your email by clicking the Subscribe by Email tab above. It’s free and there’s no spam.

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    Elana Anthony

    I am a wife and mother blessed to have six daughters who fill my home with love and laughter. My passion is writing and teaching, but most especially inspiring people to live healthy lives in my faith-filled fitness classes. My dream is to have my own faith and fitness TV show where people from all the world collectively join together on our "temple" building project of enjoying optimal health. I am a certified group fitness instructor by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), and earned graduate degrees in Writing from DePaul University, in addition to a degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from the California University of Pennsylvania. I have seen and experienced the hand of God work and move in my life, and consider it an honor and blessing to be saved to serve.

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