Posted by: ritagone | March 6, 2013

The Secrets to Success


Novelist Amelia Barr wrote something in 1901 that is still relevant and applicable over 100 years later: “We have been told, for centuries, to watch for opportunities, and to strike while the iron is hot.  Very good; but I think better of Oliver Cromwell’s amendment – ‘make the iron hot by striking it.’”  This was one of “9 Rules of Success” that Ms. Barr penned and which I read recently on one of my favorite new websites: Brain Pickings.  Every Sunday it comes to me via email, early in the morning, a place where you can see quotes and drawings and puzzles and all kinds of delicious things to make you stop and think about a myriad of subjects, some of which I find interesting, some, not so much.

I guess I love juicy tidbits as much as the next person, and these nine rules of success were pretty fascinating to read and think about, because we’re coming into a new season in Christian Associates, with a new President, Dudley Callison, recently selected by the Board of Directors, and due to take office officially on March 15.

Every time there’s a change in officials or leadership in a country or an organization or even in a family, it seems a natural thing to do: to step back and assess the rules for success, be they nine or ninety, to help insure that there is the best possible outcome for the future.

So, since we will have a new President very shortly, let me give you an abbreviated version of the items on Barr’s list, because they’re apt not only for Presidents but for each one of us with goals and dreams:

  • Take pains to succeed.  It’s hard work; once you understand and accept that, you’re well on your way to making everything work.
  • One of the great secrets of success is “pegging away,” meaning, just do the things that need to be done.  Get going, in other words.  Stop talking about what needs to be done and start doing.
  • No opposition must be taken to heart.  Our enemies often help us more than our friends, so why not make use of them?
  • A fatal mistake is to imagine that success is some stroke of luck.  It is not luck; it is just plain hard work.
  • Time means power for your work.  Don’t do your work in a hurry.  Go into detail; it pays off in every way.
  • Be orderly.  Slatternly work is never good work.  (Ms. Barr’s word: “slatternly.”  Don’t you just love it?  It’s a bit dated, but it sure does tell us what she means!)
  • Never be above your profession.  Whatever you are, be it with all your heart and soul.  Once you’re in a role, don’t start looking at the job above you until you have mastered the one you’re in.
  • Then there’s the first admonition, at the beginning of this writing, “make the iron hot by striking it,” meaning: make your own luck.
  • And lastly, one of the great helps to success is to be cheerful.  To go to work with a full sense of life.  Happy is better than sad and gloomy.


And there you have it: the secret to success, written a long time ago, yet as relevant now as it was then.  I expect great things from everyone reading this; you now have no excuse!!


  1. Great to see that Dudley is the new President of CA. This is the verse I did for the grandkids a few weeks ago. “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Sue Brantingham

  2. Hi Rita, But I’m so good at coming up with excuses! It’s one of my top talents. Thanks for those good points. I’ll see if I can put some into action today! Cathy

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