Michael W. Austin

Ideas that matter.

The 7 C’s of Success: A Strong Confidence

Tom Morris calls the following “The Seven C’s of Success”: a clear conception of what we want, a strong confidence that we can attain that goal, concentration on what it will take to achieve it, consistent pursuit of our goal, an emotional commitment to the value of our goal, good character that guides us along the way, and a capacity to enjoy the process.

I’ve previously discussed the overall approach to life and happiness that the Seven C’s fit within, as well as the first C of success: a clear conception of what we want.

The second C of success, according to Morris, is a strong confidence that we can attain our goal. As C.S. Lewis puts it,

Very often the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if you had it already.

Morris is not arguing that we can do anything we put our minds to, nor that if we just believe we can achieve. Rather, he advises us to choose goals or projects for which success is a real possibility. Our goals may still be very challenging, but in some important sense they are still realistic. Given this, we can reasonably cultivate an inner attitude of confidence, which will help us not only pursue but achieve the goals in question.

While such confidence in ourselves is not required for success–we may just get lucky, after all–it has an important role to play. As Morris notes,

A strong confidence is no guarantee of success. But it is among the chief facilitators of it.

Confidence facilitates success because it helps us to persist and persevere through difficulties, reminds us that we chose the goal we are pursuing because it is within our grasp, and enables us to tap into the gifts and abilities that we possess. It may also help us discover new ones along the way, which can further boost our confidence.

The above is drawn from Tom’s entertaining and enlightening book, Philosophy for Dummies.

Evangelicals In Search of the Sacred

Readers of this blog may find a recent Postmodern Realities Podcast of interest. It is a discussion with Arthur W. Hunt entitled “In Search of the Sacred: Evangelicals on a Quest and Why It Matters.”

For a description, go here: http://www.equip.org/pmr-podcast/episode-046-search-sacred-evangelicals-quest-matters/

Here’s an iTunes link, it was released 8/9/17: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/postmodern-realities-podcast-christian-research-journal/id1116873002?mt=2

If you have any thoughts, comment here and we’ll discuss it.

Spiritual Growth is Slow

For many of us, one of the hardest things to accept about the process of spiritual growth, or sanctification, is that it is often slow. But it is, and that’s okay.

I struggle with this reality. In fact, my lack of acceptance of the slow pace of growth in Christ can undermine my own pursuit of God and of Christlike character. I want instant results, and when they don’t come I get frustrated and my motivation wanes. Related to this, I enjoy reading about the various spiritual disciplines, from writers both past and present. Yet when I do, I become more aware of the vast array of practices that can help us appropriate God’s grace and open our lives to him. I then think I must be engaged in all of these, or at least many of them.

Recently, however, I was reminded in a helpful way of the fact that slowness in the spiritual life is a reality, and that there is no need to fight against it. This past week I listened to an episode of the Renovare podcast, in which Nathan Foster and Australian pastor Andrew Ranucci discuss the value of spiritual retreats and growth in Christ. At Ranucci’s church, they focus on one discipline per year. While this seems slow, in 6 years people will have engaged in and hopefully come to habitually practice 6 different disciplines that foster openness to God and to the process of spiritual growth.

I highly recommend listening to this podcast, especially the second half of it. It is always good to be reminded that in the spiritual life, we ought to take a long-term view as we walk the path of a long obedience in the same direction.

Photo: Photo Monkey, CCL

Radio Appearance on Faith and Sport

I recently was interviewed on the show “Faith and Sport” on Radio Maria. I discuss character and sports, at this link, around the 17 minute mark:

Pascal on Things that Matter

I wrote this a while back, over at Ethics for Everyone. But it seems just as important, if not more so, today. Pascal was a deeply committed follower of Jesus, and is still studied in philosophy programs around the world today. I especially appreciate that his philosophical thought is both deep and practical.

Want more from Pascal? See his Pensees.

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