DCL 1.1 Instruction | How Today Impacts Tomorrow’s Success

The way you choose to invest your time today directly affects your future.
Consider this: you will become what you are becoming right now. If you take a faulty approach to today with a faulty view of success, you won’t capitalise on today’s potential. Let’s examine some common misconceptions regarding success.

Video Presentation: Tom Atema, VP of International Ministries and Strategic Partnerships, EQUIP

Common Misconceptions and Reactions:

1. We believe success is impossible—so we criticise it.

Often, people become disillusioned because they feel life should be easier than it is. This is a faulty assumption. Life is difficult. The moment success doesn’t come quickly, many become negative and say, “I didn’t want it anyway!” or “I knew I couldn’t achieve it from the beginning.”

2. We believe success is mystical—so we search for it.

Sometimes people approach success as if it were a magic formula. All they have to do is discover the formula, and they’ll arrive at their desired destination. To them, success is a mystery that requires a hunt.

3. We believe success comes from luck—so we hope for it.

Many times, we believe success comes from simply being in the right place at the right time. It isn’t talent or hard work, we say, it is an accident of chance. The truth is that luck alone won’t help us. It is a myth.

4. We believe success comes from productivity—so we work for it.

While hard work usually does accompany success, it is one-dimensional. Many people who work hard don’t see success. Some work hard and neglect important relationships and other higher priorities.

5. We believe success comes from opportunity—so we wait for it.

Those who believe this have a motto: “If only…” If only my boss would give me a chance; if only my wife would…if only my church would… If all we do is wait for an opportunity, we won’t be ready when it comes.

6. We believe success comes from power—so we leverage resources.

Some people associate success with power. They pursue their goals at any expense. They push ahead and may even hurt others in the process, all in the name of succeeding. But force never produces long-term fruit.

7. We believe success comes from connection—so we network for it.

These people believe success does not come from what you know but from who you know. They build relationships hoping to manipulate their way into fame or fortune, but connections alone won’t furnish success.

8. We believe success comes from recognition—so we strive for it.

Every profession has their own form of recognition. Some strive to be recognized by their peers; their motive is to be noticed and affirmed, but these are usually unhealthy motives that put us in a performance trap.

9. We believe success is an event—so we schedule it.

While events are important, they cannot provide success. Events are good for inspiration and challenge, but real sustainable change doesn’t happen in a moment. It comes from a growth process that follows an event. This is the Law of Process: Development doesn’t happen in a day, but is a daily process. Success comes from many private, unglamorous disciplined days.

Our Days Are Short

There have been only two men in history for whom God allowed the “sun to stand still” so He could prolong their day. God prolonged the day for Joshua to win a battle (Joshua 0), and for King Hezekiah to fulfill his dream (Isaiah 8). Most of us don’t get this luxury. We must make the most of the days we have, focusing on today. Moses wrote: “Teach us to number our days…” (Psalm 90: 2). We all have been given a mission to fulfill with our lives. What are you doing about yours today?


  • What has been your view of success in the past?
  • What are you pursuing right now that you believe will foster your success?   


DCL Meditation and Inspiration Media and Notes © Willow Creek Association.
DCL Instruction Media and Notes © EQUIP Million Leaders Mandate Volume 2.