What Is Real Success?


What is real success? Most people simply don’t know! How do you know when you have reached success in life?

Take stock of your own life. Would you consider yourself an example of real success?

Can you measure success in wealth? There are many unhappy rich people in the world. What about fame? The tabloids are full of the sordid details of the lives of celebrities; the glamorous life often pulls people into degradation and despair.

If we are honest, we have to accept the fact that true success cannot be measured by material means. Such “success,” once acquired, never satisfies in a lasting way, as it appeared it would.

But what is success then, if not material?

I would like to offer you a free copy of a very special booklet. It explores the answer to this question—and actually provides a proven, specific, tried-and-true formula for lasting, genuine success in life! It gives a method for acquiring a measure of material success—but goes far beyond that by defining and then showing how to achieve the all-encompassing, enduring success we were created to achieve!

It was written by the late Herbert W. Armstrong. It is one of several works of his that we recently acquired the copyright to print. It is called The Seven Laws of Success.

Let me share with you a significant portion of the introduction to this powerful, practical booklet:

Did it ever occur to you that there might be a reason why so many people make a failure of life?

Are you one who is wrestling with the problem of “making ends meet”? Nearly all of us are. This problem need not mean failure—yet it often leads to it.

It is a fact—the vast majority do wind up failures. Yet none need fail!

Take a look at the facts in the world.

Is THIS Success?

Every two minutes someone in the United States attempts suicide. Each day nearly 85 persons succeed—but is that success? The World Health Organization estimates that some one thousand people commit suicide in the world—every day!

Suicides now outnumber murders. Now various organizations for the prevention of suicide are a reality. But the cause is individual failure!

Only a minority, of course, go to this extreme, but the overwhelming majority do end their lives in failure.

Much of the world is in current “prosperity.” Yet—even within the affluent U.S.—95 percent of businesses fail within five years of inception. Across the world streaks the shocking trend of increasing failures. Scores of millions daily allow the creeping cancer of failure to chain them to a life of unhappy circumstances, from which only death promises release.

But why?

Why are only the very few really successful? Is it mere chance—is it just happen-so—can it be luck? Or are there definite reasons?

Why do all but the very few find themselves, by age 60 or 65, dependents? Why must there be old-age pensions, public welfare aid, charities to support the non-crippled, non-handicapped helpless? Why must children so often provide for aged parents—when it ought to be the other way around?

I am going to tell you why!

There are definite causes! Seven basic laws govern success! It is high time people come to know them, and end this unhappy and needless tragedy!

Finding the Answer

When I was a young man of 23, I was a member of the editorial staff of a national magazine. I was sent on tours over the United States, covering 10 or 15 states each tour. My assignment was investigating business conditions, reporting workable ideas and facts. I interviewed businessmen and chamber of commerce officials. I discussed with merchants and manufacturers their problems. I searched out ideas and methods that had been successfully applied in sales promotion, public relations, cutting costs, speeding up turnover, increasing profits.

One of the things my editors assigned me to investigate was the reason behind the success of the few, and the failure of the many. Some 95 percent of smaller independent merchants were reported by Dun and Bradstreet to be heading toward bankruptcy.

I asked the opinions of hundreds of businessmen. Most thought success resulted merely from superior ability, and failure from the lack of it. But this opinion consigned the big majority to failure from birth without a chance. If a man lacked the ability, he was foredoomed to failure. There seemed nothing he could do about it. I was not satisfied with this idea—and later I proved it false.

The manager of the large J. L. Hudson department store in Detroit thought failure generally resulted from lack of adequate capital. A minority interviewed agreed with him. But this, also, made dollars, and not the man, responsible for success or failure.

Actually, investigation showed these to be contributing factors, but only that. A more prevalent factor, I found, was fitting the proverbial “square peg in the round hole.” Most failures were misfits. Most, had they known these seven laws, could have made a success in the field where they best fit.

This quest for the reasons for success or failure intrigued me. My research on this question did not stop with these editorial tours. Observation and analysis of this problem have continued through the years.

And I know, now, that no human being need ever become a failure!

Failures are not foredoomed. Success does not just happen! It is governed by seven definite laws. If you know them, and apply them, the happy result, in the end, is assured.

Every individual was put on this Earth for a purpose! Every person was put here to become a success. Every human ought to enjoy the sweet taste of success—to find peace and happiness—to live an interesting, secure and abundant life! And in order that all might—if willing—reap such full and abundant rewards, the Creator set in motion actual, definite laws to produce that desired result.

The tragedy is that through the centuries and millenniums man has turned his back on those laws—those causes of the very success he craves! The world long ago ignored and forgot them. Today, most people do not know what they are. Most people have not followed a single one of the seven basic laws.

You Can’t Buy It!

If some recognized authority had a copyrighted plan to sell that was guaranteed to make all who follow it prosperous and successful, I suppose people by the thousands would flock to buy the plan.

One man had such a plan. It was a sort of pseudo “psychological” religion. He promised the plan would make its followers prosperous or rich—the easy way, of course. Its propagator advertised that it had made him rich. He boasted of his fine home, his great high-ceiling pipe-organ room. The inference was that it would make its purchasers equally prosperous—but he neglected to mention that it was the naive dupes who bought his bogus plan who made him rich.

This man stumbled onto an advertising catchphrase for a headline in magazine and newspaper advertisements, which multiplied responses. He used it for years. But ultimately it wore itself out. This charlatan’s “success” was neither real nor lasting. He was, himself, a colossal failure.

The only way to true success is not a formula being sold like merchandise.

You can’t buy it with money. It comes to you free—without money, and without price. There is a price, of course—your own application of these definite laws. It is not guaranteed to be the easy way—but it is guaranteed to be the only way to real success!

Rich Men I Have Known

In my lifetime I have had close and intimate contact almost constantly with recognized successful men. From age 18, in early life—within the United States. From middle-age—worldwide. I have read many books and articles written by such men, numerous biographies and autobiographies of the great and the near-great—their experiences, their philosophies. I know how these leaders among men think, how they act, what principles and rules they follow.

One factor characterized nearly every one of these men. They made money. They acquired material possessions. Many headed big corporations. They achieved recognition as being important.

Significantly, most of these men practiced the first six of the seven laws of success. That is tremendously important!

I knew two important bankers who accumulated great personal wealth. However, though they were recognized as important during their lifetimes, all of their “success” died with them! Some years later, when I inquired about them at their respective banks, no one had even heard of them.

But there is a real success that endures!

But IS This Success?

Yes, I have been privileged to know many of the great and the near-great—especially in the American business world. I have known multimillionaire capitalists, chief executives of great corporations and banks, cabinet members in the national administration in Washington, authors, artists, lecturers, college and university heads.

For the most of them, success meant the acquisition of money and material possessions, and being of recognized status.

One important man I knew was Elbert Hubbard, philosopher, prolific writer, publisher, lecturer, known as “the Sage of East Aurora.” Hubbard preached a positive philosophy. He had rare insight and wisdom in purely material matters, and a keen understanding of human nature.

He knew that “important” men craved flattery as an actor enjoys applause. A large share of his fortune was made by writing an almost endless series of booklets, captioned Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great and the Near-Great. These were printed, of course, in rare style in his own Roycroft Press. Dozens and scores of America’s rich and famous men paid Hubbard premium prices to write them up in his inimitable literary style.

But was Elbert Hubbard a real success, after all? By human standards, I suppose he was. He knew and applied the first six of the seven laws of success. He worked hard and industriously, and he reaped a bounteous harvest—of money, popularity, acclaim. But his fame did not appear to last. One seldom hears of him any more.

Hubbard knew material values. But his agnosticism closed the door—and threw away the key—that led to an understanding of spiritual values. He never quite understood the real purpose of life itself. He wasn’t sure whether there was a Creator. He was convinced that fundamentalist or traditional “Christianity” was an impractical superstition. He didn’t know why humanity was placed on the Earth—or whether it just happened! He didn’t know man’s real potential destiny. He didn’t know the seventh law of success. And, not knowing or following that seventh rule, he drove himself, by the diligent practice of the six, in the wrong direction—diametrically away from true success!

It Never Satisfied

What was the real meaning of life to these “successful” men?

Their goal in life—their definition of success—was material acquisition, recognition of status by society, and the passing enjoyment of the five senses.

But the more they acquired, the more they wanted, and the less satisfied they became with what they had. When they got it, it was never enough.

Some “successful” men of the world maneuver to get their pictures on page one of metropolitan newspapers, or on the front covers of national magazines. This inflates and briefly titillates ego, but it never satisfies for long. There’s nothing the public forgets so quickly as yesterday’s news!

Such men seek the flattery of others, and engage in back-slapping to invite it. But, like an actor’s applause, it doesn’t last and leaves them flat, with a gnawing inner hunger for something that will satisfy! So they become restless, discontented.

Their bank accounts may be full, but their lives are empty. And what they do acquire, which is never enough and never satisfies, they leave behind when they die!

What is wrong?

Such men started out with the wrong goals. They had not discerned the true values, but pursued the false.

Isn’t it about time we learn the true definition of success?

Let me tell you the experience of a king. He was a close personal friend of ex-King Saud of Arabia, to whom I have been personally presented. Wealth came suddenly to Sheik Ali of Qatar (pronounced “gutter”).

Qatar is a little Arabian country jutting into the Persian Gulf. The big oil boom came to Sheik Ali’s little kingdom. It paid the country of 35,000 population $50 million a year, of which $121/2 million went personally to old Sheik Ali, age 69.

Now what would you do with it, if you suddenly came into $12½ million a year?

The answer, in all probability, is that you would not do what you now think you would! That much money, coming suddenly into one’s hands, usually changes one’s ideas completely. That’s what it did to old Sheik Ali.

Immediately he began to build big gaudy pink, green and gold palaces in the midst of malodorous mud hovels. They were air-conditioned, ultramodern, even equipped with push-button window curtains! And now the newly wealthy sheik could avoid the 120-degree bake-oven summers of the desert.

He chartered whole airliners and took with him a retinue so large that his newly purchased palatial villa on Lake Geneva could not hold them all, and they overflowed into various resort hotels.

Then Sheik Ali indulged in the $1,000,000 purchase of a magnificent mansion overlooking Beirut—and the beautiful Mediterranean. When King Saud paid him a royal visit, he presented the king with 16 automobiles. One was embellished with gold. Old Sheik Ali became so generous in his self-indulgences, that his debts, over and beyond his fabulous income, soon mounted to $14 million!

The news stories filtered around the world of how the sheik just simply could not make ends meet on a mere $12½ million a year! About the first of November, 1960, he abdicated in favor of his son Ahmed, age 40. A new advisory council arranged to pay old Ali’s debts, and give him a pension large enough only to provide for a mere handful of servants and a few wives.

Poor old Ali! He found it harder to make ends meet on $12½ million annually than he did in comparative poverty.

Certainly nothing in life is more important than to know: What is real success—and how to achieve it.

Herbert W. Armstrong truly was a success in his own life. This booklet is the product of his own personal application of these seven laws. It is filled with the wisdom of experience, yet fundamentally informed by his spiritual understanding.

I urge you to request and begin to apply the seven laws of success contained in this little booklet. As Mr. Armstrong said, “You can’t buy it with money. It comes to you free—without money, and without price. There is a price, of course—your own application of these definite laws. It is not guaranteed to be the easy way—but it is guaranteed to be the only way to real success!”