HWA: First Law of Success: Fix the Right Goal


In his booklet, The Seven Laws of Success, the late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote the following related to the first law of success:


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

What, then, is the first law of success?

Before stating even the first law, let it be said that I am not considering here such general principles of character as honesty, patience, loyalty, courtesy, dependability, punctuality, etc., etc., etc., except as these are automatically included in the seven rules. We may assume that one cannot become a real success without these principles of right character.

But on the other hand, many are honest who have never practiced a single one of the seven laws, specifically. Many may be loyal, have patience, extend courtesy, be punctual, who are unsuccessful because they have not applied a single one of these seven definite, specific rules. Even so, each of these laws covers a vast territory.

Here, then, is the first law of success:


Not just any goal. Most of the “successful “men I have mentioned had goals. They drove themselves relentlessly to accomplishment. But making money, gaining STATUS in the eyes of people, enjoying the passing pleasures of the five senses, has literally strewn the pathway of history with fears, worries, heartaches, troubled consciences, sorrows, frustrations, empty lives and death.

These things may be had and enjoyed along with true success. But they alone do not bring success. The right goal includes something more.

In other words, the very first law of success is to be able to define success! Once you have learned what success is make that your goal in life.

Do you know that most people go through life without any GOAL at all? In fact, most people, as I’ve said before, do not know, and do not apply a SINGLE ONE of the seven laws of success!

Most people never think of having any PURPOSE in life. They are not going anywhere, in particular.

If you have saved up money for a trip to Paris, or Rome, or London for your vacation or holiday, you spend a lot of time in excited anticipation PLANNING your trip—but you DO have a definite DESTINATION—and all plans are laid to take you to that particular destination—that GOAL. You know where you are planning to go. Otherwise, how would you ever expect to arrive there?

As I said once before, most people have no aim—they are merely the victims of CIRCUMSTANCE. They never planned, purposefully, to be in the fob or occupation in which they find themselves today. They do not live where they do by CHOICE that is, because they PLANNED it that way. They have merely been buffeted around by CIRCUMSTANCE! They have allowed themselves to drift. They have made no effort to master and control circumstances.

The first law of success, I repeat, is to fix the RIGHT goal. Not any goal. One could set a goal in which he had little or no interest, and drift into inaction. The right goal will arouse ambition. Ambition is more than mere desire. It is desire plus incentive—determination—will to achieve the desire. The right goal will be so intensely desired it will excite vigorous and determined effort. It will fire one with incentive.

There should be an overpowering PURPOSE to life. Few have ever known such purpose. Down through centuries and millenniums thinkers and philosophers have pondered, and sought in vain to learn whether life has a real purpose. Socrates, Plato, Augustine among others speculated and reasoned, yet the true meaning of life eluded them. This deepest and most important question in life remained to them a mystery—an unsolvable enigma!

IF one could discover such an overall PURPOSE—a definite purpose for which humans were put on earth—IF one could discover a human potential greater than mere temporary existence, one would think that PURPOSE would be the goal that should excite dynamic ambition!

But—alas! Who has ever discovered such an objective as life’s aim?

Was there nothing greater to look forward to, for my two prominent banker friends? Nothing greater than to enjoy fleeting status, only to be forgotten by those who succeeded them?

What is there, after all, to live for?

I repeat! The first law of real success is to have the right goal! The men I have described, rated eminently successful in the world, all had goals. They applied diligently all of the first six of the Success Laws. But failing the seventh, they misapplied the first. Their success was fleeting.

Setting the right goal (or goals) is important.  Otherwise one spends all their time and efforts on things that are not important.  Or vanity as the book of Ecclesiastes puts it.

With so many world events happening that are aligning with end time prophecy, isn’t this the time to be sure that you have the right goal and understand the meaning of life?

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally?
Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge.
The Seven Laws of Success Booklet by Herbert W. Armstrong that can help people become successful.

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