Loving One Another

The Secret of Success

In 1936, when my mother and father were newlyweds, my mom collected more than a dozen poems, cutting them out of the weekly newspaper in Newman, CA, the WestSide Index. Mom lived two states away from her family and friends, who were in northern Washington. Missing her own mother’s wisdom and daily advice, she posted selected articles on a piece of cardboard inside her kitchen cupboard door. Today that yellowing collection of wisdom, still on its original cardboard, is tacked inside my kitchen cupboard door. It’s a constant reminder of the power of words and the influence of a mother who valued the them.

Here is one of my favorites:

The Secret of Success (author unknown)

“What is the secret of success?” asked the Sphinx?
“Push the button,” said electricity.
“Never be led,” said the pencil.
“Take pains,” said the window.
“Be sharp in all your dealings,” said the knife.
“Always keep cool,” said the ice.
“Be up to date,” said the calendar.
“Make light of your troubles,” said the fire.
“Never lose your head,” said the match.
“Find a good thing and stick to it,” said the stamp.

Notice that each “secret” is linked to the attribute of the one speaking. Therein lies the real secret to success in my opinion. Find your natural talents, develop them, and use your gifts to build success. What is YOUR secret of success?


Comments on: "The Secret of Success" (4)

  1. something worth passing on to my daughters !
    Thanks !


  2. Ya, maybe you can start collecting your favorite bits of wisdom for the inside of your kitchen cabinet door, too. Start a family tradition!


  3. I think it’s also important to appreciate the little things in your life. Taking small steps to “the big goal in your life” lead you to several precious moments, occasions and people. And I believe that seeing these things fill you up inside with the feeling of pieces of luck and to have achieved something. This is the secret of success. I don’t know whether you feel as happy as that when you only reached your big goal – completely exhausted, because of all the wrong paths and meanders you had to climb over and not seeing the helping hands of a tiny moment.


    • I agree with you, Simone. Life is made up of those little things… What is the secret of success? “Take one step at a time,” said the shoe.


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