by Annette Bridges. © 2006. All rights reserved.

What if I told you that one of the smallest of God’s creatures knew the secrets to being successful? Can you guess what critter I’m referring to? The Bible has the answer in Proverbs.

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise.” (Proverbs 6:6)

Maybe you desire to be more productive in your work or perhaps you’re a new graduate poised to begin your career? Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, bored or afraid to take the necessary steps?

For instance, I’ve been lacking the motivation to finish a remodeling project on our house. Even though the desire to see the goal accomplished should be sufficient stimulus. I seem to be daunted by the enormity of the task at hand. So much so that I’m stuck in idle and going nowhere.

When I’m having a problem, my general practice is to look for inspiration and insight. That usually means exploring spiritual ideas and the Bible is a good place to begin. This led me to the book of Proverbs. The verse about the ant reminded me of a poem based on this passage, that I read years ago when I was in college. Listed are some ideas I learned from this poem entitled, “The Ants” by Max Dunaway.

Keep your purpose in the forefront of your thought.

Be expectant, never doubting, as you move toward your goal.

Keep moving; don’t let idleness interfere with your forward progress.

Maintain courage, refuse to give up or give in.

Keep traveling in a straight course; don’t be deterred by obstacles.

Once a task is complete, go immediately to the next task at hand.

Approach each task with zest, energy and enthusiasm.

Be persistent.

Your success needs others to be successful, help your fellow team members to progress, lend a hand and offer support as needed.

Never consider defeat, face each task (even unexpected ones) with confidence and resolve.

Don’t stop till your goal is reached.

Keeping joy in your efforts will make each task light.

To accomplish my remodeling project, this list may need to be duplicated and posted around my house as a motivational reminder. I can certainly see how idleness in the past has stalled my forward momentum. A good dose of expectancy, confidence, resolve and zest should get me moving. How often I forget that maintaining joy speeds my progress. Okay. I’m fueling up to head toward my goal. Guess I also better add the courage needed to take that first step.

Mary Baker Eddy, a woman who in the latter part of her life proved that it’s never too late to accomplish one’s goals, offers reassurance. In an article aptly entitled, “Fidelity”, she wrote, “The conscientious are successful. They follow faithfully; through evil or through good report, they work on to the achievement of good; by patience, they inherit the promise. Be active, and however slow, thy success is sure: toil is triumph; and – thou hast been faithful over a few things.”

So, it is appreciating and emulating the many qualities that an ant exemplifies – such as patience, perseverance and persistence – that will help you climb over those pesky hills called boredom, fear or frustration, and prove that conscientious effort results in success.