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Charles Taze Russell

By Bayo Ogunmupe
13 February 2015   |   11:00 pm
THE famous American president and civil war hero, Abraham Lincoln asserts that success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm until you win. That means enthusiasm is a key ingredient of success in life. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but by persistence. Every…

THE famous American president and civil war hero, Abraham Lincoln asserts that success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm until you win. That means enthusiasm is a key ingredient of success in life. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but by persistence. Every success in your life you will attribute to triumph of persistence, your ability to decide what you want, to begin and persist through all obstacles until you achieve your goal determines your success. Thus, the flip side of persistence is courage.

  Indeed, the greatest challenge you will ever face is the development of a habit of courage. You will have to conquer fear to achieve that courage. According to Winston Churchill, courage is the greatest of the virtues because all the other virtues depend upon it. When you develop the habit of courage, an unshakable self confidence takes root in you. Then, a whole new world of possibilities opens up for you. Whatever you dared to dream becomes realizable for you, since only those who dare to dream greatly can ever achieve greatly.

 The habit of courage can be learned like any other success skill. To do this, you need to conquer fear while building up the courage and confidence that will enable you deal with the vicissitudes of everyday life.

  Your starting point of overcoming fear and developing courage is to look for factors predisposing you towards being afraid. Fear comes from destructive childhood criticism from either a parent or guardian. This enables you to experience fear of failure.

 Because of this ingrained fear, we become sensitive to the opinion of others, sometimes to the point that we become afraid of doing things that anyone else might disapprove of. Fear paralyses us to the extent of failing to take action in the direction of our dreams. Unfortunately fear and ignorance go together. Fear is often caused by ignorance. Ignorance causes us to fear change.

  But truth will set you free. The act of gathering more information and experience in a particular field gives you more courage and confidence in that area. However, when you have mastered an area or skill, because of your knowledge and experience, you feel completely capable of handling whatever happens.

  Another factor that causes fear is illness or fatigue. When you are unwell, you are predisposed to fear and doubt than when you are healthy and happy. Sometimes, your world changes, clinging with happiness when you got a good night sleep. Rest and relaxation build courage and confidence. However, be aware that all intelligent people are afraid of something. It is normal to be concerned about your future survival. So, the courageous person isn’t the person without fear. Courage is the resistance to fear, the mastery of fear, not the absence of it. The man of courage goes forth in spite of the fear. When you confront your fear, by moving towards your fears, your fears diminish while simultaneously, your self esteem and self confidence increases.

  However, when you avoid your fears, your fears increases, ultimately growing and controlling every aspect of your life. As fear controls your life your self esteem and self respect diminish accordingly. If you do not do things you fear, it means fear controls your life. To conquer fear, be ambitious, be willing to take greater risks, be more aggressive in pursuing your goals. You develop courage by consistently acting courageously and becoming self confident. Any action you practice continually becomes your new habit.

  The courage to begin is the first step to developing a habit of courage. Dr Robert Ronstadt of Babson College, United States, taught entrepreneurship for decades. He conducted a study of his students and found that only 10 per cent of them actually started their own businesses and became successful. He found only one quality that the successful graduates had in common. That lone quality was their willingness to actually start their own businesses as opposed to continually talking about it. Thus, Ronstadt found a Corridor Principle. As these entrepreneurs moved forward toward their goals, as if preceding down a corridor, doors opened to them that they would not have seen if they had not started. It turned out that the other do nothing graduates were still waiting for things to be just right before they begin. They were unwilling to launch themselves down the corridor of uncertainty. It never happens that you are sure of certain success in business.

  The future belongs to the risk takers, not the security seekers. Life is so perverse that the more you seek security, the less of it you have. But the more you seek opportunity, the more it is that you will achieve the security that you want. In achieving your goals, action is everything.

  Moreover, self discipline is the core quality. It gives you the will power to achieve your goals. Persistence is self discipline in action. Persistence is the true measure of your character.

  Persistence is the true measure of your belief in yourself and your ability to succeed. President Calvin Coolidge, one of my American heroes said of persistence. Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not, nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not, unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not, the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

  Our champion this week is Charles Taze Russell, byname Pastor Russell, the founder of the International Bible Students Association, the forerunner of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. He was born in February 1852 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. By the time he was 20, Russell had left Presbyterianism because he could not reconcile the idea of an eternal hell with God’s mercy. He had drifted into skepticism when a chance encounter with some Adventists introduced him to using the bible to predict the future, particularly God’s plan of salvation.

 With the help of tutors, Russell mastered the use of Greek and Hebrew in the study of the Bible. The scriptures fascinated him more than his profession. Then, he formed his first bible class in 1872. Preaching from 1877, he said Jesus had made his invisible return to the earth in 1874 and that the end of the Gentile times would come in 1914, followed by war between capitalism and socialism, after which God’s Kingdom would rule the earth.

  Russell who was never ordained, dedicated his life and his fortune to preaching Christ’s millennial reign. In 1879, he started Bible journal called The Watchtower and in 1884, he founded the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society which flourished as a publishing business. His seven volumes of studies in the scriptures reached a circulation of 16 million copies in 35 languages. Two thousand newspapers published his weekly sermons. Russell’s Jehovah’s Witnesses survived the failure of his apocalyptic predictions and several freedom of religion lawsuits. With a legacy of a thriving religious movement, Russell died in Pampa, Texas on October 31, 1916. 

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