Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.
This verse contains a very practical principle for success in life: a person must be driven to avoid habitually sleeping away the morning hours. (Note: This blog post is not intended to address sleeping disorders or medical sleep issues.)
To be successful, it is true one has to be alert and rested! So it can be a major temptation to continually hit the snooze button and sleep until we feel like waking up, but making a habit out of sleeping past our essential wake-up time shows a lack of character and could affect our job performance.
Habitual “sleeping in” can make us routinely late for work (which can lead to losing our job), wastes time that could be used for productive activity and can have the effect of making us less alert.
The real point of not habitually oversleeping is a character issue. To have success, we need to demonstrate the characteristic of motivation, or drive.
Fifty years ago author and religious leader Herbert W. Armstrong authored a book titled The Seven Laws of Success. The fourth law was “drive.” In this section, Mr. Armstrong described the struggle he had with oversleeping early in his business career:
“I acquired the habit of sleepily answering the morning telephone call and promptly going back to bed and to sleep. Then I bought a ‘Baby Ben’ alarm clock, which I carried with me. But I found myself arising to turn it off, then plunging back into bed. I was too drowsy to realize what I was doing. I was not sufficiently awake to employ willpower and force myself to stay up, get under the shower and become fully awake and alert. It had become habit” (p. 24).
Mr. Armstrong went on to explain how he began paying a bellboy at the hotel he was staying at to pound on his door in the morning and then not leave until he was awake.
His conclusion was, “Without energy, drive, constant propulsion, a person need never expect to become truly successful.”
Proverbs 20:13 should remind us of this vital principle of success. Replace oversleeping with the characteristics of energy and drive to be successful in your life.
To learn more about the principles that lead to a successful life, read Proverbs.
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “Men Multiply”