with Peter Hirsch
author of Success By Design
thank you for writing Success by Design. It really is
an empowering, uplifting and inspirational book. Could you tell
us what inspired you to write it?
Thanks so much for
inviting me to share with you. What inspired me to write Success
by Design was as much repentance as anything else. My first
book which was similar in some ways, was totally humanistic.
You probably know what I mean – anything you want, you
can get . . . You can grow to be a god . . . As long as you’re
happy . . .
Jesus found me, I had a lot to make up for. I was at the lowest
point in my life, having gone in a very short time from a multi-millionaire
to virtually penniless in a matter of months. I went from the
top of my field to being sued by the government for $85 million,
and saw no way out. It was the first time in my life that I
was not in control of my situation. Thankfully, when my world
was closing in around me, I had nowhere to look but up.
remember my words clearly: “Jesus, if you’re real,
now is the time to show me, because I need help now, and there
may not be a tomorrow for me.” It was as if two words
were immediately put in my head. I didn’t hear the words
as much as feel them. Those two words were: “Trust Me.” From that moment on, my life was no longer my own.
my wonderful and very beautiful wife, was the first to point
out that the government lawsuit was a blessing because it brought
me to Jesus. My initial response was, “A vision would
have been just fine.” But the reality is that a vision
would not have been enough because I had many issues that had
to be dealt with – issues such as ingratitude, pride,
and a host of others. I had to personally experience a lack
of control, and then appreciate God’s personal love and
You spoke about rebuilding your life on God's terms. What is
the significant difference in success God's way?
on G-d’s terms is simple: it’s the absolute knowing
that you are a child of G-d. It has nothing to do with money
or things. It has everything to do with relationship. Success
is the result of a life well lived. It’s NOT something
we accumulate. It’s doing the little things, that in the
act of doing them, don’t seem to make any difference in
the world, but the COMPOUNDED effect makes ALL the difference
in the world. Success is a few simple disciplines repeated over
me share just two examples. Christians who are committed to
success (remember, that means a relationship with Christ) will
read the Bible for at least ten minutes every single day. Is
that easy? Of course it is! The challenge is that it’s
just as easy, or easier, not to do. It’s a simple discipline
repeated over time, that allows us to establish intimacy with
who are committed to a life of success will tell those people
who are important to them that they love them – every
single day. Again, is that easy? Yes, but it’s just as
easy not to do. It’s another simple discipline.
if you neglect those two simple disciplines, will you feel it
immediately? Maybe, but probably not. Will you feel it in a
year? Absolutely! If you repeat those two simple disciplines
for one or two days, will you be able to notice a difference?
Maybe, but probably not. If you repeat those two simple disciplines
everyday for a year, will you see a difference in your life?
Absolutely! That’s how it works. Success is a few simple
disciplines repeated over time, that in the act of doing them
don’t seem to make any difference in the world, but the
COMPOUNDED effect makes ALL the difference in the world.
Could you please share with us the steps you outline in Success
By Design and how they are each interrelated when it comes
to authentic long term success?
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Beginning: The Bottom Line of Success
by Design Secret # 1: Challenge
by Design Secret # 2: Belief
by Design Secret # 3: Purpose
by Design Secret # 4: Fearlessness
by Design Secret # 5: Attitude
by Design Secret # 6: Focus
by Design Secret # 7: Commitment
by Design Secret # 8: Desire
by Design Secret # 9: Goals
by Design Secret #10: Choice
You wrote about how tension can be viewed as a positive in our
lives. How could challenge and adversity help a person fulfill
their divine destiny?
all comes down to how we view challenge – literally, how
we define challenge in our lives. Challenges hold within them
tremendous power to transform our lives. This is fascinating.
If you trace the word “challenge” back all the way
to it’s roots, through the old French and old English,
back to “calumniari” they all turn out to mean the
exact same thing. Challenge means: “to accuse falsely.”
That’s what a challenge is – a false accusation.
And, of course, we know who the accuser is. What this means,
then, is that it’s up to us. We get to choose how to respond
to the various challenges in our lives. We get to choose whether
they empower us or limit us.
your opinion, what is the difference between confessions and
a great question! The difference between confession and affirmation
is a simple one – truth! We confess who we are in Christ,
and we confess our needs to Him. Affirmations are typically
wishes. Most personal development gurus encourage people who
want to change their financial situation repeat something like:
“I am rich . . . I am rich . . . I am rich.” If
you’re financially poor, repeating the words, “I
am rich” is simply delusional. I would rather those “motivators”
teach their followers to say, “I’m poor and I don’t
people seek God's will for their lives. How is this different
or similar to a person purpose?
has a specific will for each one of us, and let’s remember
that, without a vision, we perish. Do you remember in Matthew’s
Gospel when Jesus was walking along and saw a fig tree? He must
have asked Himself this question: I wonder if that fig tree
has any figs. Do you think that’s a good question? Think
about it. What other question is there for a fig tree? It’s
the only question that matters. And when the answer was, “no”
it’s one of the few times in Scripture we see Jesus lose
His cool. No figs on a fig tree is unacceptable! What else is
there for a fig tree to do other than have figs? And immediately
the fig tree withered and died, never to grow fruit again. Here’s
the deal: the fig tree was not living its purpose. What’s
our purpose? That’s what we must seek God for in prayer.
And He will reveal it. But He reveals it piece by piece. Here’s
a hint: the first piece for all of us is KNOWING HIM.
do you believe is the biggest hindrance in regards to a person
fulfilling the dreams God has placed in their hearts?
The biggest hindrance we face is fear. The Apostle Paul is clear:
we have not been given a spirit of fear. Nonetheless, many people
choose to wallow in fear, rather than conquer it. For a detailed
discussion of fear, and how to conquer it, please read Success
GGBC: How should a person's relationship with Christ effect the way
they define and achieve success?
view of our success should define the way we view success. To
God, you are a success if you know Him. It doesn’t matter
if you fly rockets or drive a truck. To God, you are a success
if you have a relationship with Him.
Nowadays more and more people seek immediate riches or wealth
but do not tap into the power within them to achieve the results
they desire for the right reasons. How could a person balance
service and a desire for financial freedom successfully?
PH: There’s a wonderful story told of two seas in Israel.
The Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee are both fed by the same
source. And yet one, the Dead Sea is completely dead –
nothing at all can live and grow there – while the other,
the Sea of Galilee, is full of life, very lush. What’s
the difference? The difference is simple. The Sea of Galilee
has an outlet. It gives back. The Dead Sea has no outlet. The
same happens to us when we have no outlet. Jesus was clear:
the greatest among us will be those who serve. Our focus must
not be on the accumulation of wealth, but on greater service.
And, by the way, greater wealth is very often the bi-product
of greater service.
live in a fast paced society and so much demands our time and
attention. Could you give us insight on how to focus on what
truly is important?
difficult as this is at times, we MUST train our focus to be
on the Lord. I understand that this is difficult, but it is
vital. Do you remember when Jesus was walking on the water and
Peter saw Him. Peter was so excited and asked Jesus to call
him over, thinking that Peter, too, would be able to walk on
water. Jesus calls Peter and Peter is doing it – he’s
walking on water. How cool is that?! But then something happens.
There are some waves, Peter looks away, and gets scared. Immediately,
he begins to sink. That’s how it happens with us as well.
When we train our focus on the Lord, we can accomplish any godly
purpose. This is true for as long as our focus remains on Him.
But the enemy and the world do everything in their collective
power to take our focus away from Jesus. It’s a constant
battle. Yet, Jesus has equipped us, through the Holy Spirit
living in us, to be victorious.
you in place of the word focus, substitute the word magnify.
What happens when we put a magnifying glass over words? Those
words become bigger and clearer to us, by blocking out everything
around them. Same thing here. When the Angel approached Mary
with the news that she was going to give birth to the Messiah,
imagine what she could have gone through, emotionally. Here
was a young, devout Jewish woman, who was engaged. What a scandal
there could have been! Further, she could have faced the penalty
of death by stoning. And yet what does Mary focus on? She could
have chosen to focus on her problems. Instead, she says, “My
soul magnifies the Lord.” She chose to focus on God. She
chose to magnify God – to make God bigger and closer in
her life then anything else. God was so big and so close that
all of Mary’s problems became tiny. That’s the kind
of focus we can all develop.
You note that our values are at the heart of everything we do.
How can we begin to change our values if they have been misplaced?
our values, more than anything, requires prayer. We all know
when our values are misplaced. We have a choice. To continue
in the direction we’re headed or to change course. It’s
not easy. But through spending time with G-d through Prayer
and through His Word, we can do it. Here’s the thing.
We can’t change our destination overnight, but we CAN
change our direction. And direction determines destination.
Worry and anxiety can immobilize and disempower us. Could you
leave us with your favorite life verse from the Scriptures that
continues to inspire you?
are two Scripture verses that speak to me constantly:
54:17: “No weapon formed against you will prosper.”
But I take out the word “you” and put in the word,
Phil 4:13: “I can do everything through Him that gives
Thank you for your time. We wish you continued sucess!