Statistics professor shares 6 rules for success

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Statistics professor Gilbert Fellingham speaks to a BYU audience in the Marriott Center during his Nov. 9 devotional address. Fellingham taught his six rules for success with both a temporal and eternal perspective. (Addie Blacker)

Statistics professor Gilbert Fellingham taught “six rules for success” during his devotional address on Nov. 9.

“I hope to convince you that there are certain rules on this earth that are critically important not only to our temporal journey, but to our eternal journey as well,” Fellingham said.

He then gave the audience his six rules for success. He first focused on these rules from a temporal viewpoint with examples from athletes and then focused on them from an eternal perspective.

Focus matters

Fellingham said focusing on an area that needs improvement can bring changes people never thought were possible. He emphasized that it is easy to be fooled about what is most important. 

“We need to be careful to look deeply when we decide what our focus should be,” he said. 

There is no substitute for hard work

Fellingham reminded students and faculty that mortal life is meant to bring challenges that would require hard work.

“Sometimes it’s hard to see the good that comes from our tough experiences, but I testify that good is the result,” he said. “Don’t give up. We knew that undergoing the challenges of mortality would give us growth opportunities we couldn’t get any other way.”

Develop talents

Fellingham emphasized using gifts to bless the lives of others. “Your reward is the same for developing your gifts, regardless of how the world views them, and you. Develop your talents and keep your focus where it belongs,” he said.

Little improvements have big benefits

Fellingham emphasized that this rule can also be called “the line upon line rule.”

“Using this line upon line method, we can’t get ahead of ourselves. Learn ‘line upon line’ throughout your lives, and reap eternal blessings beyond measure,” Fellingham said.

Always be willing to grow

Fellingham explained that growth is slow, but that it is worth it. Being willing to make mistakes is key to being successful.

Inviting students and faculty to be willing to learn and make mistakes, Fellingham said, “until we take on difficult tasks, we won’t grow as the Lord intends. Yes, growth can be uncomfortable. But growth is the reason we have come to this mortal experience.”

Don’t make excuses

Fellingham focused on the gift of agency for his final rule “don’t make excuses.” He advised not to give agency away and to take responsibility. 

“We are responsible for the choices we make. Don’t get in the habit of blaming others. Your life is yours,” Fellingham said.

Fellingham concluded by sharing his testimony that blessings will come through following these rules during mortality and beyond.

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