I was chatting with a friend of mine about recipes—not an activity I engage in frequently as my family will assure you.
This conversation intrigued me. If you were to create a recipe for success, what ingredients would you include?
According to Dictionary.com and Wikipedia.org, “success” may be defined as:
- The favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors.
- The attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.
- The achievement of an objective/goal.
Thinking….thinking….what ingredients would I pour into my mixing bowl to create personal and professional success?
- Clarity. If I’m not clear about who I am and where I’m headed, I can’t navigate my way through the storms. Shoot, if I’m not clear about who I am and where I’m headed, I’m likely to wander off course on a sunny day!! I need clear vision. Clear purpose. I need an internal GPS.
- Courage. A key ingredient for sure. I need to take risks. I need to face my fears and embrace the unknown. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Will do, Mr. Emerson, provided I can muster up enough courage to sustain me on my journey!
- Commitment. How many of us begin something only to pack it in when the going gets tough? Sometimes, sometimes, quitting is the right thing to do. (Read Seth Godin’s The Dip and you’ll know what I mean.) If we’re on our most purposeful path, however, we need to remain committed to our cause. “The Greats” can teach us a thing or two about commitment—about perseverance through times of grief, hardship, and despair. Think of Moses. Queen Esther. Mahatma Gandhi. Mother Teresa. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Apostle Paul. Nelson Mandela. William Wilberforce. Susan B. Anthony. Yet so can “the lesser knowns.” Joni Eareckson Tada. Jennifer Rothschild. Perhaps your neighbor next door. We all need models of commitment to encourage us to keep going when the inevitable storms arise. Who are yours?
- Competence. We must attain the requisite training, knowledge, skill, and experience. Without competence, our success soufflé will undoubtedly fall. But remember the aforementioned ingredients. And remember the “failures” of Thomas Edison and Abraham Lincoln. Competence includes clarity, courage, and commitment to success…even when light bulbs don’t light and elections are lost.
- Calling. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understand. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God. Thank you for loving us, Father God, and having a plan for our future…a plan we can choose to follow…or not.
OK, I’ve got it. My ingredients for personal and professional success must include clarity, courage, commitment, competence, and a decision to find, follow, and fulfill my God-given calling. If any of them is lacking, my soufflé sooner or later will fall. … And when it does, I’ll know which ingredients to add to the bowl the next time!
To your success,