Seriously. How do YOU define success? I love asking people this question. Some answer quickly with a crisp response, but most people hem and haw a bit before offering a tentative reply. I’ve noticed that responses depend greatly upon our worldview, our experiences, our faith. Moreover…
How You Define Success is Closely Tied to How You Define Failure
How do YOU define failure? This question may be even more important than how you define success.
• Is it not living up to your potential?
• Is it not meeting your goal?
• Is it not meeting somebody else’s goal for you?
• Is it not _____________________________?
If your definition of failure includes not being as good/smart/beautiful/thin (you get the point) as another person, a sense of misery will loom over you like a dark cloud—unless you’re perfect and (no offense) I doubt you are.
If your definition of success includes not being as bad/stupid/ugly/hefty as another person, sooner or later pride will bring you down (Proverbs 16:18).
The more we compare ourselves with others, the more we thwart our ability to fulfill God’s purpose for our life. We need to remind ourselves:
We are uniquely designed for a unique purpose —> I can’t fulfill your purpose and you can’t fulfill mine.
Yesterday I watched a TV program about football legends Tiki and Ronde Barber, identical twins who built a strong legacy at the University of Virginia. As a mother of twins (and as a U.Va. graduate), I was fascinated by their compelling story.
Up until the day they were drafted by the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (respectively), they did everything together developing a tight, tight bond that time and distance have been unable to sever. These high-achieving twins, and their mother, knew they were each designed for a unique purpose despite being biologically identical. Tiki and Ronde never compared themselves to each other — or to anyone else for that matter. Years later they continue to follow their respective, separate paths ever striving to fulfill their full potential.
How We Define Success is Closely Tied to How Big We Dare to Dream
And… how big we dare to dream is closely tied to our fear of failure.
Many of us work in companies that encourage steady advancement through the ranks. The sky’s the limit we’re told — and it is. Yet many of us never really think we can make it to the top. “Others can get there,” we say to ourselves, “but not us.”
Many of us are called to work in churches or ministries that are struggling on several levels. We look around at other churches and ministries and marvel at their growth. Yet we’re afraid to take big, bold steps ourselves because we’re afraid. We’re afraid we’ll fail.
Which means we’re back to comparison, which means we’re back to pride. Ouch.
• We focused on God’s vision for our life, not ours.
• We had faith that God equips us for what He calls us to do.
• We redefined failure as quitting the race He puts before us.
• We redefined success as being faithful to our divine calling, whatever that may be.
The more we focus on what we can do, equipped and energized by the Holy Spirit, the more successful we will be.
The more we focus on what we love doing, equipped and energized by the Holy Spirit, the more joyful we will be.
The more we focus on bringing glory to God (not ourselves), the more peaceful we will be.
Photo by Flickr (Art4TheGlryOfGod)
In the words of the late great Zig Ziglar:
Miserable people focus on the things they hate about their life. Happy people focus on the things they love about their life.
Let’s be faithful.
Let’s be joyful.
Let’s be peaceful.
Let’s be confident!
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
How do YOU define success? Please share in the Comment Box below.
Contact me if you need some help.