Today I was contemplating what makes a person truly successful. How do we measure it? How do we know when someone achieves it? How do we even define it?
For some individuals success is defined by reaching the pinnacle of power, for others it is defined in hearing applause for a job well done, for the career person it may be defined by successfully climbing the corporate ladder. Each person identifies their own interpretation of success, and it is based on their cultural values, moral values, and personal goals.
For a young, stressed out mother, success may be a child sleeping through the night so she can have more than 4 hours of sleep at a time. For the autistic parent it may be the milestone of their child looking them in the eye. For a stroke victim it may be taking their first step on their own. Success is relative to where we are in life and we all seem to seek it in some form or another.
Success in any endeavor requires perseverance, hard work, and determination. For most, it does not come overnight and without effort. Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Henry Ford failed at five businesses before the Ford Company finally became successful. If you look at many “successful” people you will find stories of failures and heartbreaks before their success. But they kept dreaming and working toward their goals.
“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached, as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” Booker T. Washington
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be successful and many times working toward that goal is a good thing. But here is a hard truth about success. It does not matter how successful you are in life if you are not successful in a relationship with God. Ultimately, this is the one success that we all need to strive toward. Like all good relationships, it requires your whole-hearted participation, your time, your determination, and your love. Every other success you achieve pales in comparison to the ultimate relationship with the one who created you.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (ESV) – Joshua 1:8