September 9, 2010

Success

I read a few things and had some conversations that got me thinking about the notion of success. I want to be successful, as I think most people do, but I don't just want to accomplish whatever dreams I have for myself. I want live the life and accomplish the things the I'm specifically here for.

Cornel West posted a tweet that I thought summed up some of my concerns surrounding the idea of "success"

If success is just an end & not a means to something else, then spiritual malnutrition & existential emptiness await you.less than a minute ago via HootSuite


Then there's another quote by Tim Kizziar that says,
“Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.”
Both of these quotes attempt to bring a little clarity to our society's misguided perspectives of success. Too often people talk of reaching goals that will make them rich, or famous, or comfortable, but which have no real significance and don't add true value to the lives of others.

My soon-to-be-sister-in-law defined success as "fulfilling the will of God for your life" This may seem like a hard concept to grasp, but I don't know if any other definition could be as true as this one.

Success will look different for each of us. It may not be as glamorous as we would like--or it may be more glamorous than we could have imagined.

Whatever success is for you, it can't simply be about how many goals you achieved or how you measure up against someone else. It has to be about YOU doing what YOU were put on this planet to do.

If you attained your definition of success, would the world be different? Would lives be changed? Or would you just have a little more money and be a little more comfortable?
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