What is it to be successful? Is there only one definition of success in this world? I do not think so! The majority of us, if not everyone has their own opinion of what success is to them. I was recently doing some research on what success is and asked a few people to offer their own contribution. Take a look at what some of them said:
Friend 1: “The definition of success is different to all. I believe success is a result of setting a goal in life and accomplishing it. Having a focused mind and preparing to go through challenges in order to achieve your aims. For me, it is knowing your God-given purpose in life. There is a reason why we are here; to use our talents and skills for the glory of God. Money and jobs are part of being successful, but does it make you happy? Although millionaires may class themselves as successful, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are ‘happy’. I feel that declaring one self as ‘successful’ you must feel it within you as well as well as show others the result of your hard work and perseverance”.
Friend 2: “Success to me is having a set goal that you have set yourself and achieving it. Someone may have set that goal for you, but everyone has an aim that they have within them that when they have achieved it, they will say ‘I succeeded in that'”.
Friend 3: “Success from my standpoint is when one can fulfill their purpose knowing they have achieved an objective”.
Friend 4: “Success to me means achieving what you have set your self to; in a result to PURSUE YOUR AIMS, GOALS, TARGET AND OBJECTIVES. Success begins with motivation, planning and working hard, which leads to progressing and achieving”.
Friend 5: “I agree with the comments above. While success is defined differently by different people, I believe it is about achieving what you set out to. It’s about meeting the goals you’ve set for yourself regardless of the obstacles and challenges you may encounter. Also it is that feeling of contempt you get when you know in your heart of hearts that you’ve done your possible best. Success is NOT measured by fame, popularity or money!”
So from all the above, we can see that all these people have different views of success. However what drew me to it was that they didn’t mention anything about possessions such as fame or wealth. We must realise that in this life, whether you are rich and wealthy, it does not mean that you are any better than someone who is not rich whether it is in finances, health, society and intelligence. I remember I met up with a friend recently and she was telling me that she learnt how to view people on the same level. Someone you know may be a cleaner; another person a bank manager. The only difference is the position. You may feel as if you are in a low position right now, but I am here to tell you that it is not your position that defines you, it is God who defines you! Women, you are more worth than any position in this world!
I would always think that life after being a graduate would be so easy! But really, it isn’t. So much comes into mind such as finding the ‘right’ job (which I don’t even think exists to be honest lol), being in a relationship, buying the most prestige car etc. But the most challenging thing about graduates (from my experience) is finding a stable job that related to your degree. I can’t stop thanking God for where I am because He has made it possible for me to keep my current position, rather than me being idle at home. Just because someone has got their job before you does not make them any better than you who is still looking. Don’t compare your story to another person’s, because what you already have is what they may be seeking God for.
We are all at different stages in life. Okay, you have a job, but your friend wants to get her driving license. You however already have your driving license and is now looking for a job. You are both still on the same level. It’s very logical to understand. But most of us put so much pressure on life and status! Could it be that society is playing such a massive impact in our day-to-day lives, or have we just shut God out thinking that we can handle everything in our lives? The biggest mistake one can make is feeling as if they know it all trying to do everything by themselves, then later on realizing that they have just crossed the line. It can be a painful journey, and this is why life is called a ‘journey’. It’s a process and it will take a lot of pruning (which hurts), but it will get you to where you need to be.
From a biblical point of view, there were so many people who were amazed as Jesus’ miracles; healing the sick, raising the dead, making the blind to see…from my own opinion, I for one see this as SUCCESS! Why? Because He thought about others more than Himself, and that is what I am going to talk about in the next paragraphs.
Success to me is having the right mind-set of helping other people. It’s about serving your community and being a strong influence to the next generation to come. I always say to my friends that if they are the eldest in the family, they have STRONG ROLE to play towards their little ones. Because the little ones will usually look up to the older ones. I look up to my big sister because to me, she has gone far, and I see her as a strong example to keep me going in life. If you do not have any siblings, it is understandable; you can look up to cousins, relatives and carers; if not parents! Parents may not always get it right, but they do have more wisdom 😉
It is vital to ensure that one does not define success as having large amounts of possessions. Yes you may be rich, but does it truly make you happy, as Friend 1 stated. We must make sure that money should not be the main goal in our lives, before we go astray. In the book of there was a story of A Rich Man that had so many possessions, and Jesus told him to give everything he had to the poor and follow Him. The rich man had so much sorrow in his heart because he was so addicted to all his belongings that it made it difficult for him to let go. Sometimes there are some things in your life that is making life difficult for you to enjoy, because you are not learning how to surrender, rather you enjoy the possessions that are temporary and won’t give you full satisfaction, because human beings mind-set is always ‘give me more’.
I was having a conversation with my friend and we were discussing about the importance of relationships, and how to relate to one another sensitively. In order to be successful, you must be relational. You must be able to adapt to other people, especially when they are hurting. I know for some it might be difficult to relate to a friend who has lost a family member, simply because you have not yet experienced losing someone so close, but just being there for the person is more likely to make their day. Not being sensitive to others can make you isolate yourself from others, and be more controlling which is a no no! The more controlling you are, the more your loved ones are likely to distance themselves away from you. When you want to be a successful individual, you should be able to openly and freely disclose your thoughts and feelings in a way that invites openness in them. In addition, you are quick to admit your own mistakes and freely forgive those who have offended you in any way.
Your experiences are another form of success because what you have been through will not be wasted. Your pain serves a purpose, whether you realise it or not. Your experiences are what can bring lost souls back to Christ, and help them back on their feet, because as you relate your own issues to those who are hurting, they are also more likely to open up to you too. So in other words, you have a desire to contribute to their pain through your past experiences. When you are too focused on your painful situations, you are less likely to move on because your mind is glued to the past. You want to be free but you still keep dwelling on the past; how can that be possible? You have two options, either 1) you let go, or 2) you stay in your past. The choice is yours. No-one can make this decision for you. You could have even failed in something; failed to be a mother or wife, failed to be a best friend, failed your exams, failed your driving test, failed your partner, failed to find a stable job, failed God; but all these things are bringing out the best in you. Your problems are meant to bring you closer to God, not away from Him.
Remember that worldly success can leave you empty; why? Because when God created us, He did not create us with money, cars, possessions. We came with nothing, and we will leave with nothing (1 Timothy 6:7). We must remember that although it is important to have possessions on earth, none of them will come with us when we get to Heaven. All the shoes us women purchase, the clothes, the make-up, etc, someone else is going to inherit them, so do not be too focused on the external, but more on the internal (the heart). Listen to the Holy Spirit and learn to be sensitive towards it, so when He is speaking to you, you will know when to discern right from wrong.
Sometimes, the things that you thought would bring you happiness and success is bringing you misery…have you ever felt like that before? Every direction your friends and family members tell you to take, you do it wholeheartedly, until you realise that you made the wrong turn, without consulting God first. You can’t allow people or the world to direct your life, unless you will end up directionless wondering where to go and what to do with your life. If you think copying the world will make you successful, I challenge you today that it will not. It will not make your life any better if you are going through a painful situation right now. It says in 1 Peter 5:7 that we should “Cast all our burdens onto HIM for He cares for us”. It does not say “Cast your burdens to the world”, because God knows the world cannot meet our needs and expectations.
So I challenge you today that the definition of REAL SUCCESS IS IN YOUR BIBLE! David was a brilliant soldier, a popular king, and a man with access to all the riches anyone could desire. But he discovered these things don’t bring lasting joy. What he found instead is that God’s commandments are the only way to be successful because a great reward is before those who obey and honor them. The more you obey the commandments of the Lord, the more blessings you will see in your life. Not only you, but others around you. You will be a living witness to those who doubt God! Your success from God should challenge people who find pleasure in the world.
There will be times where our success can be put on show, which can be full of pride and ego. David in the bible stated how he can know the sins of his heart. And he cried out to the Lord that he should show him his heart and the faults that he kept within himself, thinking that he was okay and had it all together, when really, he was broken and ashamed. We must remember that there is no sin that can control us, unless we allow it to. In other words, do not let your sin control you so that you can be free from guilt.
Success is a good thing, but only when it is used with good and pure motives. Success should not be used to get applauded, or for you to show off and make others feel small. When you do that, God is not happy, but when you allow your success to affect others around you in a positive way, then you will begin to see your situations change for the better. Don’t let the world convince you that you are a failure just because you don’t meet the world’s definition of success. For the Lord is your life; you are successful in Christ! Remember to “commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans WILL SUCCEED!” (Proverbs 16:3). So I ask you today, what is your own personal viewpoint on success?
Thank you for reading 🙂