Society, in general, tends to equate success with material wealth and possessions. And while those things can be an outward sign of your own career or business success - or that of your family - it reflects only a small piece of the bigger picture that is your life.
A successful life should encompass far more than your work or finances, although they are important. A successful life is one in which you are fulfilled and living purposefully in your relationships, health, finances, work and spiritual life. Come up with your own definition of personal success so that you can measure your success on your own terms. As you ponder your personal success definition, ask yourself some key questions:
1. Do I enjoy my life?
Our journey through life may not always be just what we want it to be, but we can still choose to experience contentment and joy on a daily basis. Identify the things that bring you joy in your life, and be sure to incorporate them into your everyday life.
2. Am I making a difference in the lives of others?
Life becomes meaningful when your actions impact more than just you. Your mission in life is using your gifts and talents to make a positive difference in others' lives. Whether the gift you give is a listening ear, a skill you teach or an encouraging word, make a difference to at least one person every single day.
3. Do I persevere in the midst of challenges?
Life is a learning journey. If you focus only on your challenges or problems without asking, "What am I to learn from this?," then you will continually feel frustrated and sorry for yourself. Those who persevere, grow. And as you grow, you increase your capacity to handle more and have more good opportunities come into your life.
4. Do I have an abundance of the things I need to live comfortably?
The term "comfortable" means different things to different people. Make it a goal in your life to not aim for "enough," but to have "more than enough" of what you need - whether it's time, money, love, space or other precious resources. When you live in abundance, you can focus more clearly on what you want. It empowers you to share yourself, your time, talent, and love more generously.
5. Am I successful in God's eyes?
A test that can help you focus on what's most important in your life is to consider it from a spiritual perspective. It is said that everything God asks can be summed up in two commandments: Love God with all your heart, all your soul, and with all your mind; and secondly, to love your neighbor as yourself. When you are curious about how truly successful you are, ask yourself if you are doing
these two things.
My Challenge to you This Month
Rather than allowing others to define success for you, take time today to create your own definition. Make a list of what success looks like to you, and have the courage to measure your success by standards that are meaningful for your life.
In what ways am I allowing others to define who I am and what success looks like for me? How would I like to redefine my personal success so that it is perfectly aligned with God's will for my life?
Lord, thank you for the opportunity to learn and grow. Help me focus fully on your vision for my life. When the pressure to live up to unrealistic and even unnecessary demands of the world seems too much, help me find the peace and strength that comes only from You.