Our personal understanding of success should always tie back to our own personal values – and most likely, the determination of our success will be measured by the degree we have lived them out.
I think it prudent for each of us to spend some time thinking about what being “successful” truly means.
When we hear someone describe someone else – or even more so, ourselves – as “successful,” we each probably internally interpret that “success” as meaning different things in our own lives.
For my own life, I borrow heavily from Andy Stanley who said something along the following in his book Next Generation Leader.
I define my own success by being respected the most by those who know me the best.
It’s relatively easy to fake a successful life today. We can borrow too much for houses we can’t really afford to live in, or cars to drive, or vacations to take.
We can wax lyrical about how much we care about family. We can tweet, post, and update a fabricated #bestlife without most people really knowing the truth.
It’s easy to fool those who don’t know us very well, is what I’m saying. You know who is harder to fool? Those who know us well. Our spouses, children, and closest friends.
My wife, my kids, and a small circle of close friends know me well. Intimately well. They know my warts, my insecurities, my fears, my shortcomings, all along with my wins.
My point isn’t to say you should adopt my own understanding of success. Rather, I want you to think about what your own unique understanding of success is for your own unique life.
Once you know that, you can then begin intentionally building towards that life – and have something to measure against to determine if you’re “successful.”
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston S. Churchill