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If you ask people, how you define success, I guarantee you that you will get different answers depending on how you look at success. For the past few days, I have been journaling and asking myself the question, “what is success?”
“How do you define success?” Does it mean when you have a lot of money in the bank you are considered successful? Does it mean when you are the most popular person in the world you are successful? I don’t think this is the case.
How Do You Define Success?
Success for me is “becoming and learning to be content to where you are at.” It’s about contentment with where God has placed you in the current season of your life. That’s why I know I am successful when I am content with where I am. I am in the right place and at the right time. Sometimes we try so hard to be there, to be somewhere instead of being here. But where is there? Why do we wait around to be happy and to feel successful until we become wealthy or we lose weight? Why can’t we just have the state of mind to be happy now, and to be content with where God has placed us? I believe that everything has a season.
1There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace
and a time to refrain from embracing, 6a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.Ecc. 3:1-8
This Is How I Look At Success:
- Getting out of my comfort zone and learning to take a risk. For me, when you try something new that you haven’t done before, that’s success for me. If you have always been wanting to write a book, have done the research & hit publish.
- And if you have been wanting to do a podcast, you do the work and you show up for me that’s a success. Whenever you put your mind & heart and show up doing it every day, consistently every week.
- It doesn’t matter if you haven’t gained a lot of followers or not have a lot of money in the bank as long as you show up to work and take good care of your family every day, this too is considered a success.
- Treating other people with love & care is another way to become successful.
- Taking good care of your body, mentally, emotionally, and your overall health.
- Whatever you have decided to do that day, and you show up and share the gifts and talents with the world.
- When you wake up in the morning instead of being in the hospital bed & not being able to enjoy yourself outside.
- When you can move your body & have the agility to dance to the rhythm of the music.
- When you can eat three times a day instead of starvation.
Let’s Redefine Success
Success is nothing to do about monetary gain or profit. It is nothing to do about how many likes or hearts you get on Instagram or any social media platform. But it is all about showing up every day and being the best of who you are. Being who God created you to be. Success, of course, differs from person to person. However, we have been narrow-minded in defining what success means. There are those who want to sell us that success means you have to have a bigger house, nicer clothes & a nicer car to drive. But this is a narrow way of defining success.
I believe we need to restrategize and recreate a definition of what success looks like. Don’t get me wrong, having goals & wanting to attain financial independence isn’t bad. But that’s not what life is all about. It is deeper than just material possessions & accumulating wealth. As long as you are happy with what you are doing, you feel loved, & you love yourself & life. You show up & expect great things in life for me this too is considered a success.
On the other hand, success also consists of pain & suffering. We think that if we suffer & we feel the sensation of pain then we aren’t successful. We forget often times that life consists of pain & suffering. Just look at the cross of what Jesus did. Although He lived a fulfilled & successful life because He fulfilled the law & the prophets.
But at the same time, dying on the cross for our salvation was part of the bigger picture & God’s ultimate plan for His life on earth. He did a lot of miracles & accomplished many great things on earth. However, he also suffered greatly because of our sin. In short, as long as you have obeyed & accomplished God’s purpose He has for you on this earth, this too is considered successful.
Consider The Bigger Picture
At the end of your life, and when you look back & you can say to yourself, “I have done my best & I gave my all, I know how.” Then I believe, you are a successful person. Somehow, we confuse fame & wealth to consider ourselves being successful which these things are only temporary. Nothing lasts forever. Even buying new shoes & clothes, we feel happy at the moment. But this emotional height will deteriorate over time. That feeling of happiness & excitement will pass eventually. Then you’ll end up wanting to buy more, and say, “I need another pair of shoes again.”
So, success isn’t about what you have or don’t have. Success is nothing to do about external aspects. It always comes down to learning to live in contentment. Counting your blessings every day. Not always wanting to have more. Unfortunately, we live in this generation of materialism. Not to say, that I don’t like nice clothes and desiring to look presentable every day. There’s nothing wrong with feeling good & looking good. However, the problem lies the moment we feel as though we never have enough. Do you ever get this feeling that we keep on buying and hoarding yet we fall into a trap of wanting more?
The Minimalistic Approach In Life
I don’t know about you but I am drawn to people who have a minimalistic approach in life. I consider myself minimalist but no the extent of not buying things or see myself as an extreme minimalist. I am not there yet. If you look at my wardrobe, I only own a few items. I normally wear it on a daily & weekly basis. The more choices I have, the more confused I get in selecting an outfit. When my space is cluttered, I can’t think straight, and function well as a person.
I go through my closet occasionally & donate some of my clothes that no longer serve me. Organizing & keeping my space tidy makes me feel successful when I just organized my closet. It is easier to find your undergarments when they are well-kept and put together nicely.
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Simplicity is the key. We need to learn how to become practical. As much as I never liked this word before. But now as an adult, I became wiser in approaching life with simplicity & practicality. Nowadays, I have a hard time spending money on myself. For instance, I was at Target, and a $23 facial creme took me a long time to consider in buying. I was at the store contemplating whether I should buy it or not, whether I needed it or not?
The funny thing is I never used to be this mindful about my spending habits. I used to just buy out of impulse and never feeling bad about overspending money. Right now, when I purchase a purse that is worth $200 is a lot of money for me to spend on myself already. I think the moment you learn that materialism shouldn’t define you & realized this is not what encompasses success. Then eventually, you will learn to be happy with the little things in life.
Most of us are high achievers that have been embedded into our psyche. If somehow we never graduated or attained any ideal jobs, somehow our family or society views us as not successful. Not to say that education isn’t important, but that’s not all there is to life. We have been too programmed to compete against each other. To prove to others that we are important and special only if we are professionals or have the money to offer or give. But this concept is not the only way to define success.
No Matter What
No matter what you are important in the eyes of God. No matter what your life is valuable. Why can’t we feel important & valuable just because we are all God’s creation? We emphasize so much on the “doing” that we forget to enjoy “being” the way God has created us to be. I am not suggesting being lazy or not doing your part, but as long as you know you gave your all & you are a responsible human being then all is well.
Moderation is the key. Life is too short to worry about things that have no eternal value. Life is too precious to waste away over things that will eventually fade. I say, enjoy your life, live on your own terms, define your own success, enjoy and treat your family well, fear God & serve others with good intentions.
Something to ponder:
Consider the birds & lilies they neither work nor get stressed out.