Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Success!

Do you want to be successful? Do you dream of finishing your life having "arrived"? Are there goals that you have set for yourself that you feel if attained, would give you the label success?

Popular culture has created a picture of success that is somewhat distorted, rather than based on our created purpose and called pursuit. We want our 15 minutes of fame, our lottery-ticket-instant-riches, and our American Idol record deal.

Boys dream of making the buzzer-beating shot to win the championship, or sinking the birdie putt on the last hole. (Well, maybe grown men who didn't make it as basketball players fantasize about the 18th green.)

If girls still dream of their knight in shining armor, his horse needs to be tricked-out, he must have a fat 401k, and his castle better have plenty of rooms.

If most of us believe that wealth, power, and prestige are the pathway to success, allow me to offer an alternative path:
  • Grounded - We need to have anchors that are not based on the stock market, our win-loss record, or our looks and abilities. There must be something bigger than we are that we trust in, believe in, and look to for security. Relying on the wind of prevailing opinion or popular culture to dictate our success will ultimately end in failure. A sailboat without an anchor will be blown in multiple directions during a storm.
  • Growing - We cannot achieve a level of success and become complacent, satisfied with where we are. We must always be learning, expanding, growing. This applies both professionally and personally. Age is not a factor either. Once we cease growing, we begin dying. Looking forward multiplies success. Looking down at where we are encourages stagnation.
  • Giving - Those who have are responsible to share: ideas, lessons, resources, and time are valuable commodities that when invested into the lives of others encourage a culture of success. Hoarding not only promotes isolation, but also robs others of their chance to grow. A tree will never become more than a tree unless it bears fruit, that in turn is transformed into multiple trees.
True success isn't measured in what one has acquired or has achieved, but rather in one's character, cultivation, and contribution.

Question: What other thoughts do you have on true success? Share your thoughts below in comments.
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