The word success is very popular, at least in our hearts.
All of us want to be successful. But what is the definition of success? What does success mean? How can we be sure someone is successful or a failure?
Sad news: there is no general definition of success, just as there is no general definition of beauty.
The colour you think is beautiful is the colour I hate most. The lady you think is beautiful is the lady I don`t like. The way you think is the best to live your live is the way I detest.
However, in our society today, there seems to be a generally accepted definition of success. What is that?
Have much money. Have much fame. Have many cars, houses and jet.
In our contemporary world, that`s success.
Why having all these materials may be so good, you need something from within to make you truly successful.
That`s why the journey toward success starts from a point where you identify your values in life, that is, what and what is important to you? What and what will make you feel good about your life? What and what will make you feel fulfilled?
All that matter is you.
There are so many people who are considered successful in our world today (because they are rich, popular etc.), yet, deep within them they are miserable. They are envied by friends and so many people are jealous of them, yet, they are not happy with their lives.
Because there is a space in their hearts that needs to be filled. There are things they know they should have but which are lacking.
What else can a rich man lack?
So many things (which money cannot buy)
Take for instance when I was growing up, deep within me I know that my values look like: God, Marriage, Freedom, Money, Fame.
Now let me show you how this affects my life daily up till now.
When I left school and was advised to work for a Nigerian bank (Sky Bank), I said no. why did I say no? look above at my life`s values. Freedom comes before money.
I will be happier with two poor meals per day with freedom than with the best meals in the world without freedom of when to wake up, when to work and how to live MY LIFE (saying that with pride. Lol)
That was the reason why I rejected the bank job and others.
Some weeks ago, I came across a business “opportunity” that could make me a very huge amount of money within a very short period of time. After some analyses, I found out that it`s against my Christian`s faith … though it`s legal and will make me a lot of money.
I rejected the “opportunity”. Why?
Because God comes earlier before money in my life`s values.
At age 19, I have read more books about marriage than 90% of Africans who are married. Why? Marriage is very important to me. If my marriage failed, becoming Nigerian president will not make me happy.
Why? Just look at my above values. Marriage comes second while fame comes last.
Because so many people don`t sit down to analyze what is it they actually want out of life, they key themselves into general definition of success.
Guess what happen? After they have “achieved” so much they still feel a space in their lives. They still see that something is seriously missing.
Take for instance someone who loves to have a great marriage (just like me), but because he never sit down to look within himself so as to know what success actually means to him, instead he goes with the public and thinks, “success is having money and many cars”.
He reads 50 books about business and money every year, but nothing about marriage. He travels around the country and pay little attention to his wife. He sacrifices everything to get business contracts, but he can never say sorry whenever he offends his wife.
He takes pride in giving much money to his wife and children, but little time.
What do you think will happen?
He will find out that many of his friends are envying him, that the whole world around him thinks he is a success, but within him, he`s feeling a pain… his marriage is not working… though he never knew that deep within him, marriage is more important than money.
He has gone with the general definition of success and that has make him a failure.
I`m sure someone gets my point here.
Our society is wrong (very wrong) in the way we define success and failure.
What can you do?
Create a personal definition of success and stick to it.
Sit down with a pen and a sheet of paper. Write numbers 1-5. Ask yourself, which area of my life is most important? What if I have a single area of life to concentrate on, will it be money, marriage or God?
Which is the second, third and fourth?
(As for me it looks like, God, Marriage, Freedom, Money, Fame).
I love Jesus and I will not want to do anything that will affect my relationship with Him. This gives me unspeakable joy. Being in good mood with my maker sets me at a height most people never experienced.
Then, my marriage. I`m working hard to make it better. I know I will be happier having a great marriage than having a great bank account.
This is not to give you an impression that I don`t like money or want it. No. I do love money and want more of it, but I know where money belongs in my life.
You have to know where everything in your life belongs and fix them in their right places. If you place what belongs to number two into number four, the outcome will be frustration.
Though people around you may think you`re successful, you will feel that you`re a failure.
Nobody can tell you what success is to you, just as nobody can tell you which man/woman is beautiful/handsome. Just as nobody can tell you a beautiful colour, nobody should tell you what success is.
You have to sit down and decide which areas of life are important to your joy and happiness. If you don`t (or you don`t pursue them in the right order) you may achieve public success and still feel sad and miserable.
Success is personal. You alone can determine what it is… to you.