How Do You Define Success?

Many people spend years trying to become a success, only to eventually discover that it has little to do with...

Many people spend years trying to become a success, only to eventually discover that it has little to do with one’s career. Success is the ability to be still in the midst of chaos; to be humble before and after an accomplishment.

It’s the desire to cheer for another’s victories. It’s listening when you’d rather talk. Forgetting yourself into caring for others. It’s what you are at home, not at work. It’s causing someone else to smile. It’s understanding what money can’t buy and pursuing that. It’s being able to carry money without spending it.

It’s learning, and learning, then learning some more. It’s resisting the temptation to invest yourself in things that don’t matter. It’s understanding the difference between wisdom and knowledge; then choosing wisdom. It’s learning to be a good forgetter. It’s seeing value in people who see no value in themselves. It’s not letting the cares of tomorrow steal the wonder of today.


What Success is and What it’s Not

Success is holding the hand of God in the midst of darkness and confusion. It’s continuing when you want to quit. It’s getting down on a child’s level and listening with wide-eyed wonder to their random stories. It’s moving on to the next season when you want to stay in the previous one. It’s praying for people who misunderstand you. It’s a song at midnight. It’s an embrace. It’s a vision of being better and making others better too.

Success is being a dream-releaser, a joy-giver, and a hope-enhancer. It’s laughing…a lot! It’s being, not doing. It’s knowing the power of self-restraint. It’s the ability to weigh things carefully, then make a good decision. It’s doing what’s right; not what’s easy. Success is character, integrity, patience, empathy, and grace. It’s learning how to be joyfully generous.

Success is winning a victory over anger and dealing a death blow to impatience. It’s staying close to God and living out of the overflow of His love. It’s valuing everyone and never permitting yourself to feel superior to anyone.

Success is staying close to Jesus, and giving His life away, one-day-at-a-time; then finally… success is going Home; it’s walking into eternal life, eyes wide open and heart full. By any or all of these definitions, I wish you success. And when you achieve it, give it away until there’s nothing left to give, and you will have learned what it means to live.

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This is a guest post by Gary Black who is a friend of Five Capitals. This post originally appeared on his blog Advice For Living.