On our trek today, we look at what it really means to be successful. When we think of success, most of us gravitate towards being successful financially. This is just one area of true success. The primary reason that we may choose to pursue financial success is to have the resources to have a greater impact on the lives of others.
Success must cover all 7 areas of your Wheel of Life, which are Spiritual, Family, Physical, Mind, Personal, Financial, and Career. Success should also be balanced as much as possible over these 7 areas.
As we head up the trail, let me ask you this question, “What does it mean to you to be successful?”
Let’s start looking for the answer by reading 2 Kings 18:5-7, “Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after his time. He remained faithful to the Lord in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the Lord had given Moses. So the Lord was with him, and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did.”
Success usually brings to mind financial achievement or being number one. Others would define success by the bumper sticker, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” Some like to think that success is being busy—on the go, racing from one appointment to another and having too much to do with too little time to do it.
The problem with these definitions of success is they exact a high cost. The Executive Digest has noted, “The trouble with success is that the formula is the same as the one for a nervous breakdown.” That’s sobering, uncomfortable, and too often true.
Maybe the definition of success that you are familiar with is not the correct one. I would encourage you to reassess your definition of success before it is too late. May I propose a new look at the word S.U.C.C.E.S.S.?
Service – There is no such thing as success without service. The secret of success lies in meeting the needs of others. And when we are meeting people’s needs, we will discover fulfillment.
Understanding contentment – Let’s not measure success by how much we own or how much money we have but by a sense of inner contentment. Real success is always internal, never external. As the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11, “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.”
Character – Character is of greater value than how much money or status we have. A man’s best test of character is revealed in how he treats people around him. So measure your success, not by your possessions and achievements, but by the quality of your character and conduct.
Compassion – What really matters is not money, power, and ego but issues of the heart—such as compassion, kindness, bravery, generosity, and love. Do you love people more than things? Luke 6:36 says, “You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”
Excellence – Excellence is not being the best but being your best.
Significance – The popular notion of success has not cut it. A growing number of people yearn for significance more than success. Significance comes by giving ourselves to something that is greater than us and that will outlast us. – Leave a living legacy each day.
Sacrifice – A problem in our society is that we are spending our entire lives looking for something worth living for. It would be better if we found something worth dying for. Once again Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans 12:1,“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”
Success under these guidelines will bring you into harmony with God’s guidance.
Let me ask you another question. How do YOU spell success? Let us make sure that we are successful in all 7 areas on our Wheel of Life. All of us have something we can learn each day, so encourage your friends and family to join us each day on our podcast.