How Do You Define Success?

4/14/2014 6:44:09 AM

When you think of success, what comes to mind? Wealth, power, popularity, and possessions? Today’s culture puts a strong emphasis on these things and usually equates success with being rich. However, no amount of money will make you truly successful.
          What is true success? 
          There’s a lot of pressure to be successful these days. Many define their self worth based on how “successful” they are (based on metrics associated with wealth and power). But, true success can be achieved without wealth, power, or riches. Pay no attention to the culture’s definition of success—real success is found in the heart.
          Why is this so important? It’s because the way we define success will govern how we live. It’s one of the most important conversations we can have with the young people in our lives. I use every opportunity in my speaking engagements with teens to take this subject head on.
          I have always found this quote first penned in the Lincoln Sentinel on November 30, 1905 by Bessie Stanley incredibly inspiring definition of success:
           “He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.”
          Bessie, you nailed it!
          Rather than basing your definition of success on monetary wealth, consider a more comprehensive definition, including how you applied your gifts to the betterment of others, the quality of your relationships with others, and the strength of your character. Are you leaving a positive impact on those around you? Are you spreading joy, love, and hope? If you focus on these elements rather than on wealth, power, and possessions, you’ll be much more likely to fulfill your life purpose and feel a genuine sense of satisfaction and success along the way.
Whom do you consider to be the most successful people and why? Looking ahead, how will you define success in your life? Share this with the young adults in your life and ask them these questions; they make for great conversations!