Sunday, January 9, 2011

How do you define success?

I suppose I don't hold to the traditional definitions of success. I don't define my life by what I do for a living (or what Chris does). Or my clothing size. Or by my accolades. I don't define what I own as success either. After all, they are just things that come and go and, quite frankly, trends are stupid. Trends bug me. They are just other people telling you how to think and behave (uh.. hand over brain ___here___). No, I like to think for myself, thank you very much. Don't get me wrong, it's fun to buy a new sweater or a piece of new furniture but they don't define me or my success.

No, I have a much more simpler way of measuring whether I'm successful or not. For starters, and this is probably the biggest difference in the world's definition, is I don't measure my success by other people's or society's definitions. I don't want to be a prisoner to a definition that others tell me I have to meet. You know, the drill... you *HAVE* to own the latest and greatest (insert item __here__) or your home, your life, your relationships, your educational background *MUST* look like everyone else or your not successful. Simply put, I don't define success by what others say is successful. Life's too short to let another live YOURS for you!

I *DO* define success in the ways that matters most to ME. Have I loved - really shown love - to my children today? Have I lived with a grateful heart today? Did I treat my husband with respect when I could have coped an attitude instead? Does he feel the amount of love that I have for him? Have I had a successful relationship with my husband? With each of my children? Have I taught my boys something that brings them closer to God today? Are my kids displaying grateful hearts? Have I laughed today? Have I been a good example in attitude and behavior for my boys? Have I been a friend that uplifts and encourages today? Have I helped someone that needs it? Have I extended grace that I might otherwise deem undeserving? Have I lived out God's words today, to the best of my ability? Have I been a "good and faithful" servant?
These are some of the many measurements of success in my book. How well I accomplish these (and a few other) definitions is what matters to me. It's liberating to take the focus off of what others say is success and listen to God's definition and make it my own. How well have I loved? How well have I given selflessly? How well have I taken care of my family?

I don't define success by what others think nor do I ever want to. I don't want to chase after material things that rot away or acquire something just to impress someone else. That's no success at all. That's slavery. That's not what I was called to do here with my time on earth. I want to keep at the forefront the successes that matter most.

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