Are you successful?
Are you successful? How do you know?
I'm in a business where goals, ranks, and money are often held up as measures of success. That's normal. I understand that healthy goals are helpful, fun, and growth-inspiring, I've experienced all these things as I've reached goals I never thought I could. It's exhilarating! I hope you make slightly-out-of-reach goals for yourselves and then feel the confidence that comes with reaching them.
But, it's a temporary confidence.
The satisfaction is fleeting. The goal is finally reached (yeah!) and then there is a new goal to accomplish. Or, perhaps, the original goal needs a lot of work to keep it at that level.
So, can we really measure success on these volatile achievements?
I look for answers in the teachings of my favorite Rabbi, Jesus. His definition of success surpasses temporal achievement. It transcends human accomplishments.
It seems Jesus said we know we are having success when we are becoming who God made us to be.
And who did God make us to be? It's going to look vastly different for each of us! But there are activities that will characterize all of us when we are being "successful"...the people God made us to be.
Here are 7 questions you can ask yourself to determine if you are successful (according to the Rabbi):
1. I am becoming a person of love.
2. I am promoting peace in my work (not stress).
3. I am somehow involved in serving the under privileged.
4. My money is used for good. I don't hoard it.
5. I'm not looking to be the top dog, but looking to lift others up (even if I am the top dog).
6. I envy and judge others LESS than I used to.
7. I trust God's plan for my life more now than I did before.
So, when I reach a new rank in my business, was I successful? Possibly. If the effort to get there grew me in love, faithfulness, patience, etc. Then, yes, perhaps it was successful! But, if the road to meet the goal inspired me to be dishonest, greedy, stressed, self-aggrandizing, or judgmental, than I believe it was not success (even if my bank account says differently).
How do you decide if you've been successful?