I used to think success meant I arrived at some particular goal or destination. Boy, was I ever wrong and I am so glad that I was. This type of thinking can have a person feeling really down about themselves. It had me doubting my abilities, my gifts, my talents and ultimately had me question everything frequently.
What is success anyway? Does it have a particular feeling or look to it? Most people have a vague idea of what success is and associate it with power, wealth or even a perfect physique. This type of picture has us looking like something we are not, someone other than who we are – and that is absurd. My mentor John C Maxwell defines success brilliantly:
Knowing your purpose in life,
Growing to reach your maximum potential, and
Sowing seeds that benefit others.John C Maxwell
The first time I read this definition, I knew that I had it all wrong. Focusing on the journey rather than the destination was the missing piece and I finally felt free of my destination disease. By seeing success as a journey, I didn’t have the problem of trying to “arrive” at some final destination. Reaching some elusive goal and still being unfulfilled or still searching for something else is not a position I’ll ever be in with this definition. And the same applies for you.
What is a goal anyway?
Striving towards our version of success means crushing goals along the way. But crushing goals, isn’t always as easy as it seems. Every time I failed at reaching a particular goal, a piece of me suffered. Maybe it was just my ego, but it definitely hurt. It brought up feelings of unworthiness. It once again had me question my ability to succeed. However, when I started to focus on the journey of success instead of achieving a goal, I realized I was already a success today!
The purpose of a goal is not to reach the goal. The purpose of a goal is to become the person you were born and created to be. It’s about becoming.
You are successful this very moment. As soon as you make the shift towards finding your purpose, growing towards your potential and helping others – success is something you are right now, not something you become once you reach a destination or hope to be one day.
Knowing Your Purpose
God created each and every one of us for a purpose. If you do not strive to discover what your purpose is, you may spend your life doing the wrong things. Here are a few questions that may help you gain clarity on what your purpose is.
What am I searching for?
What are my unique abilities and gifts?
Do I believe in my potential?
Growing Your Potential
If you do not believe you have potential, you will never reach it. And trust me, you have limitless potential in you. If you are having a difficult time growing towards yours, apply these principles.
Concentrate on one main goal – Reaching your potential requires focus.
Strive for continual improvement – Commit to being better every day.
Forget the past – “Yesterday ended last night.” Cyrus Curtis
Focus on the future – You potential lies ahead of you, so focus on improving that.
By following the first two steps above, you are well on your way to being successful. However, helping others is an essential part of this journey. Sowing seeds that benefit others come in all different forms. For you that may mean spending more time with family, working with a client to develop their own potential, serving those in your community or being there for a friend when she needs you.
All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don’t discover why. Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself, It’s what you do for others.Danny Thomas
Each journey to success will be different, but the principles we use to take that journey will never change. Some roads will be more difficult than others along the way, but that does not make your success journey any less successful. It also does not make you unsuccessful. You are successful today as long as you continue to discover your purpose, know your potential and serve others along the way. I cannot think of a better success story than that.