I love watching the Olympics. All the competition and drama, who doesn’t enjoy that just a little? What I have always found fascinating is the different reactions the athletes have when they finish. Some win a bronze medal and jump around ecstatic and filled with joy. Others win bronze and hang their heads in utter disappointed. Same color medal. Different reactions. Why such extremes? It has to do in part with how each defines success.
How do you define success? The universal definition of success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. Logic follows that without an aim or purpose success is not possible. Motivational speaker and author Earl Nightingale has said, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”
Having a clear picture of what success looks like in a given area enables us to set appropriate goals that will propel us toward that end. We may not consciously think in such straight forward terms all the time, but if we have achieved a sense of success, subconsciously this is what we have been doing. In our minds we have a worthy ideal for something and our actions lead us in that direction. When we arrive at that ideal we feel successful.
Knowing, articulating and sharing a common purpose on foundational issues brings unity and effectiveness to our businesses, churches, governments and families. Without it there can be tension, frustration and confusion. But, how could this translate personally?
Maybe one benefit is that in the little things we would have more grace for others. Maybe I won’t be so quick to judge and devalue another’s response to shared experiences. If I win bronze and am over joyed I won’t be so quick to judge or look down on the one who is disappointed with the bronze, and vise versa.
If asked the question, “Do you want to be successful in life?,” most people are hopeful and answer, “Of course!” However, if asked the question, “How do you define success?,” most people struggle to answer.
“But keep the Lord Christ holy in your hearts. Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have.” 1 Peter 3:15
So, how do you define success? May we be among those who are both hopeful, purposeful and articulate!
Unhindered…live the masterpiece!