The definition of Success...

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the definition of success. Most of us are trying everyday to do our best and be “successful” in whatever we do, but do we really know what success is? Are we aiming at the right target? Often we know what our job requires of us, but we might not have a correct picture of what it will look like when we succeed. For instance, a successful car salesman might sell one car to every three people he shows one to, yet a successful skydiver can’t afford that margin of error. It's usually easier to determine the definition of failure than it is to identify what victory looks like. But I believe it would be hard or maybe even impossible to make a real difference in the world if we lived with the definition of Success=Not failing.

If we have a goal of not just living our lives, but spending them, investing them, and leaving a legacy with them, we've got to evaluate our definition of success. In our lives are we approaching skydiving-type tasks with the attitude that 1 out of 3 isn’t that bad? On the flipside are we putting too much emphasis on results, when maybe the definition of a success in a major area of our life is to never be so busy that you don’t have time to stop and smell the roses?

Webster’s dictionary describes the word “success” as:
The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted.
The gaining of fame or prosperity.
A person that is successful.
An event that accomplishes its intended purpose.
But that leaves quite a bit of room for interpretation. So I’ve been thinking about what is the “definition of Success” in the different areas of my life (marriage, parenting, work, friendships, physical fitness, blogging, etc.)… I feel like in many of these areas I know what the specific tasks are, and I know what role I play in them, I may even have a bit of a goal for them, but I’m not certain that I’m aiming for true success in any of them.

I want to reevaluate what success would look like in my life, and I’m hoping that you will help. I’m looking for your feedback. Please leave a comment on this post or email me back at rblack at with your definition of success. It doesn't have to be a long and documented answer- it could be as simple as: The definition of success for my job as a Milkman = fresh milk delivered weekly to happy kids and families, or something like that.

Here are a few questions to get you started:
What is the most successful project you've ever completed?
What would you say is the sign of a successful church?
What is the definition of success for an Atheist?
Who is the most successful person I know, and what makes him/her that way?
What does successful parenting look like/What is the result of successful parenting?

Thanks for playing along with me, I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the subject. With your help this will be a successful blog entry. And who knows; maybe I’ll take your answers and write a book on the topic that will one day become a huge success also.

Micah 6:8 (The Message) “But he's (God) already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It's quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don't take yourself too seriously—take God seriously."


Anonymous said...

Well, that gives us something to think about, doesn't it?
Love Mom and Dad Black

Anonymous said...

Aunty Pen, Aunty Meme and Mom spent several hours mulling over success while we sat in the hot springs at Harrison...We came up with some pretty profound thoughts I think...we will send them soon.
Love Mom

You might also like:

Related Posts with Thumbnails