What Does Good Success Look Like?


What does good success look like?  The subject of success has been on my heart for quite some time.  I’ve mulled over it for awhile.  There are so many reasons why.  But, I think the main reason is because of the warfare I experienced from waiting until I was thirty to go back to college and complete an undergrad degree.  You might say, “So what?”  But, graduating from high school at sixteen; and not taking advantage of one of the full ride scholarships to four major universities would cause you to flinch too.  Especially when you’re laden with student loans that didn’t ever have to happen.

You might be muttering, “Girl, get over it!”  And you’re right.  There’s no time to dwell in regrets.  Yet the internal conflict is real.  image…And now, at the ripe age of fifty-five; pursuing a lifelong dream of earning a PhD, has its share of torment.  Have you ever read about childhood classmates walking in where you’re trying to go?  You’re happy for them, and disgusted with yourself at the same time?  Can you relate?  Can you see how the enemy of your soul would have a field day; trying to coerce you into quitting?

Not to mention, this blog.  Some posts get an influx of hits; while others don’t.  As much as I would like to blog everyday, or three times a week, my health won’t allow it at this time.  So instead of having a party of two; “Me and Mr. Pity.” I see the press, seesaw responses, and glitches as something good.  These hurdles cause me to look at success with a different perspective than when I was younger.  They spark enlightening questions about success that stretch my thinking.

What does good success look like?  What does real success look like?  

Is it how much money you have in the bank?  Is it the size of your home?  Is it the price tag on your clothes?  imageIs it in having a walk-in closet overflowing with clothes and shoes?  Is it your marital status?  Is it the number of children you have?  Is it the brand of household appliances and furniture in your home?  Is it the cost of your car or cars?  Is it the number of cars parked in your garage and driveway?  Is it your credit score?  Is it having six or seven credit cards?  Is it in obtaining an undergraduate degree?  Is it in completing a graduate or post-graduate degree?  Is it working in the career of your dreams?   Is it the number of employees you lead in a corporation?  Is it your rank on the corporate ladder?  Is it notoriety?  Is it in operating your own business?  Is it your yearly income?  Is it the number of alphabets before or after your name?  What is it?  What does real, true, genuine, good success look like?

Or should I ask, “What does success mean to you?”  Maybe being successful is based upon a feeling.  Does it take having material gain for you to feel successful?  Does it take comparing your place in life to someone else’s to make you feel successful?  Some people spend their lives in misery because they haven’t attained the status society defines as success.  Some young women feel like an unattractive nobody when they reach a certain age and they’re still single.  Some people feel like bums when their car breaks down and they have to catch the bus or hitch a ride to work or church.  Perhaps they need to take another look at the meaning of success.

A young man’s enlightened view of success.

This morning, as my son Justin and I sat at the table talking; I asked, “What does success look like?”  He had some key points that draws a distinction between success and failure.  He stated, “I use to think negatively about myself and my temporary employment.  I had to cut off my negative thoughts about my situation.  imageThen I had to cut off the negative voices of others; because I was starting to feed into their talking down about me and my job.  I was miserable; but I kept going.  Now I’ve been hired in and have a full-time job.  That’s success to me.   Also, I’ve lived in a home where there were no lights.  Every improvement from there is a step up for me.”  Justin further stated that the idea of success differs for everyone.  Then he said, “For me, either nothing is important; or everything is important.  When you feel like everything is important, success is in the small stuff.  If success is brushing my teeth so they can look better; then when my teeth look good, that’s success.  If I want waves; when I brush my hair and get waves; I have success.”  Wow!  He broke success down.

What about you?

Are you successful?  Do you feel like you are successful at anything?  Or do you feel like you are just a failure?  Bloggers, YouTube and social media stars base their success on the number of followers, likes, hits, shares or comments their posts receive.  Some Pastors feel like their church is not successful because of the number of members they have.  Some people in ministry’s success is in their title; not in the satisfaction of accomplishing the Lord’s Will.  These trains of thought lead me to the question:

“What is good success?”

There’s a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. that encapsulates good success to me.  imageIt says, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

There’s a scripture that lets me know what to do to have good success.  God said to Joshua in Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein; for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (KJV)  When we meditate on, and obey God’s Word,  we can do that which God has called us to do well.  When that happens, we see what good success looks like.  It’s not limited to things, positions, titles and number of followers.   But it’s in what we do for God.

Here are three quotes that sum up good success quite eloquently:

  • Dr  Allen Zimmerman stated, “The true definition of success is something much deeper and broader than making money or getting ahead.”
  • Bishop Noel Jones stated, “Success is not about money.  Success is about being able to perform in your destiny and operate in your purpose.”
  • Ben Sweetland penned, “Success is a journey, not a destination.”

My friends; loving and obeying God, spending time with family, evangelizing, helping God’s people, equipping the saints, edifying the body of Christ, and learning for others is good success for me.  Walking in destiny, and enjoying seeing the Lord help me in my journey is real good success for me.  Tell me, “What does good success look like to you?”

Thank you for joining me today.  We’ll talk soon.




Originally posted 2016-09-01 23:21:32.

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