Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Succesful Path Through Life Is Often Not What You Think

There seem to be many who judge success (both others and their own) based on the accumulation of quantifiable gain. In other words, people who get more stuff (or money) are more successful.

A close cousin of this mentality is the pragmatic thought process which identifies success as “whatever works”.

Are you on the right path?
We are all prone to slip into these thought processes. Why wouldn’t we? If a certain path produces the results we want, why wouldn’t we take it? If the road we are traveling leads to financial security and material gain, why would we abandon it?

I’m as guilty as the next person of choosing a direction because I think it will work, or because I’m seeking material gain. But, my own inconsistency doesn’t blind me from the truth that I am sometimes wrong, and there IS a better path. Sometimes, I just need to write this stuff to remind me of what my spirit knows is true despite what my heart may tell me.

Consider these three reasons why success is not always what we think:

  • Today’s success often forces me to mortgage tomorrow’s opportunities.
  • Success in this life may very well mean failure in the next.
  • Personal success gained at the expense of others is ultimate failure.
Ultimately, I need to ask and answer one HUGE question. “Do I believe there is more to this life than what I can see, touch, and hear?” If I believe in concepts/virtues like love, faithfulness and kindness, I need to recognize that those come from somewhere (God?); and I must acknowledge that any definition of success must take these unmeasurable concepts into consideration.

It is better to have a little (or to fail) but to have a recognition of the greater things in life. True failure is thinking I am successful, when in truth I’ve compromised all I claim to believe.


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