Money, prestige don’t have to define success

Money, prestige don’t have to define success

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” — Albert Einstein.

How do we define the word success? Is it having a lot of money, a big house, a nice car or a boat? How many hours a week are we willing to work to get what we want — 70 or 80 — in order to have the lifestyle we want? How much is enough?

Someone once asked John D. Rockefeller, the first billionaire in the world, “how much is enough, Mr. Rockefeller?”

“Just a little bit more,” he replied.

For some of us that’s the way it is; it’s never enough. When we get what we think is going to make us successful, we see another goal to reach for. I think if we’re not careful, we can let the world tell us what success is and we’re not letting God tell us.

This can be a life-changing time in our lives right now. The government is talking about reopening the country, and we’ve had time to reassess our lives. We can go back to running around, or we can continue to reconnect to our loved ones. I know I am repeating myself, but some things bear repeating. Like Ronald Reagan once said, “It’s morning in American again.” We have been forced to hit the reset button in our lives and rethink just how we really want to live from now on.

The problem, as I see it, is we are looking to the world to tell us what success is. We are spending too much time focusing on what other people call success and not on what God calls it. There was a time in my own life when I really wanted to be successful. I thought it was one way I could have the respect of others. I worked really hard; my mind was always on my next move. I wanted to become somebody in the eyes of the world. I wanted the world to know I am more than just a disabled boy, that I could do more.

I saw a video on YouTube about what people have to do in order to be successful. They were actually encouraging people not to spend time with their families because family can get in the way of making people successful. Out of pure disgust I turned it off.

If that is what success is, I don’t want it. Success takes a lot of hard work, but true success is not what the world tells us, but what God tells us: peace, love, joy and happiness, among other things. If you don’t have joy and happiness, what does it matter how much money you have?

I never heard of anyone saying on their deathbed, “If only I had just a little bit more money.” I have heard people say if they could change anything, they would have spent more time at home with their family.

When I am 90, I am not going to think about how much I made over my lifetime. I am going to think about all the great moments I had with the people I love, the impact I had on people’s lives and the opportunities God gave me. Then I will die a very successful man indeed.

How about you?

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