Success is viewed so differently depending on who you talk to. Some will say:
- Net worth in money
- Free of debt
- How many vacations you take in a year
- New car
- Being a famous person
are the very definitions of a successful person. Where this list contains many positive things it lacks something important; heart and soul of any kind. Now don’t misunderstand me and assume I don’t think you should strive for the things on this top list. I am only stating that there should be more to success than material wealth or power. After all we have not mentioned anything that has abstract value. Something that would feed your soul or uplift you spiritually.
You can be the wealthiest person alive or have the greatest mind, but there is still a void and it will never be filled with the list above. Take for example:
Leonardo da Vinci
Many people deem De Vinci to be the very image of success. When the truth be told, looking closely at his life it would seem he was always striving for something, a void he could not fill with inventions, paintings or anything else. People do not know to this day whether the man himself was a Christian although he painted the Last supper, The baptism of Christ etc. My point is, looking at a person from the outside, with the success they seem to have is not always an accurate description of the truth that lies within. Did Leonardo de Vinci see himself as being a success? A question we will never know of him, but it is one we can ask of ourselves.
I am using this extreme example merely to get you to see the big picture. What does being successful look like to you? I know you are thinking, I would be a De Vinci any day of the week whether he had a void or not. I’m telling you, you don’t have to have a void and be miserable inside. Whether you are rich, middle class or poor in terms of todays society you can be successful. It depends on your definition of success. You can have a large bank account, expensive car and beautiful house. You can be a master painter, successful inventor, business man, or in a position of power. Are you happy, is your family happy? What is the account balance of your soul?
It is merely a mind-set each person has and the fact of the matter is, we control our mind. I can live middle class with my kids truly happy and be successful. Drive an old car that is paid for and have no bills and that, I believe is successful. Every person makes or breaks his or her success by their thoughts and the actions that follow them. Giving back to the community you live in. Keeping yourself humble to others and their needs. Can all be measurements of success.
So if all in life that matters to you is how much money you can accumulate over the years, I would deem you unsuccessful and or if you are tying all your thoughts merely to the list above, again, unsuccessful. Now take that same person who has placed, heart, feeling, soul and love for his family and or workers, while growing his bank account and while becoming debt free invest love, kindness, and honesty. That is your successful person. He or she has not forgotten the people who matter while striving to be great. After all, how much is enough and at what cost? Here is another list:
- Hard work and a burning desire.
- Willingness to learn and grow.
- Achieving set out goals but never at the cost of someone else.
- Love for his or her family.
- Love and respect of God.
In other words, love something or someone greater than oneself.
I will tell you a short story. A new friend, I’ve just met this last year offered a service without charge to me. His reason being, “When we do good to others it will come back to us.” He is absolutely right and that is why he is successful and has set an example and touched other people’s lives. We think kindness is gone from this world, but we are wrong. If you look you will find it. Just make sure when you are looking you see it in yourself first. It is hard to recognize something in others we don’t posses ourselves, true success being one of them.
So now how do you view success? I hope this post helps you to think on it and if a change or approach needs to happen, I pray you do it. I also want to point out Leonardo De Vinci was a great man, but a mysterious one. I do not claim to know his heart only God does. I’ve used him as an example in this article to help us grasp something, an idea that what we see as successful, simply sometimes is not. I truly hope to find the inventor one day in heaven and finally ask him the story that plagues many a mind, the story of the Mona Lisa.
Remember, true success can never be found where love does not abide.