“How would you define success?” Must you be rich? Own your company? Become famous? Does it include world travel? Extensive education? Becoming the best in your field? Does success include happiness, good health and a sexy body? A strong marriage and family? God?
Recently I was one of over eight thousand people jammed into the Richmond, Virginia Coliseum at Peter Lowe’s Success Seminar. A dear friend sent a ticket and I used it to explore my own path to success and receive a little positive motivation. For eleven hours, I listened to ten of the best speakers in the world share their ideas on success. For example:
- Elizabeth Dole talked about how old-fashioned values still succeed in a modern world.
- Zig Ziglar spoke of the importance of relationships as a part of success: business relationships, family relationships and especially our relationship with God.
- John Walsh founder of “America’s Most Wanted” openly shared his personal struggles with coping with the murder of his son to show how we can turn tragedy into triumph.
- Dr. Jack Groppel helped us understand how proper eating habits and exercise can actually tune our bodies and minds into more productive tools for success.
- Brian Tracy showed how appropriate goal setting could transform our lives.
- Peter Lowe spoke of five levels of success and how we are often allow ourselves to be trapped at a lower level. How can we push beyond what we know into what we can be?
Christopher Reeve, famous as an actor and of course, survivor and tireless advocate for victims of spinal cord injury made a comment to Peter Lowe that will forever define success for me. “Success means so many things. I think it really means letting the relationships in your life grow and transcend into the highest possible levels they possibly can. It also means not putting yourself first in life and remembering that the more you give away, the more you have.”
Christopher Reeve has earned the right to cry out… “I’m a victim. Take care of me. Let me wallow in my pain.” Yet he chose to do the best he could with what he had by concentrating on two essential ingredients of success:
- Letting relationships grow and transcend into the highest possible levels. This level of success often calls for a willingness to shift your priorities and work at developing stronger relationships in business, friendships, family and especially with God.
- Not putting yourself first in life and remembering that the more you give away, the more you have. Putting others first is often portrayed as a sign of weakness, but actually it is an indicator of vast strength. Zig Ziglar says: “You can have everything you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Success means learning to give.
The Apostle Paul wrote about this kind of success: “I can never stop thanking God for all the generous gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus. He has enriched your church with the gifts of eloquence and every kind of knowledge. This shows that what I told you about Christ is true. Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you strong right up to the end…” (1 Corinthians 1:4-8)
- Success means… learning to thank God for the generous gifts given to you.
- Success means… knowing you belong to Christ.
- Success means… understanding that you have been enriched with gifts and knowledge.
- Success means… using those gifts as you eagerly wait for Christ’s return.
- Success means… relying on God to keep you strong right up to the end.
Are you looking for that elusive obsession called success? First, discover what success truly means and then be willing to work for it with every talent you possess. Paul near the end of the same letter wrote “…be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord’s work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)