We all desire success for ourselves, our families, our businesses and quite frankly, anything we’re affiliated with. However, how do we go about accomplishing all this? Thankful, the answer is surprisingly simple and can be applied by practically anyone regardless of their background, credentials, difficulties and/or present opportunities. The greatest challenge is making the shift from how we define success.
For example, when I began my career at a large company, I was always striving to be number one and climb the ladder of success as fast as I could. However, despite any corporate success I may have had, all my striving was leaving me with only temporary satisfaction. It wasn’t until an older client shared with me how I had personally impacted her family’s life that I realized my experiences can actually make a difference for others and for future generations. This was my wake-up call and since then, even though I am as ambitious as I ever was, I now understand how my life success is greatly determined by sharing what I have seen, learned and done in order to help as many people as possible pursue their success. Zig Ziglar perhaps has one of greatest definitions describing this point of view: “You can have anything you want, when you help enough to people get what they want”.
Thankfully, this type of accomplishment can be achieved by reinvesting some of the God-given gifts we already have:
Talents: We all have talents. Yet, it’s how we invest and use our talents that makes all the difference. When we seek to hoard our skills and the talents of others, simply to advance our own agendas, then we are placing restrictions on their greater potential. For we can transform what we do when we realize the talents have, no matter what they are, can promote a greater good that begins a ripple affect of “paying it forward” by using them to help others (Jeremiah 29:7).
Treasures: Perhaps you feel as though you have zero treasures and you would like to begin collecting some. However, a powerful truth resides in the principal of sowing and reaping (Hosea 10:12). For example, in order for a farmer to cultivate a crop, they must first plant seed. They must also work to water, nurture and inspect their crops growth. Failure in any of these areas can be costly, while at the same time, investing in the resources of seed, fertilizer, water and inspection is also costly. Yet, investing in the future of their crop is worth the price in order to increase the likelihood of a worthy payoff. Likewise, are we willing to make the investment in others, our business and ourselves to ensure the highest potential for a quality return?
Testimonies: Our testimonies are unique to us and when we step out to share the outcomes of our various experiences, they can be used in spreading beneficial hope and encouragement to many (1 Thessalonians 5:11). However, if we never share our stories, or only do so to have bragging rights, this helps no one, but when we seek to share with others the lessons we’ve learned to better their lives, we are again “paying it forward”. In other words, helping others, is never wasteful – it is what true leadership is all about.
Application: “Race With Grace” – 2 Timothy 4:7
In summary, we all have talents, testimonies and treasures. Again, it’s how we decide to use them with the time we have left that makes the difference. Many desire greatness, but true greatness can’t solely be defined by material accolades. Instead, may we look to the impact and influence we have made in the lives of others. After all, isn’t that what a true legacy is all about? Success isn’t as the old adage describes, “he with the most toys wins,” rather , it rests with those who have made the most of what they have been given.