Time to redefine success

February 25, 2009 | 2 comments

One of the rich opportunities the present economic turmoil has provided mankind is the chance to redefine success.

All too often success has been measured in material terms, such as in the size of one’s paycheck, the number of bedrooms in one’s living quarters, a job held, the prestige garnered from position, and so on. But with lay-offs, down-sizing, declining house values, wiped out portfolios and other declines in material worth and stature, these standards for success can leave one feeling destitute and impoverished, if accepted. And this need not be. God loves us all of the time and gives us everything we need to live happily and fully no matter what story financial numbers tell.

To feel this love, though, we need to measure success in the same way God provides it.

Jesus had the right idea of success when he told his followers to seek the riches of heaven. He knew that temporal treasures brought only temporal joy and could not be relied upon for permanent happiness and support. He taught, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” And then added, “…and all these things shall be added unto you.”

When we put seeking God first, we do not humanly lack. We spiritually gain. And this is what millions of people yearn to feel more of today—gain! And it comes from seeking the riches of Spirit which are freely available to all.

I look forward to the day when worth and value is measured more widely in spiritual terms.

Won’t it be a treat when a neighbor’s worth is seen not according to the size of his salary, but according to how much love he shows toward others?

Won’t it be a delight when the love and care a stay-at-home parent shows her children is valued as highly as the service of a CEO managing the distribution of wares?

Won’t it be a brighter day when people measure success by how much spirituality they live and experience rather than in how big their IRA has grown?

True success is spiritual.

If one’s house value has shrunk, or savings vanished, or job disappeared, it is not necessary to feel unsuccessful, for success is not according to these things. Success is turning to God for help, finding it, and living true to one’s spiritual individuality. Anyone can do this regardless of material standing and they can feel the blessings that come from being spiritually minded.

When I look at the value of some mutual funds I’ve purchased in the past, it’s tempting to get depressed. But when I realize the value of those funds have nothing to do with my eternal life and well being with God, it’s easy to find reasons to rejoice and be happy.

If you are beset by concerns of failure, you might give redefining success a try too. You’ll likely find a whole lot more to be grateful for than you realized, and feel much more successful for the effort.

2 thoughts on “Time to redefine success”

  1. Well-written, Evan. Thank you.

    I’m reminded of Obama’s speech last night. I find it interesting that when someone offers a message of hope and renewal, he focuses on qualities people possess or demonstrate, in other words, live. Qualities of perseverance, compassion, generosity, industry, etc. And Obama found people who lived out those qualities to show the good we have right now in the face of crisis and despair.

    It makes me think that we all instinctively know our spiritual nature. And one day we will all be conscioulsy aware of it and then real progress, peace and prosperity will manifest in all our lives.

  2. In Bhutan they measure the gross national happiness, as opposed to our GNP. Europe is now debating Sunday “blue laws”. When I was a child shops and stores were closed on Sunday. We went to church and Sunday school. But everyone had a day of rest. Moms, who were able to stay at home, also volunteered for community work. More people were rested, not so stressed out. Time for shopping on Saturday, and pastimes.A real weekend every week.No homework until 6th grade.
    The Banks and other financial entities could not charge more than 10% interest. We had a LIFE! Fewer divorces. This was Californias in the 1940””s

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