Success is a funny thing, isn’t it?
Everyone defines success differently, yet it’s something that we’ve all been told to strive for. As children, we are told we can do anything we want to do – that we can be anyone we want to be.
Anything is such a powerful word, isn’t it? Freeing, and yet, immobilizing. When the options are endless, the vast array of “anything” stretches out before us as an overwhelming sea of ideas.
When making the decision about what we want to do, I’ve found that many of us begin with what we do well and then use that as a jumping off point for our professional lives. We set our sights on a career path that builds on what we are comfortable doing and not necessarily what we are most interested in, excited about or feel called to do.
With all options on the table, we take the path of least resistance.
What’s that about? I mean, really?
If we can do anything we want to do, why are we not doing what we are most excited about? Why are we not building our careers around the things that make our hearts sing?
I think it’s because sometimes we get so caught up in finding success through our careers that we forget about figuring out who we want to be.
I think if we figure out who we want to be, we will discover what we are called to do and be able to clearly define what success looks like to us.
We’ve been doing it backwards.
We’ve been looking to our careers to define our success and our self and not letting our self define our careers and our success.
I believe that we were all created for a specific and unique purpose and that the desires of our heart were put there for a reason.
We each have something that drives us, inspires us, makes our hearts sing. For some, it is to make the world a more beautiful place through creating art. For others, it is to make people feel welcome in their homes by creating beautiful, functional spaces. Still others are given the desire to care for others through health professions. Some are driven to build businesses that drive industry and create jobs.
And for others, the desires of the heart have nothing to do with a profession. Their profession is a way to make the money they need to live their life’s purpose – possibly through ministry, family life or volunteering.
So who do we want to be, what are we called to do and what does success look like?
Do we define success as meeting a career goal? As getting married or having children? As buying a house or a car or making a certain salary?
Or do we define success as living our lives attuned to the God-given desires of our heart, cultivating a full and rich life that is honest and true to who we were made to be?
If you had asked me those questions in my 20s, I would have a very different answer than I do today.
The beautiful thing about life is that it comes in seasons.
In this season of my life, I want to be an encourager, I’m called to be a helper, and for me, success looks like a healthy family life, strong friendships and a vocation that helps others share their stories.
How about you? Who do you want to be, what are you called to do and what does success look like in your life?