Every one of us has a map of success, a mental representation or conception of what success is. However, the vital question is: Is your map of success a representation of a success territory? Or is it a representation of a superficial, conceited success territory?
Everybody wants to be successful: the king and the peasant; the poor and the rich; the noble and the ignoble; irrespective of race, skin color, ethnicity, and status. This wild pursuit of success has left many disillusioned without grasping what it really entails to be successful.
Living in a society that gives priority to the superficial things of life, it is no surprise that our human minds and behaviors seem to follow the trend. There is a need to change our ideology on what success is and what success is not.
In this crazy search for success, where can we find success that stands the test of time? Let’s explore the various misconceptions about success:
Many people have a vague picture of what success is all about. Some people have the notion that if they could be like some other person in terms of their talents, abilities, wealth, fame, physical appearance, and intelligence they could be termed as successful.
But the truth is: that success begins with who you are. Remember, when you are yourself, you are the original – the best the world has ever known. But when you become like another, your value depreciates. You become an imitation which leads to limitation.
It is a common belief among people that success could be equated with wealth. In fact, they have the mindset that if they can only stumble on wealth, they will automatically become successful. So they strive at all costs and by all means to get wealth.
Wealth and possessions are fleeting but enduring success is designed to outlive you. Possessions are a temporal fix that does not fit into the reality of enduring success.
Success is not found in the possession of things rather success is found in the possession of a heart filled with love. Money craves more money and it creates inner emptiness. Enduring success craves greater impact and it creates inner fulfillment. The love of money brings contention.
King Solomon reveals, “Whoever loves money never has money enough, whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income”.
We were designed to love people and use our money and our wealth to be a blessing to people rather than loving money and using people to get things.
Ponder on the words of John Hagee, “Money can buy you a palace of breathtaking splendor, but money cannot buy you a home filled with love and respect from the people who live there. Money can buy the finest physicians in an hour of sickness, but money cannot buy the God-given gift of health. Money can buy you a bed of solid gold, but money cannot buy you one minute of rest or inner peace. Money will attract legions of people to you, but money cannot buy you the treasure of one true friend. Money can buy your books, but money cannot buy your brains. Money will buy you food, but money cannot buy a healthy appetite. Money can buy a crucifix around your neck, but money cannot buy a savior in your heart.”
Yes! Money answers all things but money is not everything. Money is only the medium of mutual exchange.
Success is synonymous with service and money is the reward obtained after delivering a service that solves a specific problem. When you set out to meet a need or to be of service, money becomes the reward.
Money is not a status symbol but a reward for solving a problem or providing service. The more people you serve, the more money you get. In other words, the more problems you solve for people, meeting their needs, the more money flows to you. Therefore, amassing wealth and possession is not a guarantee that one is successful.
In our society there is an insatiable lust for power, this is because people equate power with success but such a mentality could be destructive. Being in the position or corridor of power does not qualify you for success.
People like Charles Taylor, Adolph Hitler, and Sadaam Hussein were all men who were in a position of power but they were miles apart from being successful.
The position of power is an opportunity bestowed on a person to be an influence for the good. I love the words of Myles Munroe, “when you are free from the need for power, you are qualified for it.”
The need for power reflects desperation to make up for the deficiencies within. Therefore, the character of an individual could be tested through the power bestowed on him or her and is never a guarantee for success.