Recently, I was asked to describe what success means in three (yep – 3) words. Seriously – three words. I can’t describe anything in three words. So, I thought and thought and thought and thought and . . .
I knew how I would have described it years ago. Easy! It would have revolved around name brands, life’s luxuries, name in lights, and money, money, money… But trying to come up with what success means to me today was hard to put in words.
I’ve realized that success isn’t necessarily defined as most Americans would describe it. Polls today show that teens see success as being rich and famous. And maybe that is. But success is more than the big things we conquer. I also see the stepping stones we must conquer everyday as success.
So, I thought and thought and thought and thought some more …
I noticed that I want to be successful as a writer, speaker, teacher, encourager, photographer, and of course not to mention wife and mother because those are things I’m passionate about. But if I never published another book would I deem myself a failure? No. If I never got to speak again would I think myself a failure? No. I was beginning to think I’d never come up with three words that describe success for me.
Finally the words living life passionately came to my mind. I pondered over them. I liked the sound of those three words. I know that if I’m not 110% sold out to what I’m doing I’m miserable. And I see true success as something that oozes true joy and peace. So I wrote them down and hit the send button. But seriously, I felt kind of dorky turning in those three words as my definition of success.
Later that evening I was recapping my day. It had been amazing! God had placed me at the right place at the right time to minister to a woman who was leaving an abusive relationship. I felt fully awake and alive! Was this success? I still found myself pondering over those three words I had turned in. Living life passionately.
Then I received a text from a friend who said “How about lunch this week?” My heart screamed YES!!! This was a friend who I had met over a year ago. Back then she rarely smiled or looked you in the eyes. I had seen such tremendous growth in her and was so thankful that we had exchanged numbers a few weeks before when she shared that she didn’t have any good influences in her life. We set our lunch plans in motion and I was thrilled.
As I crawled into bed that night I was on cloud nine. I lay there thinking, “Yes — this is success, living life passionately! Encouraging the abused, and being there for a new friend who is ready to move beyond her present circumstances!” Somebody pinch me!!!
Now I’ll challenge you, how would you describe success in three words?
For me it’s — living life passionately!
For more on purpose and living life passionately check out the 31 Days of Purpose series.