When I started out my professional life, success was everything to me. I chased it. I achieved it. I wanted more and more and more of it. And the more I achieved, the less satisfied I became, always looking for my next move—and always feeling that I wasn’t there yet.
This one destination, success, it drove me. It was highly motivating—and costly.
Years into my pursuit of chasing promotions and zeroes, and let’s be frank, significance, I had to face the fact that my pursuit was going to cost me my family and my friends. And I wasn’t becoming the person I wanted to be. I felt so lost.
Have you ever taken the time to define success as a leader of your ministry? Can you put into words what you work so hard to achieve?
I am so grateful that God taught me something about that definition. Success is not a destination or a synonym for achievement. Rather, success is what we experience on the journey. It is the road, not the arrival. And the math of success is multiplication, not subtraction like I had been living it.
One of the men who helped me learn this was an author and speaker named John Maxwell in his book Your Roadmap for Success. In this book, Maxwell teaches that there are three parts to experiencing success—and all of them can happen right now, right where you are starting.
This is a game-changer because you don’t have to wait until the end to know if you were successful. You don’t have to live in fear that you are going to miss it. You don’t have to keep chasing more. Because no matter how long you live, you will continue to journey with no shortage of opportunities to help other people or to move toward your full potential. And those are the things that will define your success.
Three Parts to Experiencing Success
- Knowing My Purpose (Mission) in Life
Dream! What are you called to do? What moves you; makes you feel deeply? What were you placed on earth to do? This question is not easy to answer. It takes time and the answer is found as you dream about what could be and experience what is right in front of you. In both the experience and the dream, you will find that your purpose becomes more and more defined.
You can see this in both your personal life and the life of your ministry. Knowing your mission gives you direction and sets your compass. Believing it sets your steps.
- Growing to My Maximum Potential
This is a journey. And if you are growing, you are being successful. We mistakenly use the word failure from time to time. But any opportunity, even if it flops, is an opportunity to grow and understand more. And in the learning the failure becomes success. The humility that our failure moments award us can make us closer to the heart of God and stronger to move to the next goal.
Growth can start at any time. It is not something you arrive to, but something you choose to do. In both your ministry leadership and your personal life, you can be growing.
- Sowing Seeds That Benefit Others
This one is sort of everything.
Success isn’t about you. It’s outside of you, for someone else. Multiplication. There will never be a shortage of people to help.
If your drive for success isolates you and hurts those around you—are you experiencing success?
I am excited for you. You are embarking on a wild ride if you are willing to let go of achievement as your status quo. What can you do right now, starting from where you are, to experience success?
It can be scary to take away achievement orientated drive. But I promise you, goals that are oriented around these three mindsets will pay you back richly and benefit the world around you in ways you cannot even imagine.