success for dummies

EmPulse for Week of August 16, 2010

success for dummies

One of my favorite quotes is from, well, me—  Generate a lot of mistakes. Statistically, you can’t get it wrong all the time.

It is well known to my friends that I have made a lot of mistakes. To me, it feels as if I’ve raised failure to the level of an art form. Nonetheless, I have learned from my mistakes, and my friends, not to make the same mistakes again. Well, er, that isn’t exactly true. One of my other life dictums is— Always make the same mistake at least twice; that way you’ll be able to make it perfectly the third time.

Although I’ve been through all kinds of management regimens (time management, decision making, problem analysis, potential problem analysis, hand-writing analysis, body language reading, etc.), I have always found that understanding HOW to DO something is not the same as actually doing it. Furthermore, success at anything requires not only a vision of what is not-yet and needs-to-be, but also the perspicuity and tenacity to make it happen…, in a team effort, with others who do not share your Achilles’ heels (or clumsy feet), blind-spots, or, yes, stupidities. Working in a vacuum always makes it harder to breathe freely.

Backing up a bit, becoming a “success” first needs prior definition. What is success? Accumulation of $$$? Bling!? Bling!? A Mercedes? Lavish stuff? Or is it something slightly less tangible, yet far more durable? Ending hunger in just one part of the world. Curing AIDS. Turning around a ghetto in NYC or East LA. Saving history accurately. Providing scholarships & grants for those in need. Maintaining a wacked-out, flourishing, loving, Silly-String home. Bringing peace and laughter into a tense workplace. Loving one convoluted teenager. Righting an injustice in your community. It’s simply…, making a difference.

Defining success is prerequisite to being successful. What’s the quote… If you aim at nothing you’re bound to hit it. What might be worse is mindlessly assuming everyone else’s definition of success. Usually money. Rather, ask yourself questions like these—

1.       What does it mean for me to be significant?

2.       What one thing do I want to accomplish in my life more than anything else?

3.       Where is a concrete, actual place on this planet where I can make a difference?

4.       What skills do I have to give away?

5.       What skills will I need to help me fulfill God’s design on my life? How do I get them?

6.       How will I know when I am truly successful?

Make your life count. It’s not so much about how long you live, or how much wealth you accumulate as it is about the legacy, the contribution, you leave behind.

Have a nice week.


4 thoughts on “success for dummies

  1. Gary
    Love this thought — because finally, i have some i can relate to when it comes to success.

    The idea of making my life count is much easier than accumulation. It allows me to lay down the silliness of power, pleasure and richs and concentrate on the things that really matter

    1. Good! Wonderful! for me SUCCESS has always been measuring up to what I know God wants me to BE and DO, Not what other people think I should be doing. Then again, making a difference for Christ in a world that is clueless is what i live for. Our family, our ministry, are both immersed in the totally secular culture of Amherst, and beyond.

      I’ll have my Assistant get to you on posting our emPulse writings on Higher calling. Her name is melanie. she too, with her husband, is dangerous.

  2. This week I felt significant when my children brought me get-well flowers they picked from three yards. Especially the rose, which must have taken some courage to filch from the neighbors. 🙂 (Ah, but I’m guessing the neighbors wouldn’t mind if they only knew with what heart the girls did their picking.)

    So nice to see you on our home page today! 🙂

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