And Being Saved from True Failure
I have always wanted to do something great. From an early age, I believed I was made to do something great. And yet, I have always been in conflict over what ‘great’ or ‘successful’ really meant. We all have this longing in our soul to be great, do great things, and leave our mark. However, I believe we are chasing after the wrong type of success.
In fact, I have had these moments all throughout my life where I thought I was doing something great, and then it turned out to be all wrong for who I was created to be. And so, I have been on a journey living my best life.
I used to think the best life was growing a career to a booming paycheck and having everything I ever wanted. My life and family would be full or all of our dreams come true. I used to think my best life was financially secured, vacations, and lots of stuff.
But those are all lies to keep us from what our best life really is supposed to be. We sacrifice the real important things in our lives for this cultural lie telling us what success and greatness should look like and feel like. And then, we look back disillusioned by the devastation we have left in our wake.
Work Harder is What Culture Tells Us
And so we do.
We work 50, 60, 70, 80 hours a week in our inexplicable desire for success and greatness. And we try and justify our behavior:
“It’s so we can provider for our families.”
“I’m just trying to get ahead.”
“I am setting myself up for my future.”
And while those excuses might be good reasons to work hard, what happens when you get there and there is no one to share them with? All of the sudden we will be alone with our accomplishments.
What if Culture’s Definition of Success and Greatness is Wrong?
What if working hard and getting ahead isn’t success? It surely is sacrifice, but what if it’s the wrong kind of sacrifice? Don’t get me wrong, I am a hard worker. I put my time in at work and do my job at the best of my ability. I get up early in the morning to write and do the work I need to do.
However, it seems like what we view as normal in our culture is leaving destruction, devastation, and broken heartedness in its wake. Families are in shambles. Marriages are suffering. Friendships are not longer existent. And personal health is waining.
If a car is driving down the road with a squeaking belt, smoke pouring out of the exhaust and seems to be limping along, we take it to the mechanic. And yet, when people are exhausted and the relationships are failing we give them a promotion.
How backwards is that?
My Personal Experience
The first time I went in for a life tune up happened just after college. I was doing everything right. Internships, getting jobs with good positions, and I ‘knew’ where I was going. But it didn’t feel right because I was missing things in my life in which I deeply wanted.
I had sacrificed important areas of my life to do what was expected of me.
And so, I took inventory and decided to make a change. I wasn’t going to love culture’s lie about my success. It was time to chase after something good. Something right. And so, I did.
I changed careers and for a few years ,things were great. And as this season of life started to trickle down, I had to change careers again. This time, the money was good, the benefits were good, it was a good way to support my family.
And again, I ended up at a place where things were going in the right direction for so long and then the door was slammed in my face. And something didn’t feel right. In fact, I started to experience hhealth-relatedissues due to stress.
I had once again sacrificed important areas of my life to do what was expected of me.
Changing Directions with a New Definition
“I began to redefine the terms I’d been living by. I was saved from success.” — Dale Partridge from his new book, Saved from Success.
Over the last few months, I have been re-evaluating my definition of success.My wife and I are looking at what is true for our lives and what is most important. We are asking a lot of questions about our life: Why do we do this? Where are we going? What is most important to us? How are we getting there? Who is part of that journey?
The list of questions goes on, and yet, we know some of the answers already. We are waking up from the definition of success culture has placed in our lives. Greatness is being redefined. Priorities are being focused on and clarified.
Now, is a time of great growth. It is the time to stop living the lie and start living the truth. To run from what we believed incorrectly and take hold of what is true and right.
Letting Go of Other People’s Success for Me
I have to let go of the definitions of success other people have created for me.My reality is this: “Success starts at home.” And so, my success starts with my wife and daughters. With building into our relationships and the prosperity of them.
Greatness is taking care of myself so I live well with my family. Eating right, getting exercise, always learning, understanding my emotions and putting my strengths to work.
Success and greatness in my life are not only defined by my own principles, but also by God. From reading the Bible and Prayer. Allowing the Holy Spirit to move in and through me to understand my role and true success in His Kingdom here on earth.
These are most important. If I do these well. Then I will be successful.
How do you define success? Does this seem like a new idea to you? Or an old one?