Success. Failure. Both present themselves as our greatest motivators and our greatest fears.
If we measure success only by things achieved, numbers gained, ground acquired, awards won, or influence attained, I think we miss the whole point. The time we have here on this earth, our one lifetime, is meant for more than success measured by those standards. The purpose of our lifetime is a transformational journey of becoming who God created us to be, in His image.
I believe that success and failure are partners with the same end goal….growth. In order to truly measure our success, we have to be willing to embrace our failure. Winston Churchill said it this way:
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
When we measure success by what we do or what we have, we always find our selves “less than” someone else. There will always be someone who has more money, more fame, more possessions, more authority, or more influence than we do. True success in this lifetime can be measured by who we are.
If growth is our goal, then how we measure success really matters. What if we begin to think about the measure of success in new ways? Here are a few ways we can measure success by a different scale.
- We measure success by our attitude in the face of failure. – Rather than seeing failure as the end of who we are, we can see it as the launching point to who we will become. We embrace an attitude of enthusiasm, hope, and motivation that this failure teaches us one more lesson we need in our transformation. We appreciate the valuable lesson in it and use that to fuel our growth.
- We measure success by the contrast of who I was yesterday in comparison to who I am today. – We can choose to wake up everyday, look in the mirror, and ask ourself, “Who am I going to be today?” Our success lies more in the daily choices of who we are than the yearly choices of what we do, where we go, what we have, and how we got there. Regardless of the journey scattered with successes and failures, if we can see significant growth and transformation in who we are, our measure of success is great.
- We measure success by the depth of our character. – We very well may fail by the standards and measures of others, but if we have done it with true humility, there is a measure of success. We may find ourselves disappointing others or not living up to their expectations, but if we have developed surrender, integrity, and compassion in the process, there is a measure of success. If our character develops and deepens with each disappointment, failure, mistake, and misstep we are achieving success in our life’s journey.
What is your attitude in the face of failure? Who are you becoming? Is your character increasing?How do you measure success?