I realize this is an unusual piece, but I will try to put my words together the best way I can, so that the message would be passed across with simplicity.
Success as an entity has two distinct phases: the START phase and the FINISH phase. While it is good to concentrate on the journey itself and not just the destination, we must be careful not to miss the point in our lives, when we can say like Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race…” (2 Timothy 4:7).
I know how ambitious we all get and how determined we often are to achieve our goals in life. Take Education for instance, we put in hours and hours of studying, just to get good degrees. Many times we push ourselves beyond the limits, overcoming every possible obstacle along the way in our health, finance, relationships etc Majority of us conquer our fears and setbacks, and succeed against all odds. But we don’t stop. We only bask in the euphoria momentarily. Then we move on to the next goal; Career, Marriage, Business, Ministry…the possibilities are many. And even when we are old and grey, we still go on to pick up new hobbies and task ourselves with endless expectations, hardly slowing down. Until the grave calls.
For a lot of us, success is a non-stop cycle and we are unknowingly enslaved to it. Society largely contributes to the fallacy that if you don’t reach a particular peak in life, you are not really successful. The world we live in is full of such unhealthy competition, and a lot of lives are being trampled daily under the feet of those set-out on the mission to achieve some form of success or the other at any cost. It takes a bit of discretion and a lot of self will, not to participate in that rat-race.
Success is something you must learn to define by yourself. If you allow the society define what success is for you, you will never measure up to it. A man who finished from a community college shouldn’t try to measure his success by the standard of one who graduated from an Ivy League School. They are not the same, but they both might be actually successful. And even so, the former more than the latter. Success largely depends on individual goals and expectations. And especially whatever God has called you to do. That’s why the place of discovering and living out one’s purpose as ordained by God, is crucial. Your Purpose (Assignment) often determines the Process (Training) you pass through.
To be truly successful, knowing when to STOP is as important as knowing when to START. Know when to Stop.
Even in the basic things we do on a daily basis, like studying for instance, we need to apply wisdom in both starting and stopping at the right time. It’s foolishness to study while you should be resting, just as it is foolishness to play while you should be studying.
There is nothing wrong with trying to do your best everytime, but don’t become carried away by what others are doing that you don’t even realize that you have been able to achieve your own goals.
Be like Jesus who at last was able to say, IT IS FINISHED! (John 19:30).
This year, as you understand better what your unique definition of Success is, pls know when to STOP. Even when the temptation to continue is strong.