We grow up in a world that trains us to be successful. Success is usually defined as being rich and famous or powerful. And so we pursue a path to gain wealth and fame or power.
Many who reach that goal then realise that it is a lie. How many famous people have crashed and burned in their lives. They end up destroying their marriage, being alcoholics or drug addicts, their kids hate their guts and they find that many ‘friends’ are just around them for what they can get from them. Life is hollow and lacks meaning… yet they are still rich, famous or powerful.
Now some rich and famous people don’t crash and burn for they have learnt that the goal to success is not measured in terms of wealth, fame or power. There is nothing wrong with being wealthy, famous or powerful because that is not what defines you as successful.
No one on their death bed ever wanted to make more money or bask in the fact they are famous or powerful. What they reflect on is those that are around them…those closest to them… their relationships….And the second thing that they reflect on is where am I going to now…what happens after I die.
Success is a journey. It has multiple peaks and not one ultimate pinnacle. One success builds on another. Setbacks and mistake will also help you build success. At different periods of your life, success maybe defined differently.
Bill Strickland, when speaking to Harvard students, had this to say:
Success isn’t a destination. It’s not something you pursue like a racetrack greyhound chasing a mechanical rabbit. Success is something you assemble from components you discover in your soul and your imagination. Authentic success, the kind of success that will enrich your life and enlarge your spirit, the only kind of success that matters, comes from knowing and trusting the deepest aspirations of your heart. If you try to live that way, in harmony with the real needs of your spirit, then you can’t help but craft a life that will automatically make the world a better place for everyone who lives in it, and, incidentally, you will dramatically increase your chances for success on all levels.
So where do you start?
The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.
1 Kings 10:24
The wisest man on Earth was King Solomon. He chose Wisdom over riches and impacted the nations around him and ended up with the riches as well. We can learn from him. This is what he says about Wisdom from the Holy Bible in the Book of Proverbs:
Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.
Seek the Wisdom God puts in your heart…success will closely follow.
A wise man would therefore conclude that he must first seek God. Out of intimacy with God, wisdom will flow.