Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.
Albert Einstein[featured-image single_newwindow=”false”]
What is success? I know we have an idea of what success looks like, but most of what we envision as success is really the results of success. It has to be more than the things or the lifestyle we want. What is the nebulous idea we call success?
The word “success” comes to us from the Latin word “succedere” which means “come close after” or “to follow after.” To me, that seems like a different meaning altogether from how we define success in our modern culture. We define success as the end of our journey, the culmination of our lives. But success might mean something different.
What if, instead of being the end goal, success were the byproduct of something much more meaningful in our lives. What if success were the result of us creating value in the lives of others? What if success were to naturally flow or “follow after” our sincere desire to serve, inspire and create value for the people and the world around us. Doesn’t that feel different?
That’s the problem with those who step on others to get what they want. They may achieve their end, but it’s empty, hollow, and certainly not success. All the material wealth or power in the world can’t make up for knowing you sucked value out of the world instead of creating it. That doesn’t feel successful.
I’d be lying if I said the material benefits of money, freedom, or security are not a motivating factor to strive for success. We all want those things. The paradigm shift happens when we stop making those byproducts the end product. Instead, let’s seek to add value to those around us. Let’s seek to solve their problems, help their lives, invest in their success.
The truth is that’s good business. And it feels better too.