keys to success

The Key to Success Is Defining It

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What comes to mind when you imagine a “successful” person? A rich man or woman. Somebody who runs a company or can afford double the square footage of your current residence. But is that real success? The dictionary defines success as the achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted. So if you go home tonight and desire to mop your floor and do it, you can be successful! And you don’t need Tony Robbins to help.

Of course, we can get goofy about it. But how sad is it that we determine the ultimate success of someone in our culture in completely materialistic terms? It’s a reflection of our shallow nation. What is the actual key to success? Defining it. Here’s how.

Now there’s nothing wrong with nice material things but remember—money is a great servant, but a poor master.

The key to success is defining it this way: living a family-saturated life. This is the idea that loving your spouse while raising children of character is a greater accomplishment, as far as you are concerned, than driving the latest BMW. Now there’s nothing wrong with nice material things but remember—money is a great servant, but a poor master.  So how do we live a family-saturated life?

Like in the business world, let’s craft a “vision” you can use or adapt for your family.

Family Vision

To live my life deliberately to encourage, prompt, and foster spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical growth in my spouse and children.

Family Strategy

Also like in the business world, let’s craft a “strategic plan” for achieving your family’s vision.

1. To Lead by Example

To demonstrate a consistent pattern of self-sacrifice for my spouse and children. This includes the deliberate putting aside of selfish interests for the good of my family—understanding that the rewards of doing so will far outweigh the slight sacrifice.

2. To Make Time for Family

A deliberate lifestyle of quantity and quality time with spouse and kids. This means not only engaging in family outings but also not trying to crunch family time in between other obligations so that I’m more concerned about external events than my internal household.

3. To Commit to Expressing My Love

I know my kids need me to speak their love languages. Even though sometimes speaking their love languages doesn’t come naturally to me, I will do it anyway.

4. To Speak Encouraging Words to My Kids

I know my kids aren’t perfect and will make mistakes and willfully disobey. But regardless, I will not use words to demean them or tear them down. Instead, I will choose words and have attitudes that firmly correct them but, in the end, also build them up.

5. To Limit Distractions in the House

Football games, computer programs, and even yard work all can be great in themselves. But I will only engage in these and comparable activities as long as it does not detract from family. My time with my kids is priceless and I will make it a priority.

6. To Actively Engage in My Kids’ Worlds

This includes deliberate steps to listen and watch what my kids are listening to and seeing and to get to know my children’s friends. I know our society encourages kids to rebel and behave wrongly, so I will take steps to limit this influence and instead pour into my children good and pure things.

7. To Take Responsibility for the Proper Education of My Children

I will not leave learning up to an unknown teacher but will actively partner with my children’s educators to ensure my children get the best education possible, which will give them a richer and fuller life.

8. To Live with the End in View

I recognize my mortality and, therefore, wish to focus my limited time here on earth on things that are really important. With God’s help, I will leave my children an example of an upright man and loving father.

These are just a few ideas for your family strategic plan. But the point is that all successful people in the business world have specific steps to help them reach their goals. So why not have specific steps to help you reach yours for your family? You can have a great family, but it won’t be handed to you. You must live deliberately. Your children are counting on you.

Sound off: What do you think is the key to success?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “How would you define success?”