“Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.” – Robert H. Schuller.
The paths of successful people are shaped by that type of mindset. Both sunshine and rain fall on each of our lives, one building character and strength and the other bringing the beautiful rewards of perseverance through the storm. We are to focus on the promise of hope, and use the hurt as an experience that builds wisdom.
Cultural success is defined by material wealth, prestige, and fame. Generally, those are the things also apt to cause failure in the key aspects of life that bring genuine satisfaction and happiness. In other words, following cultural pathways to success leads one into a minefield of traps and snares that produce undesired results. For instance, debt, jealousy, and selfishness are all conditions bred by successful definitions, yet each one is a trap loaded with destruction. Cultural success says you need to live a certain level of lifestyle, but doing so often means living beyond our means. There is no one that starts out their adult life with the wish: I sure hope I accumulate a mountain of debt and become saddled with stress and worry.
True success is measured by the net results of our efforts. True success is measured by the net results of our efforts. Does our integrity remain intact? Is our family better served in the aspects of love, joy, and peace? Do our efforts help or hinder those around us? We may have gained tremendous wealth and notoriety, but if we did so at the cost of all goodness then success cannot be claimed in earnest. A successful man has the qualities of self-control, patient determination, faithfulness, and practices sacrificial leadership. The world may crumble around him, but that man will remain standing after the storm has ended. Here are some of the key traits that lead to a path of successful living.
Christian author and speaker Joyce Meyer gives a simplistic but effective quote about selfishness. It reads, “If selfishness is the key to being miserable, then selflessness must be the key to being happy.” If our definition of success is based on personal glory or gain, then we are going to encounter many traps. Good things happening to us, whether it be promotions, more money, or whatever it may be, are not the cause of how we can get off track. The trouble arises when we don’t keep those things in their proper perspective. As the leader, the needs of the family always come first, and everything else is secondary.
There is wisdom that says, The best way to avoid divorce lawyers is to stay married. Heed that wisdom if it’s possible. Marriage is indeed a partnership and we can only control our side, but do so with great care and unbreakable loyalty. Loyalty to your spouse, your family, your friends, and your career is not the easiest path in life, yet it brings peace of mind. More men are miserable because of a guilty conscious than almost any other reason. The reward of loyalty is a clear conscience.
Maintaining High Standards
We should always be striving to achieve a higher standard. Setting expectations for the future gives us the motivation to get there. Make a list of both short-term and long-term goals about where you wish your family to wind up. Envision your marriage with an empty nest and what that will look like. Imagine your children as adults and what type of people they will be. How do those scenarios wind up with happy endings?
Avoid Large Debts
Debt is oppressive. Better to live meager than to live lavish as a slave because life cannot be enjoyed or appreciated that way. We will always be pushing a rock uphill, instead of standing at the summit and surveying all the possibilities ahead. Keep your options open because you never know what great thing is just around the corner.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you think success is?”