A wise man once said, “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” - Albert Einstein
Einstein was right…
If we’re being honest with ourselves, we’re all striving toward something; whether it be status, success, recognition, fulfillment, or to help others…
And while it’s a natural thing for us to want to be successful, how we approach success matters.
Are you trying to reach a certain status so you can please other people and prove yourself, or are you genuinely trying to add value to others?
I can tell you one thing: the latter is much more fulfilling.
You could go on and on trying to reach society’s definition of success, but unless you’re doing something fulfilling that’s adding value to others and setting your soul on fire, it won’t be fulfilling in the least bit.
Because it isn’t necessarily about success more than it is about the process. I like to think of success as more of a byproduct of doing something good.
In a similar way, the purpose of a goal isn’t to achieve a goal. It’s to become the person that is capable of bringing it forward.
Now, everyone’s definition of success varies…
So, why would you want to reach someone else’s definition of success if you have your own? And why would you want to reach it if you’re doing it for the wrong reasons?
I always like to say, “your why matters more than your how,” because your why is what propels you forward; it’s what sparks your passion and determination to reach whatever it is you set out to accomplish.
And so, if you have the wrong intentions, 1) not only are you lying to yourself, but 2) you’re wasting your time when there could be something better out there for you that is just waiting for you to tap into...
But you’re busy following what other people have told you…
Now don’t get me wrong, I believe it’s important to get feedback from people; especially those who can recognize our potential and help us grow…
But what I don’t believe in is to follow the voices of people who don’t truly know or understand what’s best for you.
You know yourself and your inner desires. So, why are you busy following what someone else’s idea of success is for your life?
I remember back in my early 20’s, sitting at the dinner table with my family when I shared my plans to start my very own cleaning business. The initial reaction of my family was not a positive one.
In fact, someone said I’d be better off taking a job as a mailman, because it was the “safe route.” It was stable and predictable, and I could be in a secure job for the rest of my life.
Well, I didn’t want the safe route. My calling wasn’t to be a mailman. I wanted to build a business, and take risks in that business, so I could grow it and walk through opportunities to add value to others; to experience freedom.
But here’s the truth: Success for that family member who said I was better off as a mailman did not look the same as success for me. And I’m not bitter toward this family member. In fact, I’m glad they helped me realize what I didn’t want. I didn’t want to settle. I wanted to move forward.
And that’s exactly what following my heart allowed me to do. After selling the cleaning business, I co-founded the John Maxwell Team where my impact reached thousands of people from all around the world.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t share this to boast. I share this to encourage you on your journey, because I’ve been where you are. I’ve gone through those times where I’m not sure if I’m taking the right next step. And those are the perfect times to check your intentions!
I still go through seasons where I have to check my intentions. I have to make sure that my actions are in alignment with my values and with my calling.
I want to ensure that I’m not doing something just because someone else told me to, but because I have a passion for it.
I challenge you today to pick up a piece of paper and a pen and to check your intentions.
What were the last 3 goals you set for yourself? Are they to set you on a path forward to live out your purpose, or are they to prove yourself to other people? Or are they for another reason?
Check your intentions! I believe it will work wonders for you and allow you to stay laser focused on what it is you desire.