Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day Nine: Defining Success and Achievement

As we reach out from the planning stage into actually doing the things on our list of goals and dreams, I think we should stop and visualize what we want success and achievement to feel and look like. Of more import, how do your ideas of success and achievement line up with God’s plan for your life? (Sometimes I forget to stop and ask Him.)

1. How would you define the word “success?” Is that the same as or different from the way you define “achievement?”

2. What in your life,, has shaped the way you defined “success” and “achievement?”

3. Are your definitions of success and achievement based on a comparison between yourself and someone you admire?

4. Are your definitions of success and achievement mostly ruled by that fleeting sensation of checking something off a list, or are they built to last even after that elation of “check the box” has ran out?

5. Are your definitions of success and achievement an on-going journey or are they a destination?

I don’t believe success and achievement are the same things. One can achieve something by completing a task or finishing a goal, but that does not necessarily make them a success. Nor does success require that we achieve very much. We can still be a success by achieving very small seemingly insignificant goals. Here is how the Bible defines the keys to success:

My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. (Proverbs 3:1-4) ESV

The achievements to success are distilled into three things:              
-Don't Forget God's Teachings
-Keep His Commandments
-Keep Steadfast Love and Faithfulness

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
(Matthew 26:36-40 ESV)

Here is the very last question to ask yourself during this exercise, how do your definitions of success and achievement, all that you want to do and be and accomplish, how do they line up with God’s Word and his keys to success? Perhaps, some of the items on your list need evaluating. I know mine did!


  1. Uh oh... I was afraid we were going to get to the do part of this 31 days :)! I am so much better at dreaming and planning than actually doing. I have had so much fun making out my schedule etc. but knew we would come to implementation eventually. This is so good for me. I love the way you have stepped us through this process.
    I work hard to make sure my goals line up with God's Word. I certainly don't always do it right but He knows where my heart is. Two main goals I am looking at are: eating healthy and taking better care of my family, i.e. cleaning/ cooking more. I believe both of those- taking care of our bodies and other people are instructed in the Bible. Thanks for the verses/ reminders!

    1. Uh oh... is exactly how i felt when I started writing the "doing" posts. Sometimes I get side-tracked and forget to check in with God so this post was a reminder to me as much as anyone else. I had hoped to work on a business plan, but the more and more I sat and looked at my list, I saw there were other things, right now, that were more in line with where God is trying to lead me. Surrendering to his nudging hasn't been easy.