Recently in a bible study at church someone said “You have to decide what success means to you.”
We had been reading Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald and he prompts us to define the difference between a driven person and a called person. It’s a delicate distinction – one defined by the question “What does success means to me?”
I began to contemplate this question more sincerely. I’m not sure I really ever defined success for myself. One reason is that I am a low self-esteem individual. For me, I never succeed. It sounds harsh and it sounds self-loathing… which it kind of is… but it’s true. I can accomplish more in one day than some people some times do in a week and still not feel like I’ve succeeded. Usually, it’s because there is still more left on my to-do list. Until the list, which never ends, is COMPLETE, then I haven’t succeeded.
But it’s never complete… So how do I succeed? (Isn’t that a nice round circle of dysfunction?)
The answer, of course, is NEVER. And it, of course, also makes my private world (the little one inside my brain) never be at rest. It’s never in order. Because there is still so much to DO.
I’ve found myself, during this holiday season, inundated by my chore list. A lot of it has been placed there by yours truly and a LOT of it really doesn’t need done. One of my writer friend’s posted on Facebook this timely message: No where in the Bible does God say, “Thou shalt make decorated cookies for Christmas.” #lettinggoofstress
She is totally right! How can I ever hope to succeed if the list keeps growing?
But also – how do I see that I AM succeeding? It’s not easy for me. I’m down on myself almost constantly.
So here is what I’ve been doing:
1) Make a to-do list. And not just in my head. I actually write it down. But I don’t write EVERYTHING down for TODAY. I have a small notebook and I write 4-5 things down for each day. If they get done, I cross them off. If not, they go to tomorrow. I try not to let anything go more than 3 days. If I finish three or more – I’m happy.
2) Make a succeeded list. Okay… I haven’t done this yet. But here’s a start:
– Bought my own home, with my own money. Worked two jobs to keep it. Maintained it, paid the bills on time, and sold it for a small profit.
– Took the insurance licensing exam and passed – on the first try.
– Quit my insurance job and became a full time freelancer. Client list is growing.
– Been married for almost 6 years. Happily.
– Kept my dog alive for almost 11 years.
– Have been a good daughter to my parents. I’m there whenever they need me.
– With this blog I have completed 3 of the 5 things on my “to-do” list today.
– Have been a child of God for over 10 years and have grown in my faith. (THAT’S a big one.)
It’s a start. (I think I’ll now reward myself with lunch.)
How about you? What are your successes thus far? Write them down in the comments – I don’t care how short or long it is – just put it down in writing so you can see it and affirm yourself today!