Defining Success

Twelve years. Twelve years ago next week (in fact my last day of work for 2014) I graduated from the University of Tennessee with my Bachelor’s degree. That moment defined success for me up until that point in my 21 years. I think that defines success for many people, most of which are aiming to get to the degree whether it be a traditional college age person or that non-traditional person-single mom, vet, retiree.

Seven years ago in May, success looked like accepting a full time job with a Master’s degree, in a profession I could not have fathomed five years prior ever working in.

Five years ago I started writing which was a success in and of itself for me.

Last year I had my first published piece which provided a new sense of success…

…and just six months ago (today!) I closed on my very first home, adding a new definition of success.


Success comes in different seasons of life in various forms, sizes and shapes. I heard a great quote last month where the artist said, “Don’t assume all people want the same type of success.” I believe that is so very true. Success for you in your life may look very different for me in mine, and it may not even be in my sphere of reality to be quite honest.

That’s the joy about our lives, and the freedom we have in them to make choices on decisions with the guidance and wisdom brought forth through diving influence and discernment. We get to write our very own definition of success because it is determined by our very own hearts. Those hearts which are in tune with the Spirit within and guided by the same Triune God are the same ones which beat for desires He gives to those who come before Him.

We try to make success fit into this box, which then gets conformed and fitted to apply to all. Success isn’t one-size fits all, just like we aren’t and the choices we make. What my success is defined as is shaped by my story, my experiences, my beliefs and ultimately my God. Don’t mistake it as my god either, contorting and distorting success into something to worship of your own making…

For many success may be getting out of bed each day, or not doing something that feeds an addiction…it may look like not saying the rumor you heard floating around at work or discovering a new way of doing business that brings accolades on your company. Success may mean a clean home or a dirty one…it may look like a meal on the table or on the go. Success may look like a promotion or a new job.

Success is never guaranteed but failure sure is, something I learned from Dave Barnes. He also said that it is worth staying in it in spite of the failure. We will face it in some form, but ultimately it’s how we respond that leads to the changing landscape of success for us as individuals, as families, as communities and as believers. It’s a daily journey with ourselves, with others and with God to define what success is in our lives. It’s not one goal set out at the beginning of each new year or each new season.

Our hearts and our lives are dependent upon us writing down what success means for us today.

So what is your definition of success today?

Mine? Sharing this with you all…

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