I think about success frequently. I mean, I want to live an excellent life and therefore succeed at what's really important. And here's what I've found: Success is being on the right path. (Actually I learned that from Earl Palmer. the pastor during my college years.) Success isn't fame, fortune, and position (although those may be nice). Instead, success is being on the path that aligns with how God has created us. That's where true happiness and hope are found.
I just spent a week with poor farmers in Honduras, working alongside a team that provided a loan so that these folks could ultimiately pay back the loan, own their land, and, in the process, farm more effectively. Ultimately the goal is that they could break the cycle of poverty where they only make enough to pay the farmer who owns the land that they farm. During the week, I wondered what success meant to them. I know there are fewer options for their life. It’s not a choice between studying at Princeton or Berkeley. It’s not, “What kind of job do I want?” but it’s “I’m thankful that I found work.” Nevertheless, I’m convinced that being on the right path is still the way to success for them too--loving their family, working as a community, living in faith, hope, and love. It even made me wonder why we get so easily distracted by the shiny objects of fame, fortune, and position.