I recently spent the weekend at a men’s Christian retreat and had a great time with friends and time to reflect on life, relationships and purpose. Our speaker was covering the age old topic of success and he covered it from the angle of life and your spirituality instead of what I normally hear and read from the business perspective. While I don’t think my impression of success has changed drastically, I have certainly learned a new definition of it that explains it much clearer to me. Its always been hard for me to describe success and I seemed to have different answers depending on who was asking me, a business associate or a personal friend.

The message of living your life with purpose is certainly not new to me and I continually look at ways to expand my own passions like writing, managing and serving others, mountain unicycling (among many other sports). I’ve written several articles about passions which to me, should always be highly tied to your purpose if they are going to be a lasting part of your life.

The Struggle of Success

Success: Consistently living with purpose

When you consider this definition of success, its easy to understand why so many people struggle with and don’t ever consider themselves successful. Purpose is not something that the majority has the luxury of knowing. Many people never find their purpose in life and they live without reason, just getting by with what they think life has to offer. I love the fact that with purpose in this definition, you can’t really just instantly become successful. I think that is very true as we all seem to know someone or have heard about someone that was considered successful in the sense of worldly things (money or belongings) but had many regrets and unhappiness still in their lives. I can definitely say the people I know who live with purpose are far happier and don’t regret nearly as many of their actions.

And back to the first part of the definition. This is what I’m sure hangs up a lot of people. There is an impression that you can suddenly be successful, like it is an event or some achievement. You hear all the time things like, “I’ll be successful when I get that job” or “I’ll be successful when I have 2 million dollars”. Those are events or single time line items. They have nothing to do with consistency and could come about from complete fluke or continual hard work. Success isn’t something that you simply get, its more like something that is earned and that is by being consistent. The consistent aspect of success doesn’t immediately come or go, and so success is something that you are doing.

What do you think about this definition of success and are you living consistently with purpose?

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