What Faith and Experience Have Taught Me about a Secret to Success
Why is it a Secret to Success?
Is there really such a thing as secrets to success? With an abundance of information available through books and the internet, it would seem there really could be no such thing. But the "secret to success" I have discovered and experienced, I believe, could be considered a secret simply because it's not something traditional wisdom would identify as a way to achieve success!
Success can be defined in many ways and also achieved in many ways. By this, I mean that some people seem to see success only in terms of how much money one makes, how much status one achieves, or how far and how fast one can climb the corporate ladder.
There is nothing wrong with these things, in and of themselves, but the definition of success can go much deeper than this and may not include any of these things for others. This can depend largely on your worldview and whether or not you look at things through the lens of faith.
Success and Faith
The Bible has quite a bit to say about success, but there is a certain passage from the Book of Mark that has taught me the most about success:
"They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, 'What were you arguing about on the road?' But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.'" [Verses 33-35]
Think about this. Do you want to be successful or do you want to be great?
In my opinion, you can be successful, but not necessarily great. Have you ever known someone, or of someone, who achieved success in many ways, but had no friends? Maybe they had a reputation of being a workaholic but cared about no one but themselves? Or they moved up quickly in the corporate world but plowed over everyone in their path on the way to the top?
Now think of people who became legends. When they passed on from this world, they were deeply missed and remembered forever for the legacy they left behind. Every one of those people also would be considered successful. So while you can have success without greatness, I would say greatness always equals success as well!
Jesus Modeled Serving Others for Us
[Warning: This video is not suitable for young children, and parents should use wise discretion as to what age their child is ready to view a video this graphic.]
Jesus showed us exactly what serving other people means, right down to including loving our enemies, as this video clip from The Passion of the Christ demonstrates. This scene, to me, is a perfect extension of the verse that tells us that Jesus said about those who were executing him, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34)
That Jesus used foot washing as an example of serving others is significant because, in that time and culture, people wore sandals and walked on dirt roads to get where they needed to go. You can imagine how dirty their feet would have been.
What do you think?
Agree or disagree?
Personal Experiences and A Little Background
I was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" by my senior classmates in high school. It was a tremendous honor. I was unable to locate the yearbook with a photo showing this achievement before publishing this lens, but when I do find it I will update it and add it here!
I have struggled in my personal life journey as someone who is goal-oriented but also decided in college that, if possible, I wanted to be the one to raise my children at home. I know there is an ongoing discussion between "stay-at-home" moms about the challenge some have with being home doing duties that can sometimes be mundane and seem "below" their education and experience. If outlets for personal interests are not maintained, boredom can set in and even depression!
They know in their hearts the job of a mother is a high calling and the long-term benefits their children will make the sacrifice of career worth it. Those "mundane duties", from the perspective of the Bible passage above, become ways to serve family during the stage of life in which children are being raised.
Some find ways to make an income from home, which is what I have done. It enables me to contribute to our family income needs and also to continue using and strengthening some of my skills. As you can see from some of my other lenses, Picky Eaters: Resources, Recipes and Tips from a Nutritionist and Chef and How to Format for Kindle: 5 Easy Steps, I also co-author with my husband a food blog, and we have recently published our first recipe eBook.
During the process of learning and networking, I came across another blogger, Lisa Cash Hanson, who is a Mompreneur that has experienced great success making money from home. I began following her and learning from her. She started a networking group, The Club (see big arrow below to check it out), which I decided to join, including an inner circle. This has provided one of the biggest lessons for me about how serving others can unlock doors to your own success.
The members of the inner circle sometimes have special projects they are working on for their business or endeavors. We have helped each other with things like feedback on graphic design, editing processes, product reviews and more. What you find is that when you offer to help someone with something they are working for, they are eager to return the favor, as you are when the tables are turned! It opens doors of opportunity you would not have otherwise had!
I have heard before that you can't "out give" God. This is the same type of principle.... reaping what you sow. When you give to others through service, it comes back to you, sometimes multiplied!
I only heard about him in recent years, but I was amazed by his story! He could have chosen a much different path but thank God he overcame.
What a Way to Begin Life As a Married Couple!
I organized and led a foot-washing ceremony for a volunteer meeting at church once. This is the first time I have seen a foot-washing ceremony as part of a wedding! I was moved to tears watching this and am very impressed that this couple started their marriage serving others in this way.
Who would not want the second half of their life to be better than the first?!
Anything written by this author has to be good.
Another big name in Christian books.... Zig Ziglar. If I had the time I would read everything he's written.
Ask The Chef
If you have read some of my other lenses, you may know that my husband and I co-author a food blog. One way we serve our readers there is through our Ask The Chef forum.
This is where readers may send a question about cooking or a recipe, and my husband, trained in Culinary Arts by the prestigious Johnson and Wales University, will answer it for them if he knows the answer! We would love to serve you in this way if you have any questions or may in the future that he could possibly answer for you. Just click on the picture above!