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What Faith and Experience Have Taught Me about a Secret to Success

Updated on February 16, 2013

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!

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Defining 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.

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What does success "look like" for you?

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    • NuttSoRuff profile image

      NuttSoRuff 4 years ago

      Being satisfied with your own growth and progress as you continue to strive for your own personal goals - whatever that may be. Getting up each day and being a productive member of society...contributing to the world in your own way.

    • meditationhowto1 profile image

      meditationhowto1 4 years ago

      Enjoying life!

    • TheChefsWife profile image
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      TheChefsWife 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I agree. That is definitely success.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Success to me is living each day to fullest and seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary. Living with integrity and touching those around me in a special way

    • ReneeShearer profile image

      ReneeShearer 4 years ago

      I agree, success shouldn't be in terms of money. For me, success is about achieving my goals and feeling good about it.

    • Beth Buckley profile image

      Beth Buckley 4 years ago from Portland, OR

      To me, success looks like a smile on my face and a deep down good feeling in my chest space.

    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!

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    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?

    Agree

    Agree

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      • NuttSoRuff 4 years ago

        I completely agree. You can achieve success without hurting others. It's important to be kind and to help others along the way in life...as you may need help one day as well.

      • TheChefsWife 4 years ago

        @Lynne-Modranski: Yes.... I agree! :)

      • Lynne Modranski 4 years ago from Ohio

        I feel tremendously "successful" since I started following Christ! And the closer I get to Him, the more "success" I find. I have this overwhelming feeling that all is right with the world from time to time. I never had that before I really committed to be a Christ follower. Even when life throws curves, He keeps me steady. It's a shame more people don't see that Christ is the answer.

      • TheChefsWife 4 years ago

        @anonymous: Thank you Valerie!

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        This is beautiful and right on Anne! Thank you for the simple yet powerful reminder! :-)

      Disagree

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        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.

        Had you ever heard of the man in the link above before? - I would love to know your thoughts and feelings; please share here.

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          • TheChefsWife profile image
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            TheChefsWife 4 years ago

            @Lynne-Modranski: Did NOT know that! Interesting... thanks so much for sharing!

          • Lynne-Modranski profile image

            Lynne Modranski 4 years ago from Ohio

            I have heard of Nick. When anyone tells me what they CAN'T do, I refer them to Nick's story. Did you know that the word can't (in it's proper form) is not used anywhere in the Bible?

          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.

          Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance
          Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance

          Who would not want the second half of their life to be better than the first?!

           
          Success by Design: Ten Biblical Secrets to Help You Acieve Your God-Given Potential
          Success by Design: Ten Biblical Secrets to Help You Acieve Your God-Given Potential

          Another big name in Christian books.... Zig Ziglar. If I had the time I would read everything he's written.

           

          Thanks for visiting!

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            • TheChefsWife profile image
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              TheChefsWife 4 years ago

              @TheGoGlobalBabe: I'm so glad! My faith is a huge part of my life, so I will be writing much more about it. :)

            • TheGoGlobalBabe profile image

              TheGoGlobalBabe 4 years ago

              I felt inspired reading this lens. I have a lot of spirituality in my heart and soul so this lens meant a lot.

            • TheChefsWife profile image
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              TheChefsWife 4 years ago

              @flycatcherrr: You are exactly right! Not possible at all. Thanks for sharing.

            • flycatcherrr profile image

              flycatcherrr 4 years ago

              I like the metaphor of foot washing in a broad context - it's a personal service, a practical service, and one that requires the washer to kneel down in a position of humility. Not possible to wash the feet of another if your nose is in the air! Thank you for sharing your story and outlook.

            • TheChefsWife profile image
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              TheChefsWife 4 years ago

              @Beth Buckley: Thank you. :)

            • Beth Buckley profile image

              Beth Buckley 4 years ago from Portland, OR

              Thanks for sharing your personal story. It is very inspiring!

            • SusanDeppner profile image

              Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

              I most definitely agree with you. Being a servant, or an encourager or teacher, reaps huge rewards!

            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!

            Final thoughts?

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