Strange title to appear on a blog titled: 3RsofSuccess, right?
The truth is, the longer I write about leadership and success the more I realize that real success is not what most people envision. If you did a word association test with 100 people and asked them to say the first thing that popped in their heads when you say, “Success!” What kind of responses do you think wou would get? I believe it would be things like: money, power, riches, mansion, Lamborghini, wealth, friends, influence.
Those things are all wonderful. I would be happy to have them all, and in quantity! The problem is a lot of people chase these things, maybe even attain them all, but never becoming successful.
I am a firm believer that real success may lead to the things on the list above, as well as love, peace, joy, happiness, strong family relationships and more. Yet most people who chase after these things end up like King Solomon at the end of his life realizing that all the striving for material and or even the more noble vestiges of success, do not create success. Chasing them is like chasing the wind.
So what is the secret of success?
I believe Albert Einstein summed it up nicely when he said, “Don’t try to be a man of success, rather try to be a man of value.”
When one focuses on being a man of success, the focus is all internal. What can I do, be, get, that will result in me being happy, wealthy, revered, powerful, etc. On the other hand, if one wants to be a man of value the focus shift 180 degrees to see what it is you can do that will help others.
In order to add the most value, I believe we have to first be connected to a greater purpose. I believe we are all in this world for a reason, and have been gifted with talents and abilities to achieve great things. That belief takes all my fears away because it is not all up to me to win or lose. I am just part of a plan. That belief also propels me to give my all to the purpose for which I was created and to be a person of character, because flaws in character, judgment, and integrity could cost me the opportunity to fullfill my purpose.
Once I am connected to my purpose and grounded in integrity, my focus to add value causes me to look at my family, my community and my world and ask, what can I do that will truly serve these people? What gifts and talents have I been given, and how can those be used to help the most people?
I am a student of history. When you think back to high school or college history classes, who are the people that you admired most? Was it the conquerors and empire builders? Was it the political or business leaders that dominated their day? Or was it the people that added value like Eli Whitney, Thomas Edison, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King, Ghandi, or Lincoln? Who’s legacy will be seen more positively; Joseph Stalin or Mother Theresa?
So what is better than “success?”… Serving!
I guarantee if you are a Servant Leader, and serve enough others well, connecting to the purpose for which you were created, and using your unique talents and gifts, the other things on your success list will also start showing up. You will not have to chase after them, they will be attracted to you like steel to a magnet! I have seen it in many successful people’s lives, and have been blessed to experience it in mine.