Defining Success

This morning I am pondering the differences between my definitions of ‘success’ and ‘failure’. How we define these words will dramatically affect how we live. What we think about something affects how we feel about it, and how we feel about something directs how we act towards it.

I ran across two qfile000946031331uotes and a scripture verse that really impact how I want to define success and failure in my life. I decided to share these quotes and my thoughts about them. I pray you find them encouraging.


“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

-Maya Angelou

I am not completely sure how to make this happen, but I want to focus on making this more of a reality in my life. I think these ideas are in order of importance and that they build on each other. If you do not like yourself you will be unable to like what you do or how you do it. Some people may feel that cultivating self-compassion is indulgent, selfish, and unnecessary. I strongly disagree. If we do not learn to love ourselves, we will never truly be able to embrace love from others. Learning to see ourselves as valued, loved, and created beings is vital to knowing and living our purpose.

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

-Winston Churchill

This is so encouraging. We must remind ourselves that failure is a normal and necessary part of the human experience. It in no way means that we are less than or inferior. We must learn to give ourselves the empathy and grace that we long for others to experience.

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” –

-Jesus in John 17:3

To me, this verse summarizes the entire definition of both success and purpose. Knowing someone implies relationship. Knowing also implies process, not perfection. I believe a relationship with our Creator is essential to  fully living our human experience. This verse is the key to making the other two quotes a reality.

Only when we know our Creator can we truly love ourselves as He does. Knowing our Creator also frees us to embrace our failures because we know our pain is not wasted. Failures become opportunities for grace and learning, not shame and fear. Today I am reminding myself that there is an Author who is writing my story, and all He calls me to do is to join him (Hebrews 12:5).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *