I read something that has rattled around in my brain all day.
A woman asked her husband to define success and his answer was that it is the accumulation of wealth. Further, when she asked if she was successful, he said they were in their way because she was in school to get a better job.
I know this is how the world might define success. But it leaves me feeling cold and hollow.
Now, to be honest, I do like having a nice house to live in. I like that The Dad and I both have our own cars to drive and I like to have a fairly full closet. More than those things, I do sleep better knowing our savings are set aside in case of that proverbial “rainy day.” Even more so, I take pride in planning our finances so that we can make a significant contribution to our kid’s college education. I am not beyond the lure of wealth.
I get it. I see those things. I see how people are judged when their clothes are deemed inferior. I see the magazines full of “successful” people. I see the money to be made with name brand everything, with anti-wrinkle cream, hair dye to cover the grays, hundreds of diets to make bodies look “better.” I’m not beyond any of that. In fact, I’m constantly fighting to rise above judgement and the trap of perceived beauty.
But, I know that isn’t what it’s all about. I know that all the money in the world cannot fulfill me. Certainly it can open doors and create opportunities, but in my book success is not wealth.
Success is making a difference in someone’s life. Success is being loved and loving someone else more than you love yourself. Success is finding your passion and using it to make an impact. Success is living a life that leaves more blessings in its wake than it leaves pain. Success is going to bed at night, knowing that you did something that mattered – even in the smallest way.
Regardless of the status of my savings account or my ability to buy something nice for my house, I can’t sleep at night when I know I haven’t shown others love. There is an empty feeling when I know I’ve chosen my own comforts over other’s needs. Wealth is great, but it is never going to be enough.
To quote Toby Mac, “I don’t wanna gain the whole world and lose my soul.”