The Meaning of Success

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I clearly remember my surprise when a coworker asked if I considered myself successful. I stopped what I was doing and turned around, realizing that more than really wanting to know if I was successful, she was trying to find a definition of success she could fit herself into. I will share with you my thoughts and feelings about success as I did with her that morning.

Success is usually defined by how others see us and think about us. Most of the time success is based on how much money we have (and show it off), what label of clothes we wear, where we live, who we hang out with, what we look like, the car we drive, and the list goes on and on.

Also, success is defined by a means to an end. For instance, to a mother who is trying to stop her kids from hanging out with the wrong crowd, she will point at “certain buddies” as successful friends to hang with, in order to illustrate how “that other group of kids” are not, so therefore, “hanging out with such, it will stop you from succeeding”.

To a woman who is trying desperately to fit in a social group of women who probably are wealthier than her, success will be marrying a guy who makes a lot of money, so therefore, she is successful.

To a young man who is entering college and comes from a family with strict parents who place importance on academic performance, success will imply getting all straight A’s.

As I tried to shared my definition of success with my friend, I made a quick trip to my past, realizing that my life was probably far from successful for many people. From fashion designer to music teacher to counselor. From musician to writer. From married to divorced and later remarried. Mother of two, always struggling financially and working real hard. So much accomplished but yet so many changes.

Somehow life has put me in situations I have had to move and follow each cycle as it comes.  I have had to change jobs, apartments and in some cases even friends. I have had to change life styles and living structures.

However, I joyfully realized every single thing I’ve done, I’ve done with my heart. In every professional area I’ve moved, I’ve done my best and have been recognized by employers and coworkers. When it has been time to accept what I was doing was no longer what I should had been doing, I’ve had the courage to move and do what needs to be done. I’ve given the best I could possibly give to my kids, have accepted my flaws and mistakes and continued working with myself to be a better person.

Yes, I consider myself successful, because to me success is not how others see me. Success is loving and accepting yourself for who you are, but always giving yourself completely in every task so you can feel the gratification of knowing you did nothing but the best. Success is knowing you can die tomorrow and realize that after all, your husband, kids, family and friends will feel nothing but pride in who you were and how you treated them.  And most important, knowing that God is looking at you with a smile on His face because you’ve simply done your very best!

A Lesson from the Past…

Your Past Is Your Lesson In 2010 I was going through a very hard moment in my life.

The job I had was pretty much done. I didn’t have much of a job offer ahead of me,  just a single pay check that was not enough to even buy my son’s medicine for a month (no less to pay rent, buy food, transportation, etc…)

At that moment, I got a call from the Director of a Counseling Center offering me a job as a therapist.  Aware I had no knowledge in the field, I was being sent to to get credit hours with an amazing teacher and tutor, all expenses covered (around 6,000 Dollars).

I can’t start listing all kind of excuses I gave NOT TO BECOME A COUNSELOR. I didn’t think I would be good at it. I didn’t think I would be able to rent a car because I didn’t have a credit card. I couldn’t go because I didn’t have anyone to leave my kids with.  Anyway, ALL EXCUSES.

The plain truth was I DIDN’T WANT TO DO IT. I had already moved to so many new fields that I was so tired and afraid to move AGAIN, and to have to start from scratch. I kept praying, asking God to please find me a job in the same areas I had already worked on (which I felt confident and happy about), but God’s answer was NO.

I kept finding myself with no choices and I had to do something or my kids and I would be kicked out of our apartment and out into the streets.

Long story short, every single excuse I gave God found the solution in ways I couldn’t continue saying no. The kids went to visit their father that summer, so I didn’t have to worry about them. Someone offered to rent the car for me under her name so that was taken care of. The teacher worked her schedule with me and before I knew it, off I was to learn a new trade.

I must confess, the first week I cried every day on my way to the center where I was required to do my observations. I didn’t think it was possible for me to feel any better. However, by week 3 I was a totally different person.

This time, I was crying over my own stubbornness and not realizing how foolish I had been. God was holding my blessings right there, in my face, but I was too afraid to see them. I realized THIS IS NO LONGER ME DOING THE JOB. THIS IS GOD!!!!!

I started a new spiritual path and an amazing rewarding new job experience that at times made me question why it took me so long. People I was working with could never imagined me doing something other than counseling. Yet in 2012, God was moving me again to a new direction.

Sometimes God won’t ask our permission to move us. Most of the time He doesn’t expect us to be experts in a certain field because HE IS THE EXPERT!!! Sometimes, all God wants is to show us all the amazing things He can do THROUGH US AND IN US so we may continue receiving and enjoying the incredible blessings he has for us.

Yes, my life has been quite a journey, a learning process that sometimes I make more painful than it needs to be. I keep learning to trust God every day. I know that He is great and when it comes to the movie of my life, it will get better simply because HE DOESN’T PRODUCE BAD MOVIES.

Today I share with you, my friend, if you find yourself saying “no, I can’t do this…” “no, I don’t enjoy this…”, my experience showed me, GOD WON’T LEAVE YOU ALONE. When you finally give up and say, “okay, Lord, I’ll do it, but you’ll have to do it because I’m totally incapable of doing this,” HE WILL DO AMAZING THINGS AND WILL MOVE YOU ON TO NEW CHALLENGES.

My words for your heart are to stop fighting God and let go. He will do whatever takes. Therefore, let go and let God.