It is such an irony to me how our culture defines success! Men in particular need to feel like a “success” and be respected by their wife, peers and children. However, men are often mis-guided by the wrong definition of “success.” I think in order to define a person as a success you really need to break down “success” into categories: financial, health (mental/physical/spiritual), relational, purpose, etc.
It just kills me when I hear someone described as a success because they drive a Lambo (like the picture for example). They might even be in so much debt that they really aren’t even a true financial success. We all too often look at the outer shell or “image” and make assumptions about the other areas of life. Many people seem to make the false assumption that if they are financially successful then the other areas of health, relationships, etc will fall into line. In some cases this is true and the family handles their finances well, and demonstrate a good balance in life. However, I can’t help but think of the person driving the Lambo by himself/herself that is an absolute failure in virtually all of their personal relationships, is a mental health wreck and has no real purpose in life but to make money….yet they are considered a “success.”
I so badly want to pass along a different vision of success to my sons that I know will provide a life of fulfillment, joy and purpose! I hope and pray they understand that success must be balanced and built from a solid foundation through a focus on priorities that will create true substance/purpose in their lives. Life also has a way of forcing us to “cheat” something because we only have so much time/energy and at times hard decisions must be made. When this happens, I desperately hope my sons choose the things with substance and purpose and then work hard to support their families….not by letting go of substance to pursue money/financial success at all costs. All too often I encounter situations where relationships have become the casualties of the quest for financial “success.” Please know that I’m not in any way suggesting anyone neglect finances! It is a well known family fact that finances are by far the number one source of marital conflict and dads should lead by example and fight hard to make a good living, while making sound financial decisions at home. The sad fact is that people who make a lot of money are often just as vulnerable to financial problems as those making very little money. No matter how much money a family has coming in, they must make wise decisions or it can create real, detrimental problems. The wonderful thing is that real success can be had by anyone. It doesn’t take intelligence, money, or skill. However, it does require focus, humility and perhaps a lot of self sacrifice. In the end, the latter definition may be harder for some to attain that the first!
Encouragement: Are you pushing things financially to an unhealthy level? How can you create a solid financial base for you and your family that will allow you to be balanced in the other areas of “success” defined above (mental/physical/spiritual health, relational,etc) How do you really define “success” in your heart and what does this model to your sons?