The smell of melted butter and sweet hot chocolate wafts through the room as I flip the choc-chip chocolate pancake. A few minutes later I slide it onto a crisp white plate, top it with maple syrup, strawberries, and a generous dollop of fresh cream. Sunday morning brunch with my family. This is success.
Success - let's be honest we are all striving for some. The opposite, failure, is something we grow and learn from, but it's not something that we work toward. It's easy to feel like a failure, one look at Instagram, or social media and life can look pretty disappointing. It's easy to succeed at failing.
Comparing our situation to others isn't always fair or accurate. Someone may be smiling widely on Instagram but be completely broke. A couple may look happy in Facebook photos but be on the verge of divorce. Even when a family may be genuinely laughing on a skiing trip, we don't know the personal struggles and privileges each person possesses. The road to failure is always successful when we compare ourselves to others.
Success is an individual event. One person's success may be a normal day for someone else, or it may be a completely unreachable event for another. Measure your triumph against your own growth and ability.
Have you every asked yourself, what does success mean or look like for me?
What is success at work?
What is success at home?
What is success in my family?
What is success in my health?
How is today's success different to the past?
When I started out as a Bible worker in 2004, I was being paid less than $5 an hour, which was a real struggle. At the time one of the pastors I knew would bake muffins for their sick parishioners. I so desperately wanted to do that, but it was financially prohibitive.
Now, one of my measures of financial success is always having enough ingredients in the fridge and pantry to bake someone muffins. If you come to my house at any given time, I always have ingredients to bake you something sweet and comforting. This is success.