The Right Recipe for Success

(Before reading this post make sure to read our last post about the wrong recipe for success)

The first step to success is to know what it is. It sounds simple, but ask 10 people what it means and you’ll get a variety of answers. Most replies will focus on money.

So how do you define success? Endless wealth? Satisfying relationships? A career doing what you love? Personally, I don’t think there is a better definition than the one given by John Maxwell: “Success is knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others.”

Now that it’s defined, how do you get there? I believe this is the right recipe for success:

Clear Purpose + Smart Goals + Daily Action = Success.

 Clear Purpose

I read about a very wealthy businessman who broke down crying at the end of his life, confessing how he would trade all his wealth just to know his purpose. Let me be incredibly clear: You can be wealthy without knowing your purpose, but you will never feel successful unless you have a grip on your purpose.

Smart Goals

Do you have goals? I don’t mean wishes…dreams…desires…I mean goals. Most people can’t even define the difference between a goal and a desire, but the difference is vast. We discuss goals in depth in other posts, but suffice it to say that until you develop a daily (or at least weekly) habit of goal-setting, you will fall short of your true potential. Don’t underestimate the power of goals.

Daily Action

Here’s where the true difference is between the successful and non-successful people. The average American can tell you what happened on Glee the last three weeks but can’t tell you what action they’ve taken towards their goals in the last three months (or years???).

I’m writing this post in a coffee shop in Orlando. We get a lot of retirees in this area, and for about the last hour I’ve been listening to these two gentlemen talk about their retirement. One of them made a statement about how his brother’s pension was 3 times higher than his because his brother had worked longer for the union. He made the following statement, “If I had only invested five more years into the union my pension would be better.”

IS THIS NOT A TRAGIC STATEMENT?

What if he had invested five years into taking action every day towards his goals instead of working towards someone else’s dreams? He wouldn’t have even needed to quit working…just small focused action every day will yield tremendous results over the course of years.

I’m convinced that most people are stuck in jobs they don’t love, working with people they don’t like, going to bed every night feeling generally like a failure. They don’t pursue their dreams because they either feel like it’s unattainable or don’t believe they have what it takes. Neither are true.

Purpose is like a jigsaw puzzle. Some people get to see the front of the box and they know exactly how the different pieces of their lives fit into the big picture. For me, I get a couple of pieces at a time, just enough to keep moving in the right direction. But the overall picture (the “finished product” of my life) is still hazy. I can move forward with confidence though because I trust that God knows the big picture and is helping me fit the pieces together.

So whether your have the full picture or just a piece of the puzzle, strive to define what your clear purpose is in this season of your life. Set clear goals which act as steps toward your purpose. And take daily action towards those goals. That, my friends, is a recipe for a life well-lived.

Committed to your success,

-Wesley

P.S. We’d love to hear from you! Where are you at in the journey – still figuring out this “purpose” thing, working on goals, or trying to develop the habit of daily action? We respond to 100% of our comments!

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3 Responses to “The Right Recipe for Success”

  1. Cassi Says:

    I know in one of my classes, we had a few days dedicated to defining success. At first, we were very narrow-minded, explaining it as if it was a tangible thing, and not the concept of reaching a goal, by following some of these things that you have presented.

    Personally, I’m still finding my “purpose.” Right now, my whole purpose is centered around graduating from high school next year and getting into a good, yet affordable, university. From there, who knows.

    Reply

  2. Wes & Beth Says:

    Hi Cassi! I’m 36 now and am starting to see how some of the desires in my heart from when I was younger are starting to come to pass. You’re in such a great place! When I was younger I would get frustrated because I kept waiting for God to answer the big question in my heart of “what is my life’s purpose.”

    If life is a journey, I was trying to figure out the entire trip before even starting. You can do that with a road trip, but not with life. Sometimes we just have to map it out as best as we can in the moment, start driving, and trust God for any course corrections. You’re on the right track. Blessings, Wesley

    Reply

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