Success. . .What is success? Our society today will tell you that success is measured by the wealth you obtain, the position you hold, your style of clothes, the beauty of your outward appearance, the number of acquaintances you have, etc. As a child success was something I always longed for. A status which I strived to obtain. The thought of being known as successful was something that I thought would cure my problems and bring me happiness. Well here is the truth. If we measure our success off of what the world considers “success”, constantly comparing ourselves to others, we will never feel successful. Instead we will open the door for self-doubt. Which is one of the adversary’s greatest tools. So how do we become or feel successful? It’s simple. By having a paradigm shift. By seeing success for what it really is. By realizing what success is in terms of our Heavenly Father.
Towards the end of January I came home early from serving an LDS mission in Honduras. It was something I had planned to do for the next 18 months of my life and after 3 months in… my feet were back on American soil. While my time in Honduras was some of the best times of my life it was also the hardest, and a wall of challenges existed that I couldn’t seem to just break through. My once planned future turned into a foggy area of “What now?”. And to top it off, I had never felt so unsuccessful in my life. Not only did I not complete by intended time of service, but I had already deferred for college and… I was jobless. According to the worlds standards, I was pretty unsuccessful.
So how did I get out of this slump of feeling so unsuccessful? By realizing what success is in terms of our loving Heavenly Father and not according to the terms of the world. I shut the views of the world out which allowed more room for my Savior and Heavenly Father to take root in my heart. Too often we look at our lives, comparing it to others, and we think to ourselves “I’m a failure”, “I could have done better”, “Why can’t I be stronger?”, or “Wow, I wish I could be like them”. I beg of you to please stop. Just stop. Our God is not a harsh God, rather He is our loving Heavenly Father. He isn’t tallying our failed attempts but instead rejoicing every time we pick ourselves up, wipe the dust off of our knees, and place our feet in front of us.
Two of the most successful people I know just happen to be my sisters. One used to have many addictions with substance abuse and the other is currently going through a divorce. The trials they have overcome and continue to battle each day make them some of the most successful examples in my life. So whether you feel like you’re on top of the world or you feel like you’re an unsuccessful parent, child, student, teacher, employee, boss, athlete, etc…remember, success is not measured by the heights you reach but instead by the distance you bounce back after you’ve fallen.