Achieving Success

Do you ever have worries, doubts, or fears that you will never achieve anything in your life? I do. There are times when I look at myself in the mirror as the years roll by, and I wonder what — if anything — I am accomplishing.

One standard by which people measure achievement is money. I remember seeing an article in a magazine about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2007. At that time, he was only 23 years old, but he had already become a billionaire. It is easy to fall into feelings of worthlessness, low self-esteem, and doubt when we compare ourselves to people who have made a lot more money than we have.

Another way to measure achievement is to consider the “richness” of our relationships. How many trustworthy, dependable, and loving friendships have you made? Have you used your influence to secure wealth in the form of human connections, or do you isolate yourself? Human relationships are a better way to measure success than monetary wealth, but this is still not the standard by which we ought to evaluate our achievements in life.

For many, building a strong, healthy, and loving family is the ultimate standard by which success is measured. Once I attended a funeral of a man who had lived to be 87 years old. Dozens of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren attended his funeral. They shared laughter, tears, and many great stories about the significant role this man played in touching their lives. It seemed as is this man’s entire life was devoted to one simple word: family.

Wealth can be measured in many ways. We can think of health as a measure of achievement. Certainly, being able to run a marathon during the golden years of retirement would be quite an achievement. For some, enjoying a committed relationship with a spouse brings ultimate satisfaction. Others may have traveled the world, gazed upon awesome and inspiring natural wonders, and tasted delicious and exotic foods. I know of one young man who had traveled to all 50 states before graduating high school, and he had visited six of the world’s seven continents before turning 25. I cannot say that I am not a little jealous of his experiences because I share his thirst for adventure.

You may be able to offer some ideas of your own to describe the best way to measure achievement. However, there is truly only one way to know if you have maximized your potential for success in life. The question we must ask ourselves is this: Do I know Jesus?

You see, the word achievement quite literally means “to ascend to the chief,” and it implies climbing to the top. It is no accident that we speak of achievement in terms of “moving up the corporate ladder” or “climbing a mountain.” When we seek achievement, we are trying to get to the top of something, but what do we expect to find at the summit of our experiences? After you have become a billionaire, what will you do next? When you have made thousands of friends, how many more friends will it take to fulfill your need for human relationships? Sadly, any grandparent knows that the ecstatic joys of a growing family are balanced against the emotional burdens of watching children and grandchildren suffer life’s hardships.

There are many ways to measure achievement, but the only true achievement in life is to know Jesus. He is the head of the family, the spirit at the top of the mountain, and the king who gives value to gold. It is a mistake to measure success in life by your relationship to money, to people, to experiences, or even to your own body. True wealth is found solely in a person’s relationship with God through his son Jesus Christ. When you have achieved success in knowing Jesus, then success in every other area of life follows.


[Are you battling anxiety or depression because you haven’t achieved success in your life? It may be time to allow Jesus to take control of your decisions. Click here to set up an appointment with a Christian counselor].

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