By Joy Wong
For most of my life, I’ve measured my own success based on grades, accolades, and other achievements. But lately, as I’ve become more attuned to the ways that I need to grow, I’ve been trying to redefine success for myself. Here are some statements I’ve come up with for this season in my life:
Success is choosing to be courageous in spite of fear.
Success is resilience in the face of distress.
Success is asking for what I need or what I want.
Success is being generous with myself and others.
Success is being gentle, compassionate, and patient with myself and others.
Success is paying attention and being aware of myself.
Success is finding sacred moments in everyday life.
Success is orienting my life not towards achievements, but towards what and whom I love.
Success is being in touch with my anger, instead of denying it.
Success is laughing at myself.
Success is not allowing shame, embarrassment, or fear of failure keep me from enjoying life.
Success is falling flat on my face and deciding to get up and try again…and again…
I’m sure I’ll be adding to this list and changing it as the seasons in my life change, but it’s been helpful to have this preliminary list to remind me to let go of my usual driven-ness and to reorient myself to grow in ways that I need to. Perhaps we can all help each other to see the potential for growth in our lives, beyond usual, worldly measures. I’m curious to know…how would you redefine success in your life?
Joy Wong has an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary, a BA in English from Princeton University, as well as four years’ experience in industrial distribution management. She is a contributing author to Mirrored Reflections: Reframing Biblical Characters, published in September 2010. Joy and her husband live in Pasadena, California and attend New City Church of Los Angeles.