Success is a word heard everywhere. You hear it in infomercials, from motivational speakers, in books, movies and even in sermons. Success is everywhere but not everyone agrees on the meaning.
To a baseball player success could mean hitting a grand slam home run. To some business professionals success is making a lot of money, flying in private jets, or doing “the” deal. To an actress, an Oscar would be deemed the pinnacle of success. To some success is getting a high school education or a PHD. To parents success is raising our children well.
Success means many things to many people. But regardless of your interpretation of success there are four R’s that can help you know when you’ve been successful. These four R’s will help you regardless of your industry, focus or area of endeavor.
Life is not designed to live alone. We were designed to live in community; a shared experience. Life is a journey in which you gather relationships along the way. The better your relationships with people, the better your life will be. If you look around, and you have no friends or no close bonds, something’s missing. Life is designed to live in community in relationships with others. I’m not just talking about acquaintances, I’m talking about relationships with people who know you, people know when you are not telling the truth, people who could hold you accountable, people who can call you out when you are making a mess. Look around you, what are your relationships like? Do you have good friends who are not afraid to tell you the truth? Or do you have people around you that will placate you and tell you “oh good job” when really “the emperor has no clothes.” For me, it’s important that I have people in my life that speak the truth. My wife is key to that. She’ll tell me the truth no matter what. You need people in your life that will speak truth to you no matter what. Relationships matter most.
All of us, each of us, you and me, your mother, brother, uncle, best friend, we all represent something. What is it in your life do you represent. In other words, what is your brand? When you walk into a room, what do people think, what do they feel? That is your brand your representation. Do they feel appreciated? Do they look forward to your entrance? How do you represent your organization or, better yet your family? How do you represent yourself to others, to the world? You represent something and it must be done well with excellence, consistently and with authenticity. Making sure that you live a life that was spent representing yourself, your family, and your passions well. You represent something. What is that something? My encouragement to you is to make sure that you are true to yourself, true to your family, and true to the passion in your life. Be authentic.
What did you do with your time here on the planet? Success is not just in a vacuum or a one-time occurrence. It’s spread out of the course of your life. So what results will you have to show? What about your children? What about your family? What about the jobs you’ve held? What results will you have to show? It’s important why? Some people view life as if it was walking through a candy store. They take from this bin, that bin, the candy, the cotton candy. They eat all of this junk and wonder why they have health issues. My hope today is that you will recognize that there will be accounting, as yourself, ‘at the end of my life” What will the results be?”
You must replicate yourself. To say it another way, you must mentor others in the things you’ve learned. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you are able to leave a bit of yourself on this planet. Imparting your gifts, your knowledge, you wisdom to others. Replicate yourself. I encourage you to engage in work that will allow you to do that. Find someone to mentor. You have a lot to give. You’ve made mistakes, but you have also had successes along the way, and you can mentor others.
Let me recap, the four R’s of living a successful life.
- Relationships. Relationships matter most and always.
- Representation. Represent yourself, your God, family, and organization with excellence and authentic integrity.
- Results. Make sure that you life is measurable.
- Replication. Mentor others along the journey.
I’d like to challenge you with this. Think about your eightieth birthday and whom would you like to have there? Who is the kind of people you would around the table? It’s going to people you’ve lived with in relationship, the people that you represented well, the people that you’ve had meaningful results with and team mates, co-workers, family, friends, people you’ve mentored alone the way.