I heard someone say one time and for the life of me I can’t recall who said it, but they said, “Success, be happy for them there is enough success to go around!” It was a profound statement that I have thought about literally hundreds of times since our children first started competitive golf. Of course, it is a “no brainer” for me to be happy for someone who has success. The part I had to think about was “enough success to go around!” I know for sure that I first heard this statement in my young adult life, maybe when Brewer was 11 or so. I can remember thinking, “Do I agree with that statement or disagree?” I had never heard it so it made me stop and think.
Today, I would absolutely agree with that statement. Success is out there for everyone. It just depends on who wants it. I believe the quote by Booker T. Washington that states, “Success is not to be measured by the position someone has reached in life, but the obstacles he has overcome while trying to succeed.” I say this based on the countless stories and people that I have met who have come from horrible circumstances, with little or no hope, and certainly poverty, and become great successes.
Dr. Ben Carson comes to mind. He is one of the most successful medical doctors in our lifetime. He is a neurosurgeon. He also has written many books and there has even been a movie made about his life called, “Gifted Hands,” which details his journey to success. Just finished reading his book, “Take the Risk,” which is a fascinating book on taking risks and how he makes his decisions on taking risks. As he puts it, “You don’t crack people’s heads open or operate on something as delicate as the spinal cord unless you are comfortable with taking risks.” His life story of fulfilling his dream is sooooo very inspiring. (It’s on my bucket list to hear him speak one day in person and meet him!)
Another person who comes to mind is Corrie Ten Boom!! Do I need to say more?? If you are reading my journal and haven’t read her book, please read it! One of the most compelling books I have ever had the privilege of reading. She is one of my “heroes!” I cannot think about her without tears and being overwhelmed by her “insides” which were overflowing with courage and tenderness! The one thing that Corrie’s amazing life screams to me is how she lived her famous quote, “It is not my ability, but my response to God’s ability that counts”. Corrie understood 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 where it teaches about building a foundation in this life that will last for eternity. Building with fine jewels and stones, instead of wood, hay and straw which will burn up in the fire. “The fire will test the quality of each man’s work”. She had a heart for God and being successful, no matter what hand in life she was dealt. She lived a life that demonstrated no matter what situation you find yourself in, it is God’s presence and ability that can help you be a success.
Now, because our kids are golfers and I have spent many years following golf, and knowing all 3 of our kids worked and desired success in this area of their life, I have to talk about Tiger Woods. There is no doubt that he is maybe the “most famous” and most accomplished golfer of our kids’ lifetime. HE is to be admired for his work ethic and his long list of accomplishments and even for his tenacity in comebacks and for the money he has donated to charities and his own foundation!! I absolutely applaud and recognize all of that but……… yes, there is a but……I just wonder, and I don’t think I will ever know the answer, but I am going to pose a question, “If he could go back and rewrite his personal life history since marriage and kids, if he could change it, would he give up all his “worldly success” to have a “DO OVER” and a different history for his kids and wife as a father and husband?” Now I am going to speculate………I BET HE WOULD!! If the truth be known, I bet if he could, he would change history and trade in his worldly accomplishments to write a different story for his “personal life!” We will never know, but the point I want to make is this…………What is your/my definition of success? How do we see success and what does it look like?
No doubt we all want to succeed and accomplish and we all have different talents, gifts and abilities. But true success comes in how we use them for the “greater good” of, not just ourselves, but others. Success in my opinion should never come at the sacrifice of morals, integrity, family and, most importantly, if you surrender your abilities under God’s mighty hand, I am convinced He can do immeasurably more than we can hope or imagine. Everyone may have a different definition of success but what good is success if it just remains about self?
I can remember reading a quote from Dave Duvall a while back when he was ranked number 1 in the world above Tiger Woods. He was quoted as saying something like this, “Is this all there is?” I think he meant that it was not what he thought it would be when you reach the TOP. He may have even felt a little empty. I was talking to a former governor years ago, and even though he was around countless people all the time, it was still very lonely! I have even heard it said, “IT is lonely at the Top!” I think of the success of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Andy Gibb (brother of the BeeGees) who all died from drugs. I believe in the end “success” was a lonely place or empty. I can’t judge those people because I didn’t know them, but it makes me very aware from all that I read that a truly “successful” life is not wrapped up in fame and money.
I believe true success, comes from leading a life of “significance” which leads to a life of “success” and is best stated in Matthew 16:26, “What good will it be for someone to GAIN THE WORLD, yet FORFEIT THEIR SOUL?” Worldly success brings many things, but true Success the way God designed it starts with a “RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM!”