4. Achieving Success is Never Enough... You Were Created for More Than That

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

As a leader, you’ve proven that you can be successful in your career. You have all the signs of worldly “success,” but are you happy? Are you truly joyful?

Welcome to episode 4 of The Heart of a Leader!

The world’s idea of “success” tells you that your self-worth and value are tied directly to your output. And because nothing ever seems to be enough, it’s easy to feel like you’re not enough.

In this episode, we’ll dig into a better, more fulfilling, way to go through life. It’s time to abandon your pursuit of “success” and embrace a life of significance.

The Facade of Success

Back in 2015, my wife and I moved to one of the wealthiest counties in the United States. I’m not saying that to brag. In fact, when we moved here, I felt like I didn’t belong. You see, I was raised in a relatively poor household. We didn’t have a lot and I always envied the lifestyles of my more wealthy friends. So, when I first began serving teens and young adults through my coaching practice, many of them came from wealthy households. Households that, from the outside looking in, embodied the world’s idea of success. They seemed to have it all together. More often than not, the father was a successful business leader with a great income. They lived in beautiful homes in desirable neighborhoods. The kids went to the most prestigious private schools money could buy. Everyone was well connected and involved in all of the right clubs… they seemed happy. But when I was entrusted with coaching these young people, I got a behind the scenes look at how their lives really were. Oftentimes, the father was overwhelmed with his responsibilities at work. He was working way more than 40 hours a week and even at home on the weekends. He didn’t really enjoy what he was doing, but he was really good at it and getting paid a lot to do it. Typically, the marriage was on the verge of divorce. The relationship between parents and their children was strained. The kids felt like they had to hold a perfect GPA just to get into the college they didn’t want to go to, in order to get a degree they didn’t need, for the job other people told them they should take. That’s not to mention the endless number of sports and extracurricular activities they were involved with just to augment their college applications. And it was all the family could do just to maintain this facade of “success”. In fact, I believe it was this pursuit of “success,” this keeping up with the Jones’s, that created these problems. Impossible cultural expectations passed down from generation to generation that told these leaders that they were only as good as their last achievement. Somehow, their self-worth was tied directly to their output.

You Shouldn't Have to Lose Yourself to Find Success

If we’re honest with ourselves, this pursuit of success isn’t just limited to the wealthiest counties in the nation. It’s pervasive in our culture. A sort of plague that pushes us to constantly perform, scale, and consume. So, if any of this is ringing true in your own life, know that you’re not alone. The good news is that life doesn’t have to be this way. Also, you don’t have to abandon the things that come with success. I’m not saying you need to give away all of your things and live off the land. Success itself is not a bad thing. It’s like money; it’s neither good nor evil. But when you find your value and self-worth tied up into someone else’s idea of “success” you’re never going to be satisfied with who you are. I believe you shouldn’t have to lose who you are to find success. God has created you in such a way that you can use your unique personality, gifts, and experiences to serve others in such a way that you can find success while embracing a life of significance.

Success vs. Significance

At this point you may be wondering, what’s the difference between the world’s idea of success and embracing a life of significance. So, here are some ways to differentiate the two:

  • Where success is focused on how much more money you make, significance cares about the lives being changed by your products or services.

  • Success is about how much you can get, while significance is about how much more you can give.

  • Success tells you that your identity is wrapped up into how the world sees you, when significance says that your identity is based in how God sees you.

  • Success will say that your value is based on your performance and status, when significance reminds you that you are infinitely valuable, regardless of what you do.

  • The world’s idea of success is based in someone else’s expectations and demands. When you embrace a life of significance, you look inside your heart and redefine success on your own terms.

  • Whereas the world’s idea of success will leave you with regrets, leading a life of significance will give you peace that you loved people well and lived the best life that you could.

Stop Chasing "Success" & Lead a Life of Significance

I don’t know about you, but I’m done chasing after the world’s idea of “success”. I’m tired of feeling like I’m not enough. Instead, I challenge you to embrace a life of significance. If you’re ready to break free from the burdens of “success,” here are some quick tips to help you get started:

  • Schedule a retreat for yourself

  • Surround yourself with a fellowship of accountability

  • Read books and take in content that aligns with your standards

  • Get coached

Be the Leader You Were Created to Be

Thank you for being here with me today and trusting me to speak into your life. If you found value in this episode, be sure to follow The Heart of a Leader on Apple Podcasts or subscribe via your favorite podcast player. If you're ready to redefine success and lead a life of significance, let's talk! Schedule a call now at DanielJenkinsCoaching.com. If you’d like to be encouraged and inspired, you can find me on LinkedIn @CoachDanielJenkins or on Instagram and Facebook @DanielJenkinsCoaching. As you go about your week, remember, you were created for more than the world's idea of "success". You are the only you who has ever been or ever will be. So, go out into the world and be the leader you were created to be.

* Cover image photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash