Have you ever felt as though you could never measure up? I mean, never, ever, in a million years reach your self-made goals, measure up to the expectations of others, or even claim a tiny bit of what the world calls success?
Let’s face it – we live in a success-driven world. And everyone’s view of success is going to be slightly – if not gigantically – different. In some eyes, you are a failure unless you go to Harvard. In other’s, you are a failure if you do go to Harvard. You might be a failure if you pick an unpopular career. If you choose an unbeaten path. If you wear pink. If you wear blue.
If you choose to live your own life, not anyone else’s. I was thinking about this very thing the other day, and I wondered, “Where’s the fine line? How can I possibly please everyone? And still fulfill what I think is my God-given calling?” I think I’ve finally found an answer…
I can’t. I just can’t. And when I first figured that out, I felt like a failure. What kind of a person can’t please her parents, and her grandparents, and her mentors, and her coaches, and her God, and herself, and her dog?? I mean really.
Then I realized a vital truth: if I am following God, He will direct my path. And since I know this is my parents’ fondest wish, this will please them. And honestly…that’s all I’m concerned about. As a success-driven person, I very much want to succeed in people’s eyes…but I can’t. And since I can’t, that’s failure.
So now, since I’ve already failed, what have I got to lose? Not a diddly-boo. I’m freed to try new things – to discover new dreams and new possibilities. It’s not that I don’t care anymore, because I care. Deeply. It’s just that I’m no longer driven by pre-conceived ideas about how I should live my life. Here’s my old checklist:
Will I succeed at this thing?
No? Then don’t try.
Will this meet everyone’s expectations?
No? Then don’t do it.
Here’s the new checklist:
- Will I succeed at this thing?
- No? Try it anyway.
- Will this meet everyone’s expectations?
- No? But it might meet God’s. Do it.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. Because now I have the key to success.