Here's the Merriam-Webster dictionary's definition:
My definition of success is simple and pretty contrary to popular belief. For me, the true meaning of success can be found, not in the dictionary, but in Matthew 16:26 -
“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?”
A few years ago, I took step back from what I call Cultural Christianity (socially accepted beliefs based on history and church tradition rather than the Bible) and really examined the life of Jesus. As in the game of telephone, with passing time, we get so comfortable with our interpretations of a topic, that when we pause to compare our ideas to the original message, we often find ourselves way off.
Looking at the life of Jesus it’s clear to me that he was concerned about one thing: obedience. Jesus simply did what he was supposed to do. He was an obedient son. Today, we’ve strayed away from the simplicity of obedience and replaced it with an intense pressure to accomplish something amazing and be someone well-known. Jesus wasn’t like that. Jesus didn’t come here to chase a dream; he came to fulfill a mission. It was his obedience, not his accolades or accomplishments, which got him exalted.
"And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
The day I made the link between success and obedience, my life was radically changed. I surrendered my dreams and finally shut the voice inside my head saying, "you're a failure" and "you're not enough" once and for all. I relieved myself from the pressure of becoming something great and started living a satisfying, simple life. I didn't stop being driven, but I began to see the worth in the things I was already doing out of obedience. That revelation caused me to do those things better and with more passion. I may not have wealth, power or fame, but I have the ability to make a difference in someone's life. I don't look down on that any more. That's not something I've settled for while I wait for my big break, it's what I strive for.
I encourage you to consider your own life. Have you bought into the lie that you're average because your life doesn't meet the Merriam-Webster's standard of success? Have you been stressing out by the pressure of having to figure out your big dream? What do you have at your hand to do right now? Are you doing it with passion and integrity? Don't allow the disappointment from comparing yourself to the dictionary's faulty definition to rob you from achieving true success