The Big Deal About Leaving Your Mark on the World
BY RACHEL BRITTON
How should we view success and failure?
BEEN THERE, ASKED THAT
Most of us want to do something significant or be significant in the eyes of others. The world encourages us to be recognized from an early age. Outstanding students are praised and given awards at school. Pay raises, promotions, and industry recognition follow for doing well. And, if we don’t succeed in these ways, the flip side can be that we view ourselves as failures.
So, how do we get out of this flip-flopping?
We need a perspective shift. It’s not about seeing ourselves as successes or failures, but looking beyond ourselves and leaving a legacy.
Let’s start by applying the nouns of success and failure to things and not people. The project may have failed, but that doesn’t mean you are a failure. In fact, many successful entrepreneurs will tell you they had many failures before they succeeded. You didn’t get accepted for the dream job, and there are a million reasons why. It doesn’t mean you have failed.
Success and failure happen to us. They shouldn’t define us.
Flipping through the Bible, there are many stories of success and failure. Often both happen to one person over his or her lifetime. Take Joseph for example. He rose from nothing to a position of great responsibility and trust. Then he lost all he had by someone who tried to ruin his reputation. He ended up in prison, forgotten by his friends.
Success can be fleeting. But so can failure.
Joseph eventually rose to the top of the government and his astute decision-making saved a country and its people from ruin.
But most of all Joseph left a legacy.
Joseph became the second most powerful person in the country, but his legacy boils down to a few words, spoken to the people who had intended to destroy him: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.”
Joseph is a lesson in always searching for God’s perspective and finding a powerful purpose in the ups and downs of life.
Success can be fun, but it can also be fleeting and fickle. We can be in favor one minute and out of favor the next. Take a perspective shift and leave a legacy.
How do you want to be remembered later today, tomorrow, the end of next month, in years to come?