First of all, you have to be aware of what success really is. real success. Not every kind of success is really worth striving for. If success is not based on adherence to certain principles, it is worthless because it is either short-lived or does not really make you happy, or both.
A famous missionary once wrote the following story in one of her books, which impressed and inspired me:
“The old woman lived far outside, far from the village, and it was rare for her to have visitors. On a mild late summer afternoon, 3 old men came to their small estate. The woman had never seen these men before. She found that the men looked as if they came from far away and the men looked very old.
Since the woman had a kind heart, she asked if she could offer them something to eat or drink.
“It is very kind of you,” replied the oldest of the 3 men, “one of us would like to accept your offer. Please choose one of us! I would like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves: on your left, that is wealth, on your right, that is success, and I myself am love. ”
The woman asked for a moment of thought and went inside. With her husband and daughter, she discussed whom of the three men should be given food and drink.
Her husband answered without hesitation:
“Of course we invite wealth, that’s the best thing that can happen to us!”
The woman herself said:
“I would rather have asked success for us, we have never had success!”
Then the daughter said:
“Why not invite love? Is there anything more important than love? ”
The woman and the man nodded and so it happened that the woman went out to the men and invited love.
Love rose, thanked for the invitation, and was about to enter the house. Wealth and success followed love.
Surprised and delighted, the woman asked:
“Shouldn’t I choose one of you and now all 3 are here in the house?”
Then the 3 old men explained to her:
“Yes, it would have been like that if you had invited wealth or success. But you chose love – and wealth and success prefer to go where love is! ”
The Bible speaks of love in the following ways:
If I talked with human and angel tongues and had no love, I would be a sounding ore or a ringing bell. And if I could speak prophetically and know all secrets and all knowledge and have all faith so that I could move mountains and not have love, I would be nothing. And if I gave all my possessions to the poor and gave my body to boast, and had not love, it would be of no use to me. Love is long-suffering and kind, love does not jealous, love does not drive courage, it does not inflate, it does not behave improperly, it does not seek yours, it cannot be embittered, it does not count evil, it does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices in the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13: 1-6
The same woman had a few millionaires with her in the office who complained about the emptiness that made them unhappy – even though they had a lot on the outside. It was probably not once the amount of wealth that was the problem, but that they had piled it up for themselves and for selfish reasons.
From this it can be deduced that success, equated with the mere acquisition of wealth, does not lead to the true, desired goal.
Anyone who has understood this has already come a step closer to achieving true success.
Because success is only of earthly duration if it is not anchored in eternity.
The preacher in the Bible put it this way:
It’s all vain, said the preacher, it’s all vain. What is the benefit of man from all the trouble he has under the sun? One gender passes, the other comes; but the earth always remains. The sun rises and sets and runs to its place so that it rises again. The wind goes south and turns north and back to where it started. All water runs into the sea, but the sea does not become full; they always flow to the place where they flow. All talking is so hard that nobody can finish it. The eye never sees its fill and the ear never hears its fill. What has happened will be afterwards. What you did, you do again afterwards, and nothing new happens under the sun. Something happens that could be said: “See, this is new!” – It is also long before happen in the times that have been before us. One does not think of those who have been before and those who come after; neither will they be remembered by those who will be later.
Ecclesiastes 1, 2-11
So what can we reach for that doesn’t just flow through our fingers like oil and possibly still get our hands dirty?
There are many false assumptions that people only need money to live. But man doesn’t live from bread alone. Most people need money to live; at least that’s what they mean. But is it guaranteed to live a full bank account? Who tells you it’s still there tomorrow? Or you still have time to enjoy what you have amassed.
And he told them a parable and said: It was a rich man whose country had borne well. And he thought to himself and said, What should I do? I have nothing to collect my fruits in. And said: I want to do this: I want to demolish my barns and build bigger ones and collect all my grain and my goods in it and say to my soul: Dear soul, you have a large supply for many years; now have rest, eat, drink and have good courage! But God said to him: You fool! This night your soul will be asked of you. And who will then have what you have prepared? This is how it is for those who collect treasures and are not rich with God. Luke 12, 16-21
Why don’t you invest your time in something that makes you and others happy? Or do you think you can’t afford it and therefore don’t even dare to think about it? How do you break out of this prison?