As I grow older, and dare I say wiser, it seems as if “success,” is not a quantifiable statistic. Many of my business friends, pastor buddies, and pretty much any other driven individual reading this post will cringe at this seemingly aloof revelation; but I believe the idea of the unquantifiable nature of success remains true, as well as inspiring.
For most of life, both personal and professional, society is held to numerical benchmarks that define our success as a human. Quotas, revenue, new customers, report cards, attendance, followers, likes, shares, tags, snaps, bounce rates, and organic reach are all quantifiable goals. However, these goals are not be the definition of success, but a thermometer for success. I would venture to say that in the previous list, I pinpointed the very metric that your professional success is measured by at your annual review… be honest… These metrics serve as bait but tend to act as poison. Regardless of how well the standard is met, many go home feeling unsuccessful because the nature of success is not a number. In the same breath, being successful does produce quantifiable results. In order to be successful, it is necessary to understand this and make success your goal, not your report card.
There has to be a way to strive for, and attain, success in a manner that is not degrading due to the quantification of an unquantifiable goal. The outdoor industry is not immune to this disorder. We long for brand recognition, post likes, shares, sales, and fame. If we are legitimate in our field, not necessarily honest (but flashy and attractive), we will be successful. If our pile of birds is higher than the next post on the timeline of success, then we have arrived… but at the end of the day… it is never enough.
In order to be successful, I believe there are two key terms to understand and implement. These will remain true to the outdoorsman, the student, and the businessman alike. The attributes of each individual that lead to success are INFLUENCE and PLATFORM. The best news of the day, only one of these is up to us…
Influence is something that results from the decisions we make daily. Influence is the Luke 9:23 daily call to action, “If anyone would come after me, he must pick up his cross DAILY and follow me.” A simple example of this would be a morning where your alarm did not properly function and you spent a total of five minutes getting ready, letting the dogs out, forgetting your laptop, and trying to find matching socks on your way to a big meeting you forgot to prep for… how do you treat the first person you come in contact with? In this scenario, your attitude is your influence. It is your influence because it will directly impact those that come in contact with you. Rewind the scenario and everything goes as planned, the person in front of you at the coffee shop buys your cup of joe and you arrive at the office in a jovial mood… the attitude is still your influence, the triggers of life, good or bad, lead to your daily decision of the presentation of your influence.
The platform, is something that only God can control. A platform can literally be a stage in front of thousands of people, a post that reaches an audience of one hundred, or that person you work with and never intentionally interacted with. The platform is the area that God allows your influence to make an impact within. Your media accounts, occupation, family, friends, and situations in life are all components of your specific platform. There is no explanation for how you were casted for the specific role you play in the world aside from the greater plan of God. This is made clear in Romans 8:28, “and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
God establishes every platform for a purpose.
Although success is unable to be objectively measured, it is understood that our influence (one might even say faithfulness), when combined with the God ordained platforms in our life, lead to our purpose. If purpose is synonymous with success, then it must be known that without God, this process could not be completed, or attempted. According to the Apostle Paul, “it does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on Gods mercy (Romans 9:16).” So this week as you post, strive to reach quotas, grasp at attendance goals, pray for larger audiences, remember that success is only defined by God’s purpose in your life and all else is a metric showing what he is doing in and through your influence and platform. Trust in God and love one another.
See you in the blind…