I used to take stock in what the so-called most successful people in America used to say. I’ve even had local people seemingly in the circle give me advise about what I should and shouldn’t be doing to get ahead. Initially, I tried and managed to keep up some of the shenanigans (that’s what I consider it now, looking back LOL!). But as I mature and wisdom sets in, I have come to the realization that I don’t need anyone’s definition of success except that of God.
I’ve seen people that I’ve associated with and even grew a strong relationship, turn ugly very quickly trying to keep up with what society and the media dictates as having it all or living fabulously. They seem to be very well put together and have everything. But when you truly get to know them, you realize they aren’t anywhere close to the person you perceived them to be. Eventually the relationships that they worked so hard to build come crumbling down because they try to fast track themselves and create these alter egos that are so far fetched, they can’t keep up with them. And the people are left thinking that they’ve been cheated and unwilling to trust that person again. Then they tell their friends and those friends tell their friends and by then their reputations have been destroyed.
But the sad thing is those people continue to do the same thing, in a different circle of people. But the outcome still ends the same. And it’s because of one reason and one reason only…..they weren’t really themselves.
I’m a key believer that people can try to be something they aren’t for only a certain amount of time. But eventually the true them is going to come out. I’m a relatively even-tempered person. It takes a lot to make me angry. If you were to ask my closest friends and family, most of them would probably say that I don’t get pressured easy. And I’d probably be inclined to believe them. But what I’m learning about myself is that I have to acknowledge that it’s a part of who I am and be fine with it. I’m not typically ruled by emotion. But I think that’s the key to the success I’ve had. When managers and customers get angry, I’m able to compartmentalize and not take it personal. I can remain calm thru most situations (except when it comes to snakes)!
But I’ve had mentors who’ve told me that I should get an edge and people will respond to me better. And I’ve tried to take the bulldog approach to many matters, only to find that the outcome was less gratifying than if I’d just did things the natural way. So a few years have passed and as I gain more clients, I’m learning that I didn’t have to conform to a world of pretense to gain a fast following. And neither do most people.
Most people are understanding and have greater respect for you, when you are upfront and honest with them. The whole fake it until you make it thing will only last but so long. Those balloons are often easier to pop than you may be willing to believe. Just embrace all of you and the experiences you’ve had and it will get you much farther than trying to avoid it and walk in shoes that weren’t created for you.
Yes, Oprah Winfrey and Kimora Lee Simmons may appear to have fabulous lives. But we don’t know them personally enough to know what they had or have to give up to get to that status. And we don’t truly know if they would honestly do things differently if they had the chance to do it again.But honestly, as successful as Oprah, Kimora, and Bill Gates may be to the world, the only standard of measurement we should be comparing ourselves to is the one that God sets anyway.
My challenge to you is to open the Bible and read it for yourself. Are you fulfilling his agenda for your life? Are you loving your neighbors, as you love yourself? Do you love God with all your heart and soul? Do you put God’s desires of you ahead of your desires? Are you lovers of God instead of the world and what the world tells you is right? If you can openly and honestly say yes to all of those questions, then you are the most successful person you’ll ever be.
Just my savvy two cents…