How to Experience Success

B. Keith Chapman, President & CEO


I recently read a quote by author and leadership speaker Roy Vaden that says, “Success is never owned, it is rented, and the rent is due every day.” This quote describes the effort and commitment you need to experience success regularly. Success does not come without hard work and some failure. In fact, the more failure you experience, the easier it is to get discouraged. The more you are discouraged, the harder it is to keep going. As you stop pressing forward, the easier it is to get depressed. This is a vicious cycle that can destroy your happiness and satisfaction with life. Understanding how to experience success and how to enjoy the journey is key to a healthy personal and professional life. Let’s talk briefly about defining success, measuring success, and accountability.


Our very nature drives us to compare our accomplishments to the people around us. The comparison can produce a healthy competitive environment that motivates us to work harder, or it can produce a very unhealthy feeling of disappointment in our performance. Managing this comparison is extremely important. We each have been given unique talents, skills, and abilities. Success, or our net worth in life, is not determined by your title, your possessions, or even how much money you make. The truth is, we all have a purpose that should be used to define what success looks like for us individually. Don’t make the mistake of letting others define what success looks like for you.


The single biggest mistake I believe that people make when measuring success is establishing lofty goals that take long periods of time to accomplish. One of the techniques used by professionals in strategic planning is to break goals down into manageable objectives and critical tasks. This technique creates a path to success that is clear and obtainable. Once you establish a goal, make sure that it is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based (SMART). Make a deliberate effort to celebrate the smaller accomplishments, this will help you stay motivated along the way.


When I was initially approached about coming to work at Ten-8, I remember our founder, Don Bouwer, saying, “Ten-8 belongs to God, He just lets us run it.” This operating philosophy establishes a strong hierarchy of accountability. It is one thing to be accountable to our coworkers, customers, and family. It is even more impactful to understand that we are accountable to our Creator through the way that we operate our businesses. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” God does not promise that the journey will be free of disappointment, frustration, and failure. However, the way we choose to act and operate will determine God’s blessing on our efforts.


Challenge: Set yourself up for success by defining your own pathway. Establish goals, objectives, and critical tasks that meet the “SMART” criteria. Celebrate the small accomplishments along the way. Apply Proverbs 16:3 to your daily decisions and activities to ensure God’s favor on your efforts.


Published: July 1, 2019

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