7 Days of Sex
Who Are You to Judge? Define Your Own Successes, Not Others'
Have you ever passed someone on the street and just by their appearance judged their success in life? Have you ever had unfavorable thoughts about someone just because of their profession? Have you ever chosen not to be friendly with someone because they were not successful enough? Undoubtedly if you were to be completely honest, your answer would be yes; just as mine is. Shamefully I must admit that I like everyone else have had a moment or two (or three) in my life when I judged someone by their outward appearance.
At the encouragement of my daughter I recently watched the independent film “The Parking Lot Movie” (watch the trailer below). Daunted by its somewhat random title I agreed to watch it merely because she asked me to. Focused on a parking lot in the heart of a college town buzzing with constant activity this movie focuses on the people who work there and society’s vision of who they are. Looked upon at as second class unsuccessful clods wasting their lives away working on a parking lot, these men go about proving that they are anything but unsuccessful.
In the end, the joke is on society when it is revealed that these men are highly educated individuals who have or were working on prestigious degrees from the university and simply chose to be a parking lot attendant. They were proud of who they were and what they were doing and became the best parking lot attendants they could be. Looking at them through society’s eyes one could not tell that they were anything other than a group of uneducated oafs with no ambition when in reality their success was defined by them and no one else.
Success, in my humble opinion, has many definitions. However, my trusty online dictionary defines it as “the attainment of wealth, favor or eminence”. Does that mean that one can only be successful if they are wealthy? If that is the case then I am in big trouble. Who do we need to have favor with to be considered successful? My faith tells me that finding favor in my Creator will bring me great success and eternal life.
And what about this word eminence; seriously I had to look that one up and when I did I chuckled a bit because I certainly do not consider myself superior, prominent or lofty, but I do consider myself successful. If I stick to the official definition of success I would quickly come to the conclusion that I am just a middle class schmuck plodding through life with high hopes of “making it” one day. Choosing not to settle for society’s definition we must decide and define for ourselves the meaning of success.
What is your vision of success? Is it owning a big home, fancy car, expensive jewelry and fine clothes and working in a prestigious job pulling a large salary? Or, is it living within your means in a cozy home filled with memories of children, laughter and love and working in job that brings you joy and provides for your family? Albert Einstein once said “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” Life comes around but once for each of us. We must focus on each day as a gift and live it as if there were no tomorrow.
Having been a parent for nearly 19 years I find that my children have become a defining factor in my definition of personal success. Watching my adult daughter make wise choices in all that she does, living a life of honor, integrity and service to others before herself gives me great joy. Having discussed this with her recently, she shared with me her gratitude for being the parent I was to her in her early years. Going through the tough teens may not have been a pleasant experience for either one of us; however, the end result is a well rounded, respectful, responsible human being who will no doubt leave a positive mark on this world.
Nothing will ever mean more to me or bring me a greater sense of success than that of watching my children take the life lessons their dad and I have taught them and use them to do good. Material possessions do not define success; we define our own success by the lives we live and the choices we make. Figure out what it is that makes you truly happy and then and only then will you be truly successful. Whether you are a parking lot attendant, a trash collector, banker, teacher, high paid executive or stay at home parent, doing what you love and doing it well will define your success.
In the words of former presidential candidate Herman Cain "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
Check out the trailer for "The Parking Lot Movie":