Real Meaning of Success

The Sower Weblog

At the beginning of the year I was faced with two choices. I had an opportunity to either study for my PhD or go to the School of Ministry. I chose the later, and I have no doubt I have made one of the best decisions in my life. As I reflected on this I realised that success is not necessarily what we all see. I discovered a new definition of success. A PhD would present great opportunities for me right? I would be considered a success by society right? Wrong! Why? Firstly, you do not succeed for the world to see you. Secondly, success is not just about getting opportunities for yourself.

The conversation of this week’s article is to take a closer look at success. Make no mistake, I believe in a great education and will soon pursue the PhD after graduating from school of ministry. The lesson is that you need to prioritise the things which are in line with your purpose first – that is success. But let me share with you what success is not, to determine what success is.

Success Isn’t About Being Somebody Else

It’s not about having:

· Bill Gates’ wealth

· David Beckham’s popularity

· Albert Einstein’s brains

· Walt Disney’s imagination

· Mandela’s grace and charm

· Bishop TD Jakes’ dynamism

Many of us see success as being the same as someone else but we can’t be someone else. If you’re trying to be someone else the best you can be is an imitation of them and you would be missing out on reaching YOUR potential.

Success Isn’t Wealth

John D Rockefeller, a man so rich that he gave away $350 million, was asked how much money it would take to satisfy him, he replied: Just a little bit more! King Solomon of ancient Israel, who is said to be the richest and wisest man who ever lived said: ‘Whoever loves money never has money enough, whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income’. Greek millionaire Aristotle Onassis said ‘After you reach a certain point, money becomes unimportant. What matters is success.’ The pursuit of wealth might be a wild goose chase if success is not the goal.

Success isn’t Happiness

Billionaire Donald Trump said ‘The real measure of success is how happy you are. I have a lot of friends who don’t have a lot of money, but they are a lot happier than I am, so therefore I say that they are probably more successful.’ Yet many of his happy friends think he is the successful one. If you make happiness your goal, you will never be successful because life is uncertain and emotions aren’t stable. Happiness is a temporary feeling that comes from your “happenings”.

Success Isn’t Possessions

Success doesn’t come when you possess something you’ve always wanted such as a 5 bed roomed house on a golf estate or driving a Hummer. Possessions may give you a temporary feeling of having made it, but the feeling soon wears off. I remember the first car that I drove was a Mazda 323. Coming from driving a “Footron”, I thought I had arrived. Alas I was wrong. Within a few months I wanted to drive the Mazda 626. But soon after I drove the 626, I thought I was driving the lousiest car in town. The point is possessions are not the mark of success.

Success Isn’t Power or Achievement

Power is not success. It is a tool that can be used to build up or destroy. Powerful people are not necessarily successful. One ex president once said that “Power is sweet”. In his selfish pursuit to get drunk with power, the country was famishing with poverty! Achieving goals doesn’t guarantee success or contentment. You may have achieved all the goals on your list, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be successful. The question is are those goals worthwhile and are they for the good of many?


According to John C Maxwell, success is:

1. Knowing your purpose in life

2. Growing to reach your maximum potential

3. Sowing seeds that benefit others

So you can all be successful. How? It is a journey which starts when you discover your purpose! What are you cut out for? What are you wired for? Pursue that purpose while serving others in the process. Tell me if in doing so you will not meet with success! I have a ‘money back guarantee’ on this one. The secret of success is that there is no secret. This is it!

May the blessing of God overwhelm you on your success journey.


  1. Hi i am writing a paper on Success and i need a plan of development and some insight on writing this paper. Thanks


  2. oh my god even in my eyes you are successful enough i am envying you finding so many opportunities, you know it is my wish to find a phd opportunity but i just don’t know how to start and what is the true way.

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