It may not work out the way I expect, but I have to accept where it is and move on from there. I do not have to like it, but I do have to continue in it and from it. Contentment works that way.
My husband and I were talking about contentment yesterday. He is not happy where we are at this moment - it was not what he expected. He gets frustrated with our situation – he wants to be there already. He gets tired of trying – nothing seems to work out the way he had planned.
Dealing with a frustrated husband compounds my own frustrations. I was told many years ago that I needed to define success for myself (between God and me) or the world would define it for me. I did that, but frustration and discouragement have a way of clouding the moment so that I no longer see clearly what I defined.
I have to find a way to stand firm in my understanding. I have to continue to have the strength to push forward through the fog. I have to be so grounded in my own definition of success that no amount of pounding will break down that wall.
Defining My Success
1. I have to understand what I am trying to accomplish. A person striving to get to the top of the country music charts will not be focusing on perfecting a rap. A person striving to reach the top of the non-fiction should not be trying to write the next fiction best seller. A person building a platform of hope and encouragement should not be focusing on the latest political climate or controversy. When I understand what I am attempting to get out of it all then I can better map out my path.
2. I have to expect opposition. If it was easy then everyone would do it. That path may be simple (not full of complicated rules or requirements) but that does not mean it will be easy. Doing what you know to do can be the most difficult part of reaching for success. Others – even those that are “well meaning,” “educated,” or “trained” – will offer me their opinions, their condemnations and their complaints. Knowing that the opposition will arise does not make it hurt any less but it does make it possible to face it with greater repose.
3. I have to be willing to go on even when I see no results. I have baked items that looked like a complete mess until the last few minutes of baking. I have a flower in my garden that I think is grass every year, until the very end of the season when it explodes in blooms. Things may not look like much until they are much. I have to dig in and push on with the expectation of that much in the end – not in the beginning.
4. I have to find people that will offer me fuel for the journey. Nothing gets the energy pumping as fast as the perfect words or motivation at the appropriate moment in time. People that pat your back and say thank you. Mentors that have gone on before and paved their own path. Educators that have wisdom and knowledge that can be adapted to your journey. Loved ones that just hug you no matter what. These are the things that will ignite the possibilities and help me forge a path to my success.
No other person will tell me what is success – because no other person can see the finish line from my eyes. I am unique, and because of that uniqueness I see something that no other person can see. Once I define that finish line – once I mark out that determined success – then I can begin taking the steps necessary to reach that destination.
No other person can stop me from reaching my success – there will be others that try to stand in my way or trip me up, but I am the only one capable of making it all stop. The choices I make, each step of the way, ultimately decide where I go.
No other person will do what needs to be done – because other people have their own things that they need to do. My steps are my steps and they can never be taken by another. I must step for myself. I must move down my own path. I must go if I want to get there.
I can be bold in my contentment as long as I continue to pursue my own defined success with a tenacity that does not quit.
Are you content? Or are you settled? The actions that you take will determine your answer.