Justin Ketcham –
Who or what determines success? The simple answer: you do.
It’s no surprise that we all want to be successful when we go out into the real world, but many of us have differing opinions on what makes a person successful. Some determine how successful a person is by how much money is in their bank account. Others consider themselves successful if they are able to marry and have children.
My definition of success is found within the three C’s. As I move forward, I challenge you to think about each one and how it correlates with your life and personal definition of success.
Almost all of you have heard that in today’s modern society a college education is imperative. Although it may seem foolish to pay thousands of dollars per year for a piece of paper that says you can do something, it is absolutely essential in securing a good paying job. According to a New York Times article by David Leonhardt, “Americans with four-year college degrees made 98 percent more an hour on average in 2013 than people without a degree.”
So, guess what? If you are sitting in the cafeteria or library right now reading this article, you are already taking the first step to success. Be thankful for the circumstances that have allowed you to pursue a degree.
A good career is necessary for success, but without taking the first step of getting a college education, a good career is hard to come by. When I say good career I do not simply mean a job. A job is something you do over the summer so you can afford gas and beer for the upcoming semester. A career is something you enjoy doing that provides you with the income necessary for sustaining a lifestyle for yourself and/or your family.
While money may not buy happiness, it does allow you to have freedom away from worries such as bills and debt. Without these worries, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and success. Having a career that you enjoy will also flood you with feelings of success because the work that you are doing is meaningful to you.
I may have just lost many of you with the simple mention of “Christ,” but I challenge you to continue reading and compare my definition of success with your own definition and life thus far. Some of you may not be religious people, but I assure you that I am not trying to convert you or change your beliefs.
It is neither proven nor disproven that God exists. Using Stephen Hawking’s arguments versus people who claim to have evidence or experience with God first hand are both easily refutable, so I will not waste your time with them. Hawking and other atheists believe that the concept of no aspect to reality outside of humankind is true, and to them Christ says, “everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven” (Mathew 10:33). Seeing as though God, or any divine being that you may believe in, will deny us if we deny Him, let’s take a look at what He tells us about success.
Generally, religions consist of a being that will guide the paths of individuals that follow them. In Christianity, King Solomon in Proverbs tells us to, “Seek [God’s] will in all [we] do, and he will show [us] which path to take” (Proverbs 3:6). Without following Christ, or a divine being in other religions, we will lack an understanding of which path or paths to take in order to be successful. Christ knows and understands us better than we know and understand ourselves. Without Him we walk with sin rather than success.
There you have it, my three C’s for success. Whether you agree or disagree with me, I hope you choose to reflect on your own life, and what you strive for to be successful. Always remember success is not defined by others, but defined by your own ideologies. Find what makes you happy and what brings purpose into your life and use it to achieve success.