"I had just finished reading my four-year old daughter her favorite bedtime story and praying with her, when she looked up at me with big brown eyes and said, “Where were you this week, Daddy?” It was rare, but my schedule didn’t include any business travel, and I replied, “I’ve been here all week, honey. I wasn’t gone.” “Well,” she said innocently. “Why didn’t I ever see you?” My heart sank. Being absent from our home had become such a normal thing, or so I thought. Maybe my wife simply avoided any conversation about my whereabouts at the dinner table, so our children wouldn’t think that my work was more important than they were. It was normal for me to get into the office by 5AM, due to my “early bird gets the worm” mentality, and the highly competitive numbers-and-goals-driven sales environment I was in. And entertaining clients after hours to network and maintain professional relationships was something I considered critical to my future success at the firm.
Yet there in the dim lighting of my daughter’s bedroom, surrounded by flowers and lace, the puzzled look in her eyes told me she was beginning to wonder who her Daddy was, and what he was all about. At that very moment, I wondered the same thing and asked myself, “How did I let my career become the most important thing in my life?"
“All my life, I’ve been pushed to be a ‘success’ in life, and that anything less is not really an option. Growing up, it was all about getting A’s on my report card. I had get those grades, be the class president, cheerleader, and get into a good college.
Later, it was always about proving my worth by who I was working for, what my title was, and how much money I was making. The stress that built up inside trying to maintain this level of success, as defined by society, was overwhelming.
My identity was defined by all of the material things a good career could buy, but inside, I felt empty and found myself thinking, “Is this it??? There has to be more to life.” But…what?”
Q: How do I know if I am too driven to success?
A: Being overly obsessive can also be detrimental to a person’s social life and family, as they are constantly preoccupied and easily agitated.
Q: What are the consequences of being to driven to success?
Q: How did I get like this?
A: Like a drug, professional success can induce a feeling of ecstasy that quickly feels essential. Recapturing that feeling can require greater and greater feats, a phenomenon that—more than simple greed—explains the drive for ever-larger bonuses and conquests. "With riches, success and fame…you find that greater and greater doses of your 'upper' are needed to become 'high…
Q: Is there a solution?
A: In short, worthiness is: I am enough. I am enough even if I lost everything. Even if I lost my career, my money, my possessions, and (gulp)—even my family and friends.
Just to make things clear, I’m not suggesting that any of the above aren’t important. They are. Especially the family and friends. What I’m saying is that your self-worth as an individual is a God-given right. Even if everything else was taken away, you can still have your self-worth. You really don’t need to chase success to make yourself feel good.
Matthew 16:26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
1 Kings 2:3 And keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.
Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.