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What Is True Success?

What Is True Success?

WHAT could be worse than failure? False success. After all, when you fail at some endeavor, you can take steps to correct the situation. At the very least, you can learn from the experience and resolve to do better next time.

False success is different. Under its influence you can think you are winning when in fact you are losing. By the time you see the need to change, it may be too late.

Consider an example. Jesus Christ once asked: “What good will it do a man if he gains the whole world but loses his life?” (Matthew 16:26) That thought could well apply to those who devote themselves to the pursuit of money and all it can buy​—the epitome of false success. “Thinking only in terms of the next major promotion, making more money or acquiring more stuff, fails to feed the soul,” writes career counselor Tom Denham. “Simply measuring success in monetary terms is shallow and will leave you empty in the long-term.”

Evidently, many people today would agree. In one survey conducted in the United States, “having a lot of money” came in 20th in a list of 22 “contributors to having a successful life.” Closer to the top were such things as good health, good relationships, and a job that you love.

Clearly, many people can distinguish between false success and true success​—at least when they are asked. It is more challenging, however, to make decisions that reflect the proper view of success.