Successful at What?

(Originally written November 1993)

Every one of us will be a “success” at something. Some of the more talented will be “successful” in several areas over a lifetime. Normally we will achieve whatever our goal is, if we are willing to trade our life for it. Normally we will achieve whatever our goal is, if we are willing to trade our life for it. For what goal are you giving your life? Are you exchanging your precious life for “good times” (pleasures that only last a moment), for “nice things” (which are exposed to rust, decay, and thieves), for power and prestige (which may only last for a very “short” time), or for something more lasting? Why is it so easy for me to give all my energies for a business “deal” which may only last a few months, for a bank account which evaporates overnight, for a building or an organization which may not be around for ten years much less the next generation, for an activity which only lasts for a few hours or at most a weekend? Do we step on, step over, step around the very people that love us the most? Don’t we realize that the human soul will live for eternity?

Why does the following quote bother us as busy fathers? “Not every successful man is a father – but every good father is a successful man”. We could survey the people who have become our role models, who have survived life and gained our respect. They would probably tell us about a Mom who held them every night and was always there when they were afraid, excited, uncertain, or just needed someone to listen to them. Or which of us does not have a special friend who seems to always show up and be there at the crucial times of life?

Yes, our world does not need another outstanding busy successful celebrity, politician, athlete, business person, educator, or scientist. What our world yearns for are those unique “unknown”, unassuming, and quietly capable mothers, fathers, and friends who are daily giving their lives in loving service for those around them. If I must give my life in exchange for something, let it be something that will last. Let me be a loving father, husband, and friend. That sounds like “success” to me.

Changing my focus,


About kenthumphreys
Kent Humphreys has been a business leader for over forty years. He also served as CEO of FCCI/Christ@Work for six years and now serves as their worldwide ambassador, speaking, writing, and mentoring young leaders. He continues to be active in distribution, private equities, and real estate. Kent and his wife Davidene have written six books together. They have three children and eight grand-children.

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