5 Myths About Success
Faithful on the Clock is a podcast with the mission of getting your work and faith aligned. We want you to understand Who you're serving and why so you can get more joy and legacy from every minute spent on the clock. Thanks for joining us and taking this step toward a more fulfilling job and relationship with God!
Want to join us on social media?
We'd love to have you stay up-to-date with the show on all our platforms!
In this episode...
5 Myths About Success
You’ve probably heard a ton of stuff about success, and a lot of it is pure myth. In Episode 47, Faithful on the Clock decodes the five biggest success myths and presents their countertruths.
[00:05] - Intro
[00:36] - Success is not tied to rank, but rather is a matter of whether you’re doing your absolute best and are happy about where you’re at.
[01:55] - The story of Saul and David, as well as the entire list of the kings of Israel in the Old Testament, shows that you can have rank and still fail.
[03:03] - Success doesn’t have a clear definition, but because we’re all different people, what satisfies one person isn’t going to necessarily satisfy someone else. You should take time to reflect on what makes you feel good and how God might allow you to use that to serve Him.
[04:26] - Success isn’t defined in a static way over time, but rather evolves as you learn and grow. The key as your definition of success changes is to avoid comparison, stay internally motivated, and be God-focused.
[06:09] - Success often isn’t achievable alone, but rather requires lots of support from many people. My own career is a demonstration that grit and skill don’t always win, as I am where I am thanks to others helping me.
[07:42] - Successful people don’t proceed at all costs, but rather quit for the right reasons at the right time. Serial entrepreneurs, investors, and people who leave for better positions all demonstrate that taking an exit or letting go can be incredibly smart and lead to bigger wins.
[09:17] - 5 myths of success recap and invitation for reflection
[09:55] - Prayer
[10:31] - Outro/What’s coming up next
- Success is not tied to rank. Lots of CEOs inherit their positions and do a bad job, so don’t assume someone is successful just because of a nameplate or position. The kings of Israel show that position guarantees nothing.
- Success does not have a single, uniform definition. You get to define it based on your own dreams, personality, and plans with God.
- The definition of success is not static. It will change over time for you as you learn, grow, and have experiences.
- Success is not a solo affair. It usually takes lots of people for someone to do well, even if a person gives it their best.
- Success isn’t about never quitting. Successful people just do careful analysis and personal inner work to assess the cost-benefit of walking away. They walk away at the right time for the right reasons.
- Spend some time thinking about how you view each of the five success myths. Identify what has contributed to the way you view each point.
- Consider your personality, skills, and resources. Based on those elements and your values, set short-term and long-term definitions of success for yourself.
What’s coming up next:
Especially now in the Great Resignation, people leave their jobs for a wide range of reasons. But how do you do that without burning bridges? Episode 48 offers advice on how to exit with tact and grace.
Support the show!
Visit the Faithful on the Clock Patreon page to choose a tier plan and become a supporting member. You'll gain access to goodies like early episode access, newsletters, and more based on the plan that's right for you.
Hey, everybody! I’m Wanda Thibodeaux, and you’re listening once again to the Faithful on the Clock podcast. This show is on a mission to get your faith and work aligned, and today I’ve got a really fun show for you, it’s gonna cover myths about success that are floating around that you need to ditch. I know there’s a ton of ‘em, but I’m just gonna focus on the top 5 myths out there. So let’s get going so you can focus on the stuff that actually works.[:
All right, I’m not gonna waste any time with any kind of backstory or explanation today. We’re just gonna jump right in. So the first myth about success I think we need to confront is the idea that success is tied to rank or title. You know, you’re only the CEO if you’ve worked your tail off and are super intelligent, have a million skills. But if you look closely, you’ll see there are a lot of leaders out there who got where they are because they’ve kind of been gifted the positions they have. Some good examples if you want ‘em, we’ve got Steve Forbes, Edward Johnson, Fidelity Investments, Hank Meijer. And I’m not saying those guys are necessarily bad leaders, OK. I’m just saying that merit wasn’t the only thing they had going for them, and that you absolutely can get into a position of authority with a lot of help. It doesn’t necessarily have to be based entirely on the quality of what you’re doing. So to me, success isn’t about the rank. It’s just about whether you’re doing your absolute best. You know, it’s whether you can end the day and say, “You know what, I didn’t quite hit the mark I was after, but I sure gave it everything I had.” And you can do that no matter what level you might be at? If you can just say, “You know, I’m happy with who I am right now and I know I’m gonna grow,” that’s success.[:
The example here I’ll give is Saul and David. King Saul, he had the power over Israel. So by that standard, yeah, he was successful. But because he didn’t listen when God told him to destroy the Amalekites, God ended up anointing David as the new king. So in that sense, sure, he had a title, but he was not at all successful. He ended up so torn up by jealousy he even tried to kill David. And you know, David wasn’t a perfect king, either. But in the sense that he could sit and know God even when he was surrounded by sheep instead of statesmen, in the sense that he tried to keep that faith through his whole journey, yeah, he was successful. And you know, Saul isn’t the only king who had the rank and totally failed. You go through the Old Testament, read first and second Kings, I mean, Israel really went back and forth between good and bad leadership. There’s actually a list that I’ll link to that will help you see that, but more than once, they had people with the title who just fell on their faces, same as you’ll see with some CEOs today.[:
Now, the second myth kind of ties to the first, and that’s that success has a clear definition. You know, in business, we might say, success is when you have the title, when you make whatever amount of money, when your network has whatever number of people, and so on. But the reality is, we are all very different people. And what satisfies one person isn’t necessarily going to satisfy someone else. And so the truth is that you get to define success on your own terms. Like I said, if you can say you’re happy, that’s really the foundation of it. You know, one person, what makes them happy, maybe that’s being a stay-at-home parent and they really feel satisfied in that. Another person, maybe they really like traveling so they get a job that lets them see the world. So I’d just encourage you to take a few minutes and think about what God has laid on your heart. You know, forget what the world tells you you have to do. What do you feel energized doing? What makes you feel like you’re just, you know, weightless or like you’re King Kong? And you pray on that and you ask God how you can serve him with whatever that is. And when you look around at others, just try to love on them and be supportive. You know, you can make sure they’re realistic, but let them have their own dreams, just like you’ve got yours.[:
The third myth is, you’re always going to look at success or define it the same way all the time. Again, you know, you take King David, for him, at the start, success was how well he kept his flock. But once he became king, you know, he definitely had bigger fish to fry. He’s probably not the only human being who’s ever looked back and thought, wow, that was small potatoes compared to what I’m doin’ now. And I know in my own life, and I think a lot of people can relate to this as they get older, they have experiences, they learn about themselves, and they find out that things they thought were important just don’t have the value they thought they did. So for example, when I was in college, I was really focused on getting noticed. I thought I had to kind of make my mark, and for me, success was getting into the top ensembles or getting solos and all that. But now it’s like, yeah, that’s nice, but I kinda wanna shape my kids. I kinda want to do things like this podcast so people don’t feel so lost. That matters more to me now. So your view of success, that’s gonna evolve over time. And that’s not to say the way you used to define it was wrong, it’s just to say that, because you’ve grown and learned, you have to reset a little bit. /and the trick I think is just that, as you redefine success, you don’t make it a comparison. You know, don’t start redefining it just because you see something somebody else is doing or there’s some trend going on and you get envious. Keep it internally motivated and God-focused and you’ll be OK.[:
Fourth, people think success is something you can achieve entirely on your own, you know, that you don’t need anybody to get there. And I think this one is really problematic in the U.S. Because here in the states, we stress autonomy so hard. We present it like nobody can get in your way so long as you just have a plan and grit and you just show up. But I’m telling you, success, it can take a village. And if you want to hear a bit more on that, go and listen to Episode 12, because I elaborate on the fact people can fail unless other people lend a hand. I mean, my own career, I’ve busted my you-know-what every day. But writing and music, man, if there are any industries where there’s a lack of meritocracy, I’m in ‘em. And I’m only where I’m at because I worked hard AND people helped me make the right connections and had some faith in what I could do. And I don’t care how talented you are or how hard you work, everybody’s human. We all need somebody to talk to, somebody we can get advice from. So just relax a little bit. Let that pressure come off and just know that if you fail, you know what, it might actually not be on you. And if someone offers to help you, be smart. You take that help and don’t let your ego drive you. Because that support and guidance, that’s gonna get you where you can be with your ptoential all the faster.[:
The last myth I’ll throw out at you is that successful people don’t quit. They absolutely do. But they quit for the right reasons at the right time. A good example here, maybe you’re an investor and you’re watching the market, and every signal you’ve got suggests that value is gonna go down. Well, if you’ve got a big stomach for risk, you might hold tight. But it’s not unreasonable for a good investor to look at that and say, “You know what, I’m out. It’s not worth it.” And that can have a lot of variations. Maybe you love what you’re doing and everything’s going great at work but your marriage is falling apart because you’re never home. Or maybe you find some incredible new job, and you have to pack up and move so you can learn and make more money. It’s really just about having a sense of what’s going to grow you or what you need, being honest about that, and then having the courage to step out of your comfort zone and let go. Some of the best CEOs in the world, you know, they start, two, three, four companies because they’re always looking to challenge themselves, and because they can recognize that they can make a difference somewhere else. So have that mindset. This doesn’t mean you have permission to just give up every time things get hard. It just means that you do that honest analysis, that honest cost-benefit analysis, you get clear on what your values and priorities are, and you refuse to stay where you’re stagnant or miserable or not needed.[:
So those are the five big success myths, that success is tied to rank, that success has a clear, uniform definition, that the way you define success never changes, that you can achieve it totally alone, and that successful people never quit. And I hope you’ll just take a little time today to think about how you’ve been viewing each of those areas, maybe think a little bit on where your concept of success comes from. Because however you define success right now, that’s going to have a massive influence on the decisions you make in both your personal and professional life.[:
So would you help me close out and join me in a prayer?
God, if we want to think about success, we can take Jesus as the best example of all, because He served you perfectly and ensured sin would never cut us off from you. That is a success that beats all others. But I just ask today that you would help people to see that if they have faith in You, if they have friendship with You, their life is a complete win. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.[:
Well, I think I have been successful at least in this episode in that I said what I set out to say. In next week’s episode, my focus is going to be how to leave a job without burning bridges. I think especially now with the Great Resignation, that’s something a lot of us are wondering about. And if you have not already done so, please go to patreon.com/faithfulontheclock to become a supporting member of the show. It probably takes me a good 20 hours each week to produce the show, so when you become a member, you’re making it financially easier for me to take that time and focus on the quality of the content. So go pick a tier plan, you’ll get goodies no matter which tier you pick, and until next time, be blessed.