There was a time in my life when I was excited at the prospects of winning major awards, making popular lists of the richest and most successful people in the world, having footprints across the globe, gracing the front covers of reputable magazines, appearing on celebrity shows, and yes, making lots of money. In short, I really craved the trappings of success!
While I can sincerely say that I have never been motivated by these things, I am not shy to admit that I truly desired them. But as I started to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus has taken hold of me, 1 I woke up one day to find that something had shifted on my inside.
I found that I could simply seek ONE THING and have all these other things rolled into a bonus package. 2 More importantly, I began to understand that all these things are worthless in the final estimation. After all, it is worth nothing for you to have the whole world if you yourself are lost. You could never pay enough to buy back your life. 3
By consciously aligning with who I truly am, and reverently seeking to unravel my role in the divine drama, I am beginning to find my place and run my race. 4 This has freed me from the pressure of struggling to meet society’s vain expectations or fulfil my own inordinate desires.By consciously aligning with who I truly am, and reverently seeking to unravel my role in the divine drama, I am beginning to find my place and run my race. Click To Tweet
Now, I am as cool with a mention on community radio or a feature in the local newspaper as I am with a cover story on Forbes or a docudrama on CNN. I am firmly convinced that being in the spotlight does not validate my work; my work validates itself. 5 So I do not discriminate between attaining prominence and working in obscurity.
No award or recognition will make me feel better about myself or happier with my work than I already am. The highest of honours can only elicit one response: heartfelt gratitude. I no longer worry about attaining success by societal standards. All that matters is working hard to consistently give my best and foster the best in others while bringing glory and praise to God who has invested so much in me.
Instead of striving to build my personal brand, manage my reputation, attract a large following on social media, break the internet with ‘fọ́rí fọ́rí’ photos, start a mevement* and assert myself in all the other customary ways, I simply focus on doing my job with diligence and excellence, knowing that everything else will follow as a natural consequence.
My friend, if you stay where you are planted, working tirelessly to maximise the grace of God and become the best version of yourself, nations will ultimately come to your light and kings to the brightness of your rising. 6
So what do you need to do? Simply mind your business and diligently run your race even if no one will ever applaud or celebrate your efforts. Don’t strive to be known, revered or celebrated. This is not arrogance or complacency; it is enlightenment and contentment.Stop stressing over success and significance. Simply focus on doing your job with diligence and excellence. Success will come as a natural consequence. Click To Tweet
*Mevement is a newly invented word for events and movements conceived with no clear vision other than self-aggrandisement. It is coined from me + movement.
- Philippians 3:7-8
- Matthew 6:33
- Mark 8:36-37
- Hebrews 10:7
- John 10:25, Proverbs 20:11
- Proverbs 22:29, Isaiah 60:3