7 Measures of Personal Success


1. Honoring and obeying God with my life.

2. Attempting to realize my full potential.

3. Truly being who I claim to be.

4. Being loved most by the people who know me best.

5. Getting up every time I fall.

6. Making life better for the people around me.

7. Ending at peace with God, my family, and friends.

What are yours?

What experience does for you…

You are never the same…

After a major stretching moment in leadership…in life…you never stretch back the same.

Even if its a failure…it will serve a greater purpose.

You’ve got experience now.

You’ve got a story.

You have more wisdom.

You’ll be better able to stretch the next time.

You may not enjoy the stretching you are currently enduring, but keep in mind…it’s making you someone new.

A better, stronger you.

One Key to a Lifetime of Contentment

Learn to enjoy the mundane.

The everyday life.

The dishes (You like clean dishes, don’t you? And, you’re thankful for clean water, right?)

Brushing your teeth (Don’t they feel better when you do?)

Mowing your grass (I just love that freshly mowed look)

Smelling a rose (They smell best among the flowers…in my opinion)

Admiring the clouds. (I like Cumulus)

Having a discussion over coffee. (Cheryl and I have our best talks then)

A simple walk in the park (On a sunny, or not so sunny day)

A random thought (Some of my best ideas start that way)

A routine prayer (Okay…nothing mundane about that, but sometimes we take it for granted)

A text message from a friend (At least you have one)

An average Sunday at church (Thank God for the freedom to attend)

We tend to love the grandiose. The unusual. The vacation. The miracles. The shooting star. The celebrations. The once in a lifetime experience.

Those times are great. We love them. We want more. Nothing wrong with that.

The problem is when our happiness is wrapped in those occasions alone. Life is often lived in the mundane. Most of life, in fact.

Get up. Shower. Brush. Shave. (Or not) Dress. Drive. Work. Come home. Go to bed. Do it again. And again. In between those routines are the real moments of life. Even if seemingly mundane…non-miraculous.

Learning to love the mundane times of life, scattered among the routines of life, will help you find a lifetime of contentment.

What’s one seemingly mundane thing in life you love?

Keep a Failure File

Keep a record of the times you’ve messed up.

The times you failed.

Previously I wrote THIS POST about keeping an encouragement file. You need this too.

A failure file may be equally important.

In fact, it could likely be your greatest teaching tool in the future.

I am reminded from the Bible that Rahab never lost her title. She was always known as Rahab the Harlot. Even in the faith chapter. Rahab the prostitute. Rahab went on to be a great figure in Biblical history, yet her past followed her to remind her…and us…of the grace extended to her.

Your failures will serve in the same way.

I’m not saying live in them. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t move forward from them. Actually, I’m saying the opposite. You’ll need to remember how you’ve recovered and what you learned in the process. You’ll need reminding…if failure ever finds you again…that you found your way back, that God’s grace was sufficient, and that you can recover again. The valuable lessons learned in times of failure, will be the wisdom that sustains you in the future.

Let your failures work for you.

Keep a record of them.

How has failure shaped who you are today?

7 Things I Attribute to Personal Success

A young leader asked me recently, “What has gotten you where you are today? When you look back over your life, what would you attribute most to your success?”

Great question. I love people who think.

My first thought was to ask, “What success?”. When I look back at my life, in many ways, I see a life scarred with personal failures and setbacks. But, as I pondered the question for a couple days, I knew God has blessed me greatly, so I came up with a more comprehensive reply. Let me be clear about something, one of my missions in life is to help younger leaders succeed, so that’s why my motivation for answering this question. I am still very much a work in progress, but as I reflect on where I am midway in my life and career, I can clearly point to some things that have helped me succeed personally.

Here are 7 things I attribute to personal success:

God’s grace – I can’t deny it. It’s really all grace. I do not deserve the favor I have found. His grace has been amazing in my life.

Other people – I have had so many people invest in me. Don’t misunderstand. I’ve been intentional with networking and wisdom seeking, but I’ve had great people in my corner to help me along the way.

A little luck – Honestly, I don’t believe much in luck. It IS all grace. I think God is always at work around us, and He certainly has been in my life, but sometimes we find ourselves in “the right place at the right time”. Learning how to capitalize on those times has been key for me.

Purpose – I have usually known what I ultimately want to accomplish. I believe you hit more targets that you have in site. Sometimes that has been a few months down the road or a few years down the road, but I’ve most always tried to keep some direction in front of me…as much as God will allow me to see at the time.

Intentionality – Probably if there were one word to describe how I live my life it would be this one. Since I was in high school, I have intentionally pursued opportunities to accomplish where I felt God was leading me. But, I’ve been intentional in every area of my life, not just in my vocation. I think that is critical to living a balanced life.

Tenacity – I have weathered a few storms…actually, many storms. My list of failures, setbacks and disappointments is long. Every time, again, by God’s grace, I have gotten back up, refocused, learned valuable life principles and moved forward.

Commitment to help others – I genuinely love helping other people succeed. It’s been a pulling force in my life to do much of what I do. The purpose of this blog, for example, is for that reason. My personal investment in others has always returned to me tenfold.

So, there’s my attempt at an answer. How would you answer that question?

What has gotten you where you are today?

Things that make you grow up…

I’ve often heard it said some people “never grow up”. It is said in a humorous way. My wife may say that about me at times. But, many times it is said in a not so funny way, usually speaking of a person’s continued immaturity.

I have another thought. Maybe for some people it is that they have never had an experience that instills maturity in them. It’s possible.

I’ve personally experienced and observed that there are some circumstances in life that bring more automatic maturity…a sort of forced growing up mentality.

Here are 7 things I’ve seen force someone to grow up quickly:


A first child

Sudden authority


Losing a parent

Having to make it on your own


You can mature naturally. You can grow up over time. But, in my experience, you grow up faster when life experience grows you up. You don’t have to grow in these experiences. Some don’t. You either own up to the challenge, or you don’t. But, when you do, you grow up faster. At least, that’s been my observation.

(By the way, that’s why I believe in giving young leaders experience where they can grow. You can read a post about that HERE.)

Have you ever been forced into a new season of maturity? What caused you to suddenly “grow up”?

What would you add to my list?

10 Obstacles to Getting Things Done

Most people have a dream. Most people have goals they want to accomplish. It could be to run a marathon. Lose 10 pounds. Write a book. Start a blog. Open a new business. Fill in your dream here.

Most people fail to get there.

Be honest. It’s true. It may even be true for you. It has been for me many times. I’ve wanted to accomplish something but years pass and it is still simply a dream.

Why is that? I’m sure there are many reasons. I’m just sharing some of them.

Here are 10 obstacles I’ve seen to getting things done:

No specific plan

No first step

Cowering to public opinion or popularity

Giving up too soon

No accountability or measurable steps


Not including others

Inefficiency, poor time management or laziness

Lack of follow through

Success not clearly defined

Which one is yours?

What other reasons have you seen for why people don’t accomplish what they hope to do?

The secret to worrying less…

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable-if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise-dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:6-8 HCSB)

What are you dwelling on these days?

(By the way, that’s the secret.)

You Can Be a Mentor

Of someone.

Cheryl and I were discussing the need for mentoring recently. She was talking about getting older women to mentor younger women. I like the concept. I think it’s a great example of Biblical discipleship.

Then Cheryl said something that caught my attention. She said, “Everyone thinks they need a mentor, so they don’t think they can be one.”

I think she’s right. She’s right on both accounts. It seems to be true for men too.

Everyone probably does need a mentor. Mentors help shape our life. I’ve written extensively about the subject. (Find some of those posts HERE.)

Yet, the fact that they do makes people think they can’t be one.

But, everyone can also be a mentor.

You too can be a mentor.

Of someone.

You’ve learned some things in life. You’ve gained some experience. You have some things to share with others. There are others who can learn from you.

In my experience, its often when I start investing in others that I stumble into the help I need from others.

Try it. Find someone to mentor today.

Have you ever been a mentor? Tell me about your experience.