Your success in life is not determined by the education obtained, institutions attended, career accomplishments, awards won, or the wealth you acquire. Real success in life is solely determined on who you become, the character and attributes you develop, the people you help, and whether or not at the end of the day you were true to the most important priorities in life - namely: God & Family.
And yet our culture and society certainly do not proclaim that same message. From the media to our educational system, from our co-workers to our neighbors, and even from our peers to our own family members, the unfortunate message that most often gets communicated is that our inner character is secondary (if even considered) to the tangible accomplishments and material possessions we obtain when determining our success in life.
However, we should never assume that because developing the inner character is far more important when all is said and done, that somehow that encourages or justifies us in not pursuing these other - good - worldly successes. Part of the definition of 'real success' is becoming great, achieving things, and accomplishing success in many areas of life. We must live up to our potential mentally, emotionally, physically, socially, financially, intellectually, and especially spiritually - all areas of our life are important.
And yet, while each of the mentioned areas of life are important, they are not equally important. All of the wealth, fame, power, credentials, and awards we obtain in life will certainly never be equal to or compensate for the success we achieve with the character of our souls and within the walls of our own home. In fact, if we have to fail in some of these other pursuits to achieve the most important successes, we thankfully will not be like most people on their death beds who unfortunately utter the sad words of: I wish I had spent more time with my family. Thus, dealing with the disappointment of certain failures will be far easier than dealing with the disappointment that accompanies some successes because they were not the right successes.
Considering the truth of this definition of 'real' success, perhaps the most important thing to realize and seek to avoid is that we often actually pursue this 'real' success, but justify putting it off temporarily in order to achieve the other successes which supposedly will create the time, money, and ability to accomplish these 'real' successes. To illustrate this point, how many of us have fallen victim to the myth and misconception that the next promotion, pay raise, current challenge overcome, or future event will be the answer to our problem and lead us to this success? How often do we wait for future events to come and heal our present problems - and when they do come, those events actually become the present problems and we go on waiting for future remedies?
Be wise enough to understand now that the next promotion and pay raise will never solve the problem, nor will it lead to 'real' success. The definition of 'promotion' is: more responsibility, work, and time at the office. The definition of a 'pay raise' is: as income increases, so do expenses. Also, once your current challenge is overcome, inevitably life has a way of bringing another one around the next bend. Never fall victim to the mentality that pursuing and achieving these other successes while neglecting the very things that determine 'real' success will eventuate as you planned (even if you initially intend to put off the 'real' successes just temporarily).
Thus, live and prioritize now! Pursue these other wonderful life successes, but never at the cost of the 'real' successes. And most importantly, despite what our culture ingrains into our minds, always remember the definition of what 'real' success is - it is not determined by the institutions attended, education obtained, career accomplishments, promotions or pay raises, titles held or awards won, credentials or certificates, or the wealth you acquire. The 'real' success in life is solely determined by who you become, the character and attributes you develop, the people you help, and whether or not at the end of the day you were true to the most important priorities in life - yes - God & Family!