Words of Hope: Redefining Success

I love that Dad worked hard to redefine success. He had to do it all his life because the temptation to place “numbers” or “money” or “fame” as the barometer of success is such a part of our culture. Dad measured success by deep love and connection. If he had all the money in the world but a terrible relationship with his child, this equated to failure in his mind.  

I recently watched a video about passion, and it highlighted three men who excelled in their careers. They were the paragons in their relative categories, but each man led terribly desperate home lives. All three were relational trainwrecks. I would love to see our society finding people who love others well, in their homes, in their work, even loving those they disagree with, and highlight and promote their lives.   

Relational success, as defined by John Gottman, is a relationship which has deep respect, admiration, gratitude, and love. Each person resolves conflict with ease, there is safety and trust, and there is abundance and joy. This kind of relationality cannot be manufactured. Those who live with a facade of relational peace, but an interior narrative of distrust, dislike, or bitterness create great harm and secrecy.   

Dad worked diligently with Mom to have his vulnerability on the table, his wholehearted commitment to true relational success. I hope this becomes the higher goal for our society. 

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. – Romans 12:9-10