I’m not a morning person.
For a while, I’ve really tried to change this. I repeatedly see articles about how the most successful people in the world all fumbled out of bed before 5am. Feeling the guilt of sleeping to a more reasonable hour, I force myself to wake up early. For a while, it works. But eventually I crash hard and there’s debris everywhere. Because I’m just not a morning person.
So why did I make myself suffer through early mornings when it was completely unnecessary? Because of that elusive idea of “success”—that if famous CEOs are doing it, then I have to.
Then I began to ask myself an interesting question: “Who gets to define success, and why do I think only those people are successful?”
As I look around at my circle of friends, the people I think are most successful are the ones who are happy and devoted in their jobs even though it’s not making them famous. They’re the ones who come home every night to a family that can’t wait to see them. They’re the ones who invest in the lives of others—one by one, person by person. They’re the ones who pour their talents into their local church community, no matter how unromantic or how prestigious it is.
One day—hopefully a long, long time from now—you and I will be gone. And you know what? Nobody is going to give a rip about your car or your house or whether or not you made a lot of money. If you do it right, they’re going to talk about how you gave, served, and loved—how you made the world a better place with your presence. They’ll talk about how they always knew that you loved them, and they’ll talk about how much they love you. And that, friends, is what I think it means to be successful.
“I used to be afraid I wouldn’t make enough money; now I’m afraid I won’t make enough difference.” —Bob Goff