Does Your Definition of Success Line Up To God’s? Maxwell says We may have it wrong!
For some of us, the idea of being successful while serving others appears to be counter intuitive. Our society’s definition of success, for the most part, does not revolve around selfless acts, but about self-promotion and about being better than our “competition”.
And it certainly doesn’t promote serving others like Jesus did!
Are Our Definitions of Success Close to What God Wants, Or Very Far Away?
Mark H. Maxwell is a sought-after entertainment lawyer residing in Nashville, Tennessee. Additionally, Maxwell is a professor at Belmont’s prestigious entertainment business and songwriting program. He has recently written a new book called, “Networking Kills: Success Through Serving“.
Maxwell’s book discusses what scripture and Jesus reveal about what true success is. By weaving scripture with pop culture illustrations from John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen, Kim Kardashian, Johnny Cash, and Maxwell’s own stories from his professional career, he discusses the need for cultural change regarding our pursuit of success.
In our world, we have been taught that networking is the key to success in all areas- especially business. Maxwell points out that this notion is not only untrue, but potentially dangerous to success. He discusses how the singular approach to success has serious flaws, and talks about the myth itself.
Maxwell discusses how networking:
- Kills creativity.
- Kills authentic relationships.
- Kills life.
- Kills love.
When you think about it, those who’s sole focus is to network with others often experience significant behavioural highs and lows. Those in business are taught that networking is the key to getting ahead in life and forge relationships based on those whom they deem will be more beneficial to advancing their career.
Meanwhile, those engaged in social media experience highs and lows in life dependent on the reactions that others give to themselves, or their brand. Networking is based on other people’s perceptions of you, is very self-involved, self-absorbed, and causes people to use others.
Is this how we want to be? Should this be the cost to success? Furthermore, does it not make you wonder who your friends really are, whether they are your friends, or they are just using you? It seems like a shallow world.
If we look at serving, it’s a selfless act as it put’s someone else’s needs ahead of our own. It is helping someone else out- not ourselves. It forges deep relationships because you are not using someone for your own benefit, but helping them to be a success.
For those thinking that this is no way to get ahead, and who have the perception that people really only use others, then you negate people’s innate, godly desire to return favours, and to help others in need. If we use others, and expect to be used in return, then this is what will happen. It’s not only a self-fulfilling prophesy, but also a biblical one as well (sowing and reaping). You get treated how you treat others.
Now if we want to change this paradigm from users using others, we need to change ourselves. And I guarantee servant leadership will be more noticed than playing the same game as everyone else.
Most of all, you will be glorifying God in your actions. Remember, it is not man who promotes, but God.
Diane Lloyd interviewed Mark H. Maxwell regarding his new book, and gained insight into these principles. Maxwell discusses how serving is the key to success, and why our principles are so wrong.
“I saw very early on in my students the pressure that they were experiencing related to networking. A pressure that was causing them to become selfish, self-serving, and exploitive in their relationships, as well as plain fearful in terms of the pursuit of their future careers. I began to ask myself “How does this whole networking mantra or rule that is pushed on college students really work when you compare it to what the Bible teaches and what Christ taught about true success.” The answer — it doesn’t work.” Maxwell says.
Mark H. Maxwell will be in our July Issue of Faith Filled Family Magazine coming out on June 26, 2019.