There are over 100 definitions for the English word: Success, recorded in trusted text and numerous historical references. To make matters worse, individuals within cultures and sub-cultures, all have different definitions for this word. Even generations within a sub-culture or culture, have different definitions. For my Mother and her generation; those who weren’t swept up in drugs or the “War on Drugs”; success to them was/is, securing a job, maybe a career and playing the game until retirement. For their children, my generation, success is doing something that pulls our heartstrings and sharing with family/friends. Majority of the working class, do have great jobs; just the routine that, affects one’s entire lifestyle. The life of someone who works is totally opposite from someone who, works for a living.
Webster defines success as (1) the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence (2) one that SUCCEEDS. My little brother meaning of success, is getting a job, an apartment for his daughter, a vehicle and staying out of jail. His meaning is similar to Webster’s, smaller scale but majority of the poor people, share this view. A friend of mine, her definition to success steams on the success of her children, she is a stay at home mother, and she was destine to be a mother. To her, success does not exist as of yet, her destiny is yet fulfill and is based on actions committed in the future by someone else. If the universal definition of success is Webster’s definition, it explains the financial gap, in America. How can one reach their destiny if they understand success, in the “wrong” way? Success is wealth. Majority of the wealthy people are miserable. If success makes you bitter or self-conscious, why would, a poor person want to become a success? Not me, never mind, I am going to stay in my regular job, in my regular life, with my regular problems. I may not be equipped to deal with success, so why try. Why take the big gamble, if you are going to lose anyway; to taxes, thieves, and missed managed by an ill prepared “YoU.” Manipulators, drugs and the list go on and on.
Why allow our definitions of success to translate to; you are only as good as the amount of property, money, or ownership you have. If you create something with a successful outcome, ideally you will gain financial wealth and become a successful person. However, the correct steps or tools used to accomplish the goals, where lost in translation and are now, obsolete. Majority of us, on the rat race to “success” defined by Webster, lose ourselves. Once you reach your goals, more come, more opportunities flow through. Now, you cannot remember why you begin down this road in the first place. The money now becomes a cause for the effect of losing family, turning away from good people in your life or neglecting yourself. How many movies have we seen about, parents whom kids hate them because, while they live in a great house and can go wherever he/she chooses—he/she is never able to spend time with their parents. The consent pressure to become the success you believe, is your destiny, turns everything around on you. Your destiny becomes your downfall or, it was never your destiny in the first place.
Take this situation for example; of course, I have no evidence for this theory, other than faith and love. Martin Luther King Jr. was born January 15, 1929—he shares the same birthday with a friend of mine. He married Coretta Scott King, June 18, 1953; four years later a little further north of the Kings, Bishop T.D. Jakes was born, June 9, 1957. On the other hand, my mother was born almost one month after Dr. King was murder, 4/4/1968. My mother begins creating her family, not soon after Bishop T.D. Jakes begin teaching the faith of God in 1980. Sometime before, January 30, 2006, Bishop T.D. Jakes visited with Mrs. King, in her hotel room and had a deep conversation with her. Later that year, I found out I was pregnant with my first child, Lanae Christlan Bell; but soon after I got pregnant, I had a miss-carriage. Six days ago, my mother-in-law gave me, Bishop T.D. Jakes book, Destiny; the irony of this specific incident is only significant with further explanation.
After losing my daughter, I went into a deep depression that last, for almost ten years. By the time Bishop T.D. Jakes, published Destiny, in 2015, I was out of a job, married but separated, mother less, one brother less and all self-esteem diminished—it would take me another year to reach the point where my destiny connected with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. You see, this book provided the validation that one, my mother could hear me, in heaven, and two faith is an amazing thing. I embarked on journeys after my mother left and I was missing that validation, which we daughters tend to seek from our mother’s, consciously or unconsciously. I asked her and The Most High to give me a sign, verify I am doing the right thing, in following my heart. My mother came to me in a dream three days before I received this book and said “Crystal your answer is coming, pay attention.” My question to The Most High and my mother all stem from, making the right decision in my life or questioning am I reading too much into the opportunities, signs and blessing? The Most High would not give something to me, if I were not to use it. Everything in me tells me I am right, so is this my destiny? Low and behold, Bishop T.D. Jakes, gained some information to past along, in regards to one’s destiny. He got his message from Mrs. King. She explained her destiny was to be Martin Luther King Jr’s wife. Martin was destine to be who he was, he was to die in that manner- to affect enough change in Bishop Jakes, that he reached out to Mrs. King. Bishop T.D. Jakes was destine to teach and through his learning, he gave me to tools to understand what my destiny is and how, my definition of success came about. Everything, in the past aligned for me to have this moment. Martin Luther King Jr became one of the greatest speakers and public figures in world History, it was his destiny, and he later married Ms. Coretta Scott-King, which was her destiny. Together the Kings created relationships, and connections with people of all kind, to promote unity, education, faith, family, and equality. The Kings were a huge enough influence on Bishop T.D. Jakes, to the point where he sought out Mrs. King, before she left the earth and left with the courage and a message for me. Eighty-seven years, this message was in line for me. The book was wrote way before I asked the question; if that’s not destiny, I do not know what you would call it.
We have no control over destiny; we cannot create something, not meant to be. Which leads me to my definition of success; my answer came recently-Destiny. If we cannot change the past, cannot predict the future, how can we create a layout or a plan for SUCCESS, if we do not have the layout for Destiny? Free will cannot be, when you understand that everything has a path, you did not just think to go to the Gym today, of all days.