Success to Significance
Profile on: Rick Brekelbaum, Retired Exxon Corp. Executive
by Rick Brekelbaum
Several years ago I was challenged to think about what I had accomplished in my life and what I would do over the remainder of the years I may be allowed to live. My upbringing, education and career were centered very much on accomplishing (i.e. being all that I could be.)
I was born in America to the upper middle-class family. My parents instilled in me honesty, integrity, hard work, value of money and the education it could buy. The education I received was the best money could buy: a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from Northwestern?s Kellogg School of Business.
I married my high school sweetheart and headed off for New York upon graduation with the MBA after joining one of the world?s largest and most successful companies. My early career was very much focused on advancing up the professional ladder and I eventually became an executive manager with over 17 years of experience living, working and raising a family outside the USA.
Successful Yet Not Fulfilled
Solution With Lasting Value
Later in my career I finally appreciated the true concept of significance in life - something that had lasting value and would impact society for generations to come. I noticed that most people who truly had a positive impact on people were others-centered and not self-centered as my generation had been taught in looking out for No 1. People like Mother Teresa, President Lincoln, Gandhi, Jonas Salk, Martin Luther King, Bill Wilson (founder of AA Alcoholics Anonymous) etc. acted out of altruistic desires to better their generations and those to come. They made sacrifices and gave up relatively "cushy" lives in order to serve others and establish a legacy.
In conclusion, I realized that there is nothing inherently wrong in seeking success. At the same time ensuring that the measures of success were something that would lead to significance, not necessarily in some earth-shattering invention or contribution but something that would be others-centered and serving a benefit for others in my family and society through God's power. When we get to heaven, we want to receive Christ's blessing of: "Well done, good and faithful servant!" (Matthew 25:21).
Are you at the place in your life where you want your life to count for significance? Would you like to help other people reach their potential? Why not let Jesus show you how to do this? If you don?t know Jesus, we encourage you to pray the following prayer:
Is it the desire of your heart to make this prayer yours?
If yes, pray now and according to his promise, Jesus Christ will come into your life.
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