March 8, 2011 jennyrain

What is Success?

These are my site stats for 2011.

You’ll note they are missing a very important component: ACTUAL stats.

I became overly obsessed with site stats in 2010 to the point of where statistics were driving my blog content and my daily mood.

When I changed my template recently, I accidentally turned off my statistics. At first I was horrified that I could not “track” the success or failure of each blog with actual metrics. Then I was relieved to be set free of outside indicators of success and delighted to come in each day to see the 0 visitor count, so I never turned the stats back on.

 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Success can not always be proven by external indicators.

 THIS is what God considers success (and coincidentally is the ONLY time that the word “success” is used in the bible at all)

“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Joshua 1:8

Are you basing your success indicators on “external” appearances?

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I break things and trip a lot. I like to chase things like dreams, goals, ideas, and raindrops. I create things with words. Writing has been an outlet since I first discovered the magic empty space of a journal. Words dance around in my brain and often land amidst scraps of paper, find their way into journals, or etch themselves into blinking pixels. I hope my words fall like rain on tender souls in need of refreshing. Finding photos in random moments helps me share stories. During a trip to Africa the perfect trifecta of my first DSLR, mission trip, and dream-location happened and my love of photography became a reality. I'm currently writing my first book, "Will They Laugh if I Call You Daddy: Growing up with 2 Dads in an Evangelical World," I'm a board member for One Million Kids, and I believe that every kid of an LGBT parent should have an opportunity to #ChangeTheConversation with their story. My bio remains in process because I am.

Comments (12)

  1. Moe

    Yeah, we all get so obsessed with numbers and stats. As if that says much about what really matters. Don’t get me wrong, community is important, but I don’t blog for the numbers. I blog because I need to. Thanks for this wonderful post. Hits home!

    • jennyrain

      love your blogs Moe and they totally reflect that you are doing this as an expression of your growth… makes your blogs fun to read 🙂

  2. When I first started I was pretty obsessed with stats. It’s hard not to get sucked in. Same as you, I would be on a high when I had a busy traffic day and get bummed when a post bombed.

    Today I measure my success by the fruit it is producing in my life. My blog helps me organize my thoughts and get them out. I definitely feel that I have grown in my walk since starting to write regularly.

    I occasionally glance at my stats but I don’t dig into them as much as I used to. I don’t look at my RSS subscriber count at all. I just want to stay faithful to what I believe God has called me to do. That faithfulness is my measure of success.

    • jennyrain

      Yeah – for me – if they were there, I was obsessing… hence the need to subtract the idol from my life 😉

    • Tony, I like what you say about “staying faithful tow aht I believe God has called me to do”. So true and an excellent measure of success.

  3. But if you don’t have stats turned on how do you know how much you’re worth? How can you tell if people like you or not TODAY?!

    It’s funny cause it’s true. I place WAY too much value on site views and comments and RTs and mentions. I need to get over myself. You’ve made me think today, Jenny. I may have to follow your lead in this area. It kinda freaks me out though.

  4. I based my success on external appearances for years because I worked in broadcasting. If you didn’t have the numbers, you weren’t a success. It’s hard not to apply it to other parts of life.

    • jennyrain

      that’s how the training field was too… if you had a certain number of classes, participants, etc, you were worthwhile… it can be a cancer these things called “metrics”

  5. The stats would determine your daily mood…I struggle with this, too!

    The stats were much more important to me in the beginning, but I’ve recently more or less forgotten about them.

    I really like the Joshua verse you shared! I had no idea that “success” is only mentioned there in the entire Biblia.

    And, random side note: your pugs are the cutest dogs ever, after my weiner pups of course. 🙂

  6. so interesting that it’s the only place in the bible where success is mentioned! i did not know that. i’m reading maxwell’s failing forward and the ideas behind changing our thoughts about success/failure are so interesting! now to go ponder that verse for a while… =)

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