Wednesday, February 22, 2006

JK: What is Success, part 2

How have your views on success changed over time?

I once wrote a long definition of success for a course my husband and I took about setting goals etc. Even now, 13 years after having written it I realize that it is still the process of having the privilege to write that I find successful. Ok, I’ll add it here then you can see what I mean.

“Success to me is plunging headlong into a pool of intensity, emerging
energized and wiser on the other side, seeking applause for my achievement and for being unique. Success is connecting with others in relationships that are intimate and disclosing, engaging and vibrant, growing and changing, tender and supportive. It is embracing without reservation my
spiritual beliefs and living congruently with them. Success is also being
inspired and challenged by the world around me to use my writing, speaker,
humor, caring and leadership abilities to creatively touch the lives of

I might change a word or two but basically this captures how I feel about my life still. I should add that that before I started writing for other people to read my work, I was in my mid-forties. I’d had another life as a mental health professional and received some nice honors during my career. I cherished those honors but the day came when there was work I knew I should do but I no longer had the energy to do it. And some of the passion of administering a large clinic had gone out of me. When that happened, I felt very unsuccessful. I had not allowed God to be much of a part of that career when I left that work to begin to write (I did feel God was not only a part of writing but the passion for writing).

Because our ranch wasn’t very successful, I found myself working in mental health on an Indian Reservation. That experience inspired my life and my first novel combined that love of writing with Native American interest and story-telling as healing. Truly simply writing that first story down, knowing it was this combination of my career paths and God’s guidance with that, was one of the most successful moments of my life. Having the book published was icing on the cake. Having that book receive some awards lit the candles that haven’t blown out yet!

Find Jane at and look for A Clearing in the Wild, coming in April, the first book in the Change and Cherish Series from WaterBrook Press.


At 11:18 AM, Blogger Patricia Hickman said...

This really strikes a chord, Jane. I was in a profession for nine years that I had not submitted to God. When I look back on it, I pull up only a few satisfying memories. When my hubby and I consecrated every area to God, that is when we started collecting the timeline of an amazing life. Anyone who tries to discredit a life sold out to Jesus simply hasn't set out on the adventure.


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