Someone once told me their three ingredients for success were patience, perseverance and luck. I suppose this can be applied to any profession. But my wish is for readers of The Connect Magazine to challenge and redefine their definitions of success.

I was raised by an incredibly strong single mother. I remember asking myself as a kid, “Why does my mother have to work two or three jobs just so we can eat?” Despite how difficult it was, she always encouraged my siblings and me to make good decisions and “aim for the stars.” I recall her telling me that I could do anything – if and only if – I put my mind to it.  

While growing up, I didn’t realize how powerful her words would prove to be. I made some poor decisions in my youth, but I believe those mistakes were the building blocks to my success. I clearly remember my loving mother repeating her three ingredients for becoming successful: First, she told me to always take care of my children and “Don’t be like your daddy.” (I heard this one quite often.) Second, she instructed me to secure a respectable job and focus on myself. Third, she told me to take care of my wife so that she would never have to work as hard as my mother did.

Those are all great traits to have and I somehow assumed if I followed them, I would live a “successful” life. I learned it isn’t so simple.

My world changed drastically several years ago when a good friend challenged my definition of success. He asked me, “Eric, What’s your purpose and passion?” I was so focused on living a “successful” life that I had no idea what I was meant to accomplish while on Earth.  

After some thought and more living, I realized success is more than having a certain amount in your bank account or reaching a particular career height. Successful living to me, in the broadest sense, means a life led by my spirit, being unafraid to try for new opportunities, spending time with those I most care about and living without regrets. In the Christian Bible, Matthew 16:26 says: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” I live by this concept.

Taking a bold leap of faith while listening to the whisper of my spirit was my first step toward living a successful life. Starting The Connect Magazine has been one of the most rewarding endeavors I’ve ever been a part of. Changing lives, creating jobs, building communities and speaking to souls are all priceless endeavors, which is why I continue to enjoy working with individuals such as my Managing Editor Lacey Johnson. We both share the same passion and love for believing in the greater good and empowering others. This is invaluable to me.

Looking back, if that same friend were to ask me my three ingredients for success, I would now say to him, with confidence: First, believe in something more powerful than you. Second, trust the process. And, finally, surround yourself with only positive and uplifting people.

I believe it is more important to keep your focus on your long-term goals than to profit immediately by nickel-and-diming your customers to death. I pride myself on giving our readers, who are still becoming acquainted with us, inspiration and valuable information – for free. I am also grateful to my mother, who taught me the importance of loving and respecting others.

I’ll conclude this message with a quote by Vincent Van Gogh: “Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.”

Eric Jordan