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Emptiness- more intense in success

By Dave Henning / November 24, 2018

” . . . the emptiness so many people experience in life is more intense in success that it is in failure. . . .  Most of us have this notion that Once I get to a certain place or achieve a certain thing, life will truly start in full, and I’ll finally be happy and whole.  It just doesn’t work out that way.”- Carey Nieuwhof (emphasis author’s)

In Chapter 13 (“When All Your Dreams Come True”) of Didn’t See It Coming, Carey Nieuwhof explains why money, power, and success leave you feeling empty.  As Pastor Nieuwhof observes, each new achievement or each new life marker you pick yields only a short-lived high.  Thus, this is a game you always lose.

Furthermore, Carey describes a progression to success and accumulation.  Also, he adds, all of us engage in this process in some form.  This progression consists of three steps:

  1. More– once you make enough income to move beyond paying basic bills, you start to accumulate more.
  2. Better – soon you notice everyone has a little more.  Therefore, you wonder how to set yourself apart from the crowd.  As a result, you trade more for better.  But, that’s sill not quite enough.  Because your friends also possess those better things.
  3. Different – the final rung on the ladder.  While others may have more and better, you own unique, special, and rare things.  As Carey quips, when you different well, everything you own is scarce or custom.

In conclusion, Pastor Nieuwhof offers this summary:

“Climb high enough on the success ladder, and more will bring you betterBetter will drive you to different.  Where does different take you?  According to Solomon, who could do different better than anyone else alive, it takes you to despair.”

Today’s question: What emptiness do you feel as you seek your calling?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Trying to numb the pain of emptiness”

About the author

Dave Henning


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