For whatever it means to you, we all want to be successful. My success may look very different to yours but we all aspire to that state symbolised by that word ‘success’. We pin our role models to it and our dreams, we guide our light by it and our actions.
But here’s the problem as I see it. Success relies on two very fundamental things. It relies on love and connection. With those two ingredients, I honestly think everything else can follow. But these two things, to be truly successful, need to be present in some way, to some degree and in some alignment.
Because, to chase success, real success, there has to be an understanding of what success for you really is. It could be speaking in public, it could be going straight, it could be being the best in your field. But whatever it is has to light you up, turn you on and tune you in. If it doesn’t make you shine, then it’s not success. So you have to know what lights you up. And you have to be willing to navigate your life that way. Success usually lies over visible hurdles, and you have to have the energy to jump them.
We live in a society full of addictions. I don’t think I know of many people who aren’t addicted to something. Be it social media, crappy tv, sugar, substances, exercise…everyone has a go-to under which they can bury themselves. The more we don’t want to face what we know we should, the more we shuffle under that safety blanket that helps hold things at a constant, or worse to stagnation. Ultimately, you’re holding yourself off from yourself, trying to avoid that which is already inside you and therefore unavoidable. You are trying to disconnect from the very connection that, when healed, will propel you forward, ever lighter to a future ever brighter.
So, to connect in, to shrug off the comforter that is actually holding you in a place of discomfort and disservice, you have to do what some people find the most challenging of all. It’s not to get motivated, nor to get inspired per se. It’s to love yourself enough to call it. It’s to own all of who you are and who you know you are destined to be. To love yourself means no longer calling yourself a failure, because being a ‘failure’ means you don’t have to try anymore. To love yourself means to understand you have a shadow, and that that shadow can spur you on as much as it can drag you back. To love yourself is to understand that you are given breath and heartbeat so you can do something, help someone, be someone, just like everyone else. To love yourself means no longer aspiring to ‘perfection’ which can be just as crippling as ‘failure’.
To be successful, I believe, takes true courage. Because to get there you have to invest in yourself in a world which tells you to invest everywhere else. It tells you you’re successful if you’re in a relationship, a job, a car or a plane. It tells you you’re successful if you’re in a slim body or a buff one, a baby-bearing one or a baby-making one. To me, success is very different. Success is waking up to someone you love very much, and that person being you. Success is understanding the only person who has the power to deem your day ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is you and how you handle things. Success is being able to rejoice in the big and the little things as easily as you mourn their counterparts. It’s feeling like you’re thriving. It’s feeling like you belong, elementally and fundamentally, in your world. It’s when you can trust your gut instinct and ride your emotions out. It’s when you can smile at the sun and the rain equally, knowing they both nourish you. It’s knowing that everything encountered every day can nourish you, if only you are connected to and love yourself enough to let it.