Recently, I've been feeling rather stuck.
I imagine t's because of this bouncing babe in my belly, who, according to the doctor, is quite ready to make her grand entrance 5 weeks early (I'm really not surprised - if she's anything like me, she's already impatient and itching to let the wailing, breath of the world embrace her skin). Maybe it's because I simply feel as though I'm running out of time.
I listened to a TED talk a week or so ago about success. About how we're encouraged from all angles that we can strike it rich and change the world and make an impact. And when this doesn't happen - when it's not as easy as the magazine headlines make it seem - we feel like failures, over and over again. As a coach, and a teacher, and a writer, I am guilty of pushing this message as well - onto others, and even more strongly, onto myself.
These days, the world is full of self-help books and five-simple-steps-to-success-follow-your-dreams e-courses and coaching opportunities and quick fixes and maps to all of your desires. It's overwhelming. When we see that there are so many people who are chasing after & nearly grasping what appears to be the same dream (striking it rich; changing the world; making an impact), we might feel as if we've already failed, even if we haven't yet tried.
The truth is, very few people are successful by that narrow definition of the word.
A slice of the population will ever be financially wealthy. A handful will ever change the world (the whole world - internationally recognized & respected). And while at first, I was discouraged by these facts, I was afterwards quickly humbled by them. Softened. Renewed. Relieved.
The pressure's off, my love.
I think the biggest problem is that we're constantly told what success means. Money. Power. Popularity. Reach.
But thinking back to the beginning, maybe this isn't what you imagined success was.
I close my eyes and invoke my childhood. Those wild-eyed years of endless opportunity and drinking in the wideness of the world. Then, what did I imagine success was? What do I still feel - truly, beneath the illusion of the media - that is is, now?
Writing a little bit every day. Traveling for myself - not to tell anyone about it or record the whole thing in a photo book. Laughing a lot. Watching sunsets from the porch. Living close to my family. Changing the world around me - one person at a time. Spending slow hours with my husband. Having a child. Teaching her to be wild, and still, and loving. Simple things. Having enough, but not too much, because too much always leads to wanting more.
Small. Hearty. Warm.
It's reassuring, really, to renew your definition of success. It doesn't have to be the same definition that the magazine titles & self-help section has painted over your heart. Dig deeper. Remember. What does success mean to you?
Write it down. Sound out the words in your mouth and notice how sweet they are.
Then, move forward. And be incredibly successful.
Don't forget to check out the rest of this beautiful blog tour! These ladies truly are following their own definition of success. They're all brilliant & contagious lights. I'm honored to be posting after Laura Madden. You can read yesterday's post here.