A couple years ago, I wrote a post here where I said I was successful, and I didn't mean that in any monetary way, or status kind of way. I meant that I could lay my head down at the end of the night and say "I told the truth today."
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about this idea of success. I am in the middle of a cleanse that my sister's leading — no coffee, sugar or wine, which are three of the things I typically enjoy every day. It's actually giving me a lot of clarity. I will go back to coffee once this is over, but I don't need to be drinking seven cups a day. So, here I am, thinking about the idea of success.
What is success?
To me it's telling the truth, about who we are. You can call that living with integrity, too. For years I was waitressing and miserable and filled with self-loathing and NOT creating or writing or dreaming even. For all those years that I was not doing anything except hating myself, I was not telling the truth about who I was.
Nowadays, I meet people every day. I lead workshops around the world (I practically live on an airplane) and I engage on social media a helluva lot. I meet a lot of people. Truly, I am an unbelievably lucky duck to get to encounter so many beautiful humans. And many of them say, Jen you are a rock star. Jen, you are so successful. Or something like that.
Let me tell you: Quite often I do not feel like a success.
Quite often I feel like I am not doing enough, that I "should" be further ahead, I work so hard and why am I still spinning my own wheels, Why do I get in my own way, Why haven't I published my book yet, Why don't I have a million Instagram followers? yadda yadda yadda. I start comparing myself. I go down the rabbit hole of I-Am-Not-Successful.I will go back to what I said a couple years ago: At the end of the day, I can put my head down and say "I told the truth today."
So why do I not feel successful some days? Because some days, frankly, I am not telling the truth. I am not writing, I am not making art, I am not connecting, I am wasting time, I am sleeping all day instead of dealing with whatever is going on, I am looking on Facebook instead of working on my book. You get it. I am not telling the truth about who I am.
Look, do I want a house? Yea. Do I want more money? Sure.
But that's not success. That may feel like the "idea" of success. Do I think money doesn't sometimes make life easier? Sure does. (Sometimes*.)
So here are some reminders for you in case you are also questioning what it means to be successful:
- You do NOT have to have what you think of as the perfect body to be successful.
- You do not have to have a million Instagram followers (or any, for that matter).
- You do not have to have 2.5 children.
- You do not have to have a book published.
- You do not have to have your dream job.
- You do not have to be perfect.
All you have to do is tell the truth about who you are in this world.
And love. You absolutely must love.
At the end of my life when I ask one final What have I done?, let my answer be I have done love.
I have. Boy, have I ever. This is why I have such a tribe on my Facebook page and Instagram. You think they come for the handstand pics or the corny quotes or politics or anything else? Nope. They come for the love. That feeling is success.
Tell the truth and do love.
*Sometimes money makes life a lot harder. Please see "Mo Money Mo Problems" by Biggie Smalls. You can google it. He knew what was what. ( I miss Biggie.)
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