It’s so easy to see a culmination of other people's’ successes in front of us and assume we could never measure up.
And to feel like the work we do every day isn't worthy of the lives we see flying by with the flick of a thumb.
So, this is a simple reminder to not buy into the illusion that everyone has it figured out.
Because it really is an illusion.
It’s amazing how often we see people with the life we think we want and assume they got there overnight. Or that somehow life is perfect for them.
And we spend our time searching for this magic moment where life will be what we want in an instant.
The life you want starts now...
You can choose how you spend your emotional energy. You're either:
- exhausted by the limited perception you have of what’s going on in someone else’s life
- focused on your story and the continual value you give to people
How to stop feeling lost and start finding satisfaction
So, if you're feeling lost and wondering "what am I doing" or "where am I going", know that most people are there too.
Maybe you don't know what major to pick.
Or what job to take.
Or when your frustrating job will end.
Or when your friends will treat you well.
But, right now, we miss out on all you have to offer when you don't choose to be present.
You chasing after someone else's story leaves everyone at a loss. We miss the connection and joy and sorrow and vices and wholeness you can bring.
To stop feeling lost, disconnect yourself from everything that’s not a part of your story. To start finding satisfaction, reconnect yourself to where you’re at.
Because it’s great to see that your friend got a high-paying job in your dream city with a beautiful family... but thinking their situation makes you less likely to receive fulfillment is a lie.
The key to “making it” and living a successful life
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
I love to dream. My head is stuck in the future all the time. And it’s so easy to have a golden dream where I instantly get everything I want without any work involved.
Most of us act like if we dream hard enough, then something will change.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
“For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensure, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself” - Victor Frankl
Success is something we find because we chase after something greater than ourselves... the present moments within our story and timeline and space.
We will never find success and happiness in a distanced dream or in the life of someone else.
True fulfillment is a direct result of our desire to pursue the goodness in the present moments in front of us.
We encounter profound joy when we pursue something greater than ourselves. And each day we have to commit to small progresses that compounds over time.
How to create success tomorrow
To begin living with a sense of direction and clarity, you have to practice.
The person you want to become and the lifestyle you want to live will never appear on its own.
You must create it.
And it’s going to be rough at first…
Your first presentation will be terrifying.
Your first book will be exhausting.
Your first _______ will be rough.
But the only way you’re going to get better is to practice.
I’m an inexperienced writer. I’ve only written a handful of articles. But, I know that to get to my 1,000 article I’ll need to write my 800th. And to get there I’ll need to write my 374th. And to get there I’ll need to write my 29th. And to get there I’ll need to write my first.
Each step along the way I get better and better. I directly create success not by what I achieve, but by how I live...
“The only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really, shitty first drafts….The first draft is the child’s draft, where you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place, knowing that no one is going to see it and that you can shape it later….Very few writers really know what they are doing until they’ve done it…Just get it all down on paper, because there may be something great in those crazy pages that you would have never have gotten to by more rational grown-up means.” - Anne Lamott
And I continue that mindset outside of writing. Each day I look for small ways to become more of the person that I want to be.
5 steps to practice present success
- Recognize the illusion that everyone has life figured out. Because they don’t, even if they did it’s irrelevant to your story.
- Disconnect yourself from useless obsession with someone else’s success.
- Reconnect yourself to the present moments. Slow down your day and enjoy the moments you have to connect with real people and places and emotions.
- Write down some descriptions of the person you want to be in the future. Are you generous, warm, a leader, courageous, wealthy, productive, etc?
- Start each day with a quick meditation on how you’re going to choose to live out those qualities today.
You will never simply wake up and be living the life you want. And you’ll be stuck in misery and insecurity if you spend your time obsessing over someone else’s story.
Find the qualities you want to have when you've "made it" and practice them now... in every situation and with everyone you meet and you'll be on your way.
You have the power to change your attitude and actions. Begin chasing after something greater than yourself. Then, you'll start living a fulfilled life.