After having dinner with Bethany last night and watching this interview with Danielle LaPorte this morning, I have so many thoughts running through my head. Thoughts about business, writing, blogging, and life...
It seems as if we all want to know the secret to success. Sometimes in the online world, it looks easy, as if people have found the trick to overnight fame, fortune, and happiness. But in reality, that's rarely the case.
Here are some thoughts I keep coming back to, things I have to remind myself of, things I want to share with all of you who are striving for something in life.
Just do it. Learn along the way. Learn for yourself.
At some point, you have to stop reading all the self-help and how-to books and blogs, stop taking the courses and classes. You have to simply trust that you have enough knowledge to start. The only way to find personal success, whatever that means for you, is to make your own path. That means trying, failing, learning, moving forward.
Stop looking around. Stop comparing yourself. Stop trying to do what others have done.
Since your definition and path to personal success is your own, you also have to stop looking around at others. Sure, you can learn from and be inspired by other people's paths to success, but reading about their stories and connecting with them can only take you so far. What they have done worked for them. What they have done doesn't necessarily work for everyone and doesn't necessarily work for you.
Stay true to yourself. You can't please everyone.
As you move down your path, there will be many obstacles, questions, and decisions. To stay on the right path, the right one for you, you must look to your heart and stay true to what you want and believe. Think about what makes sense, pray for guidance, ask advice--but ultimately, take the steps that feel right for you. People may disagree, people may ask questions, people may criticize your decisions. You can consider their comments, but it's up to you whether to let those comments influence your way. Remember it's your path. It's your life.
Don't take things personally or expect too much out of people. We don't know.
Whether we interact in the online world or in "real life," we connect with other people along the way. Sometimes you may feel like other people are ignoring you, not paying attention to you, excluding you. You may feel insignificant, like a small fish in a big, murky pond. But in looking from another perspective--a human perspective that sees how we are all working and struggling and striving--you may come to realize they don't mean any harm. They are trying to find happiness and joy, success and fulfillment, just like you are. And none of us knows what else is going on in other people's lives--even those we are close to, related to, in a relationship with. We don't know the day they've had or what they are dealing with. We haven't lived their exact experiences. Let's be kind to one another.
Don't give with the expectation to receive. Make genuine connections and see what happens.
So much advice about "getting ahead" is about making connections, networking, who you know. While that may be true, it doesn't mean those interactions should be selfish or fake. Think about it like making friendships. Be open to those you meet and be genuine. Give to others, help others without selfish intentions. If you do this, something will happen. Good things that you would never expect will happen. And when those relationships bring you new opportunities, be thankful.
There is no secret to success.
Sorry, everyone... I guess the title of this blog post is a little misleading. As much as we all search for it, there is no secret, no trick, no quick-and-easy way. The best things in life require work and sacrifice and time. But that's what makes them amazing. That's what makes them worth working for. If there was a secret to success, it would have to be universal. But we're all paving our own ways, walking our own paths, growing towards our own best selves, working towards our own definitions of success, happiness, fulfillment, whatever that may be. So there is no one-size-fits-all answer. And knowing that can help you stop looking around for the answer and start moving forward.
I want to know what you all think! What does "success" mean for you? How do you determine which path makes sense for you?