I've rebranded! My newsletter is now called For Monday, in the hopes that I can start your week with you, coffee and newsletter in hand.
Today I'm going to be talking about success. With that being said, I need to be clear: this was written by an unsuccessful person. Success-driven, yes, but not successful. If I considered myself successful at this point in my life, the bar would be set and I would never challenge myself again. I'm right, right? Yes. Success should only be used to describe the person who cures cancer, or the person who gets McDonald's to serve ALL breakfast all day long (*sigh*). I am writing about success as an observer of it, not necessarily as an obtainer.
Something I am learning as a young adult is to appreciate the season I am in. I am, and always have been, a dreamer. It is my dream that Siri will eventually be able to replace all need for human interaction. It is my dream that drones will be delivering Chipotle by the year 2017 (snap snap!). It is my dream that in two years or less I will be living abroad (cue #Brexit anxiety). To me, it seems far more likely that drones will deliver Chipotle than I will move abroad since I’m currently living in my parents’ basement (which I’m enormously grateful for). I'm discovering, however, that the present is more than simply a waiting period for the future.
Dan Pallotta, a huge inspiration for this week’s newsletter, gave a Ted talk titled “The Dreams We Haven’t Dared to Dream.” In that talk, Pallotta discusses how we as Americans, and really all global citizens, are great at setting goals for professional and technological advances. He also talks about the consequences of chasing those goals at the expense of our emotional well-being. We get in the way of our dreams because even if those dreams are achieved, we are emotionally incapable of dealing with them. We are emotionally incapacitated by the sheer effort we put into the goals we set for ourselves that have nothing to do with the growth of our emotions. It's the classic divorced CEO line of thought- sacrificing family (emotions) for career (goals). "We would never do that," we say, as we put way more effort into our careers, school, or friends than our own well-being. We've all done it. Pallota says, “too often our dreams become these compartmentalized fixations on some future that destroy our ability to be present for our lives right now.”
WHAT. Read that again.
Insane. That is some serious humble pie. Pallotta flat out calls us out for being so focused on moving toward a goal, a desire, a dream, that we totally block out what is happening around us right now. We are not a people interested in the present, but in sacrificing the present with the hope of a better future. We have to work ourselves up to our goals emotionally, or we will not have the stability to enjoy them, and sustain them, when we finally reach them.
If I want to be successful in my future dreams, I need to work toward that success in my present goals, and use my goals to develop myself in all areas. Only then will I grow to be the person who can thrive to my fullest potential. My dream right now is to become a full time writer. I know that writing is hard, and it takes a lot of work to build a credible, desired voice in today’s media. This dream is why I launched my newsletter: I know that I need to start getting my voice out there. This long term dream is beginning to play out in my everyday life. Putting words on paper is hard, though. It can be draining. Writing always leaves me tired, emotionally taxed, and sometimes a little sad (idk tbh). For me, to practice writing is not to practice moving my fingers across the keyboard, or practice learning new words. Beyond that, I must practice making emotionally healthy choices, and choices that will keep me from being drained after I cap my pen (or fingers???). Dreams are not a formula- for any of us. It's a matter of taking our focus off of our goals just long enough to see ourselves and what our needs are- we are all both the boss who needs to keep the employee happy, as well as the employee. It's all about being able to Treat Yo' Self.
There will be road blocks on the way to success. There are always roadblocks. Think of healthy emotions and relationships as Marty McFly hoverboards that will fly you right over those road blocks. Because really, when it's all said and done, our achievements are only as good as our ability to enjoy them.
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