As I’m creating this new space, I often think of what I can do to make it better for everyone reading. I want to create something successful, something that people will read, recommend, and eventually turn into some side income. Finding success is why I set out to do this.
Except that it’s not.
I really set out on this journey to find my niche in this world, sharing my thoughts through my own voice, and embracing who I am, as feeble an attempt as it may be. I’m not sure how long it will take to get there. There isn’t a set timeline for when I will fully be able to share, with any confidence, who I am and what I want to say. But that is ok. I’m not failing at it, I’m not upset about it, I’m just allowing it to happen. I always try to remember:
Life is a journey, not a destination.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
I often look to people that have found success to see what they have done to get there. Aaron Mahnke had some great words on Twitter this week in the wake of a successful book launch and his podcast (emphasis mine):
I see one decision at the root of the incredible ride I’ve had since April: I stopped trying to be like everyone else and embraced “me”. Scoff if you want. Make fun of the “Hallmark-ness” of that revelation. That’s cool. But maybe stop and ask yourself why you’re scoffing. I thought I had to be an Apple-blogger-tech-opinionator-profound-thinker-productivity-guy. But that’s not me. I suck at that. The world needs more people who make decisions based on who they are, not who they think the world wants them to be. In what world is it “normal” to love [what I love]? Mine.
— Aaron Mahnke (@amahnke) July 29, 2015
I love Aaron’s sentiment here, and it couldn’t be more true. It seems that anyone that I can look up to for inspiration, regardless of their craft, has done so by sharing their passion. Sure, there could be acclaim and financial success, but they find success by being themselves by sharing what they love with the world. You don’t have to be the next big thing. You don’t have to be like other people. You just need to be you.
I think for most, being yourself is one of the hardest things to do as a human. It takes a lot to get out of your own way, remove the internal barriers, and open up your world to others. We allow ourselves to be defined rather than define ourselves.
That’s the toughest part for me: how do I define myself? I don’t yet know the answer. It won’t be quick, and it certainly won’t be easy — but I know that being myself and sharing it with others will be the biggest payoff in my success.
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