Questioning Success

Are there certain writings/sites/blogs/publications you read every day? The newspaper? The New Yorker? A religious text? Buzzfeed? 

I’ve always been a big fan of Brain Pickings. Are you guys familiar with it? It’s Maria Popova‘s amazingly written, beautifully curated, “one woman labor-of-love,” as she calls it. A site that began as a weekly newsletter of interestingness that she sent to seven friends. 

Her mission is simple, and refreshingly self-centered. To chronicle her intellectual, creative, spiritual growth, and examine what it means to lead a good life. Amazing, isn’t it? 

Of late, it seems Maria’s been pondering the concept of success. The difference between a starving artist and a thriving artist. The liberation of following your dreams, versus falling victim to societal expectations of what’s next. The importance of “being a good one,” whatever you may be. 


beauvoir burroughs

How amazing are these illustrations? 

But success & expectations, and looking inside myself to understand what MY take on these two words mean, have been weighing heavy on my mind these days. Thus far, success has always been predicated on how much I’ve has accomplished. Where I went to school, if I graduated with honors, where I worked, where I lived, money (ick). But what about happiness? What about just leading a life that ends in a peaceful night of sleep. Or a day that is serene. Or being present to experience the small, magical moments in life. Or waking up and feeling excited for the day ahead. Why aren’t those factored into “success?” I don’t know, but I’m trying hard to change the way I think about it. Because otherwise, I’ll never be setting myself up for success! I’ll be setting myself up for discontent, feelings of insecurity and insufficiency. And that’s just not cool, guys. If we’re not our own biggest advocates, who will be? 

Just a thought. x