Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash
Someone recently asked me how I got to where I am today. That’s a big question. I’ve been on this earth for three decades and a lot has happened in that time. I can’t possibly remember it all.
This makes me think of how often I delve into the biographies of people who seem to be living their best lives. I try to figure out what their secrets are and who helped them along the way.
This type of pursuit, while it makes sense, can be dangerous.
We each have our own unique path to where we’ll end up. It’s complicated. Winding. Long. At some point, looking into someone else’s life for a guide to how you should live your own becomes unhelpful – especially when we start to compare ourselves to them.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt defeated and deflated after comparing my own story to someone else’s. Especially when we’re the same age.
Also, there’s no secret to achieving things in this life. Some of it is privilege and positioning – you can accomplish a lot when you don’t have to worry about your basic needs. Let’s never become too self-absorbed that we forget that.
You can get a lot done when you’re not supporting others, raising children, providing comfort for sick loved ones, or rebuilding your life after a natural disaster.
But, as I write this, I’m realizing that all of these things ARE accomplishments. They might not be things that will bring us praise, an Oscar, or a Pulitzer. But do we need those things to validate our living?
I think what matters most is showing up as best you can to who and what you care about. That’s success. What matters is eating breakfast and taking a shower even when you feel like nothing is worth it. That’s success. What matters is asking for help even-though you’ll appear to be vulnerable and weak. That’s success.
It’s the grand and it’s the seemingly insignificant. It’s everything in between.
How did I get to where I am today? By waking up every morning, living with and braving through fear, leaning on God and others, eventually figuring out what/who matters to me, and focusing on that as much as possible.
There’s more to that, but I simply don’t have the time today to write it all down.
Hannah Brencher writes about tiny victories in her latest book, Come Matter Here. What’s one tiny victory you’ve accomplished today? Focus on that. Write it down. Appreciate it.