I am succeeding just by being on this journey – Tama Kieves
We hear in many different quotes about how the journey is more important than the destination (see my explorations on 24th September on this subject). It is often repeated not just because it’s true, but because we need constant reminding of it; that it’s not a race to the end. The end is our passing, so what’s the hurry? You don’t get a final score at any stage and if you took a mental snapshot of your life at any time to see if you were happy with it – kids, relationships, money, health, fame – for example, what would you then do with that information? Would it change your mood to happy or sad? It’s just a story, your own judgement of your own criteria. Whatever power is has is what it gives you.
This ‘quote’, which I read in Tama’s new book, Inspired and Unstoppable (book review to come) speaks to me because I was/am currently on a particular journey to quell the hunger in me. I couldn’t name that hunger exactly. It was a hunger to ‘succeed’ and with all the books I’ve read, I know that I need to define what success means to me if ever I am to get it. But that definition is written in sand with a stick at the water’s edge and has to keep being redefined. Until I finally got it, as Tama did. ‘I am succeeding just by being on this journey’. By allowing myself to follow my DNA, my passion, my heart’s desire – to connect with others – I am succeeding.
Today I would define success as waking up at 5.30am every morning and reading, but then leaping out of bed because I can’t help myself, even if it’s cold and dark, and rushing over to the computer to look up something, or write something or check my stats for the blog (which is only in the last 8 days as I didn’t get any views before then, so thank heaps to the 15 followers!).
Success is waking up and busting to start your day, whatever it is you’re doing. I am going to work of course and by western standards I am no success there, in an entry level job, but it is still a success because I enjoy it.
Tama explains about feeling like a misfit (the tune from ‘There once was an ugly duckling’ keeps going round my head this morning). I think we all feel like a misfit in some way. I really do! Tama talks about this hunger and energy to do something, which leaves the contented others scratching their heads. I get it. I have this hunger. I see the hunger as a source of joy as I keep enjoying trying to satisfy it, with whatever I am drawn to. You can’t get enjoyment from anything unless you like it so I am glad that I have so many interests. Far more potential for fun. When you are depressed you have no interests.
It’s OK for me to jump from activity to activity, like a crazy person and not finish anything. It’s OK for me to sit for hours doing a jigsaw puzzle, completely hyperfocused and oblivious to distraction. It’s OK to do anything at all! We are all OK. I am succeeding because I am following my own path and accepting it.
How do we not succeed, not be on a journey? We don’t. We are all on one whether we like it on not. So we are a success. We can be successful at acting, singing, being a parent; or successful at losing our money as a gambler, or our looks to anorexia. We succeed at whatever it is that we put our focus on. That part of our lives thrives in some way. The outcome may not always be something you think you want, but you are doing it for a reason, even drugs.
I think Tama was referring to her personal hunger to be rich, famous and recognised but I think she then came to realise that she had already succeeded because she allowed herself to admit her need to herself and others without flinching, and to chase it unabashedly. She accepted herself, which is what I keep coming back to. There is a place for everyone, there is a tribe for everyone and just by turning on your computer each day and seeking out anything new, personal and of interest to you, your journey is proceeding in the direction of your choice. No one else’s. It’s a little mirror to your soul.
My taking up blogging recently is both the catalyst and the byproduct of succeeding. It fulfills a need I have always had for seeking connection with others. I am lucky that blogging exists and that I finally found it. Your reading blogs (or any kind of information seeking and learning) is also the catalyst to and the byproduct of your succeeding. You are choosing to enrich your mind on a subject that interests you; you are taking time and allowing yourself to enjoy what works for you, and to clarify and confirm what you probably already know. You are being the authentic you, on your authentic journey.