How do you measure success? This is something I think about a lot and try to redefine it so that I feel good about reaching my goals. Often times I feel deflated after, not sure why I don't feel as great as I should for reaching a milestone.
If you’ve been following my journey, last year I created the 100 Masked Men Series where I interviewed men all around the world to learn about masculinity and how men interpret their interactions with women.
At the time, success just meant completing the task. One of the best attributes about myself is my discipline and commitment to things. If I set a goal to publish 100 interviews, you bet i'll do it. I will execute instantly, consistently, and effectively. My issue isn’t about the doing, it’s about the intention behind it. What I usually experience after I’ve completed a task is a lack of fulfillment. I'll start to question, why did I even do that thing? What was the real purpose? Did I really do anything, or did I just hit a new high score?
Just hitting a target isn’t enough. Success comes from understanding why you even want to hit the target. Not because it’s the furthest or the hardest or the easiest to reach. When you think of it that way, you rely on what the outcome would look like. If success is the furthest, do you win because everyone else didn’t hit it as far as you did? That way, success could only be achieved if you had competitors shooting for the same target.
Take starting a podcast, we think about equipment, audio quality, posting schedule, the guests on the show, the social media promotion, everything is focused on what we believe is supposed to come out from it. Success is measured quantitatively, by the number of subscribers you have, the number of likes, shares, comments, all of it is based on the perceived approval of others.
I remember a lot of the guys that actually didn’t come on the show asked me what they would get out of it. Being anonymous, they wouldn’t be able to attach their name to the episode and thought it wasn’t worth the conversation.
When I set the intention to be just to practice having deeper conversations, talking about things you would never normally talk about, and going outside your comfort zone, then every time I got on the mic, I knew I was improving and reaching my own, personal goals.
And what results is an overspill of more blessings. Over the past year, I was aimlessly traveling through mexico, trying to heal myself from all the pain I collected in my personal experiences with men and I had an outlet to speak about it week after week with open-hearted men that were pure examples of other humans in this world that actually would allow for this type of communication. It gave me hope and really was the driving force that led me to hit my 100 men goal. It wasn’t just pure discipline in the end.
And in that time, I healed a lot. I was able to finally become sober, I adopted a completely plant-based diet and rather than restricting myself from sex with unhealthy attachments, I wholeheartedly chose to practice abstinence and enjoy my stress free lifestyle that has no conversation about a break in boundaries with sex because I simply just don't go there anymore.
I used to think that success would be attributed by the amount of listens, the 100 hours of sound bites, or getting wild stories that would shock and amaze people. These are all external things that take the true power of success away from you.
Success for me now is just a realization of myself and who I am. That way no person or thing can take success away from me. I have the power to give it to myself and I have the power to withhold it from myself.
The reason I started the learning how to live series is to commit to showing my true authentic self. If you heard my last episode on authenticity, I was feeling a lot of pressure to continue acting a version of myself that I projected onto someone and felt the need to keep it up. And I’m tired of that maintenance, I just want to show up as my true self now and share things that matter to me. I’m no longer thinking about what the best topics to podcast about are, or begging for popular people to guest on my show. I'm taking the power back in this show and making sure that whatever I share is my pure, unfiltered truth that isn’t dependent on the approval of any external factors.
Creating this series helps me take a step back and remember what I’ve done, what I’ve not done, what I’ve thought about, what I’ve liked, what I’ve disliked, and most importantly learned about myself each and every week. I’m doing this for myself, and I’m happy to share these thoughts in hopes that it may encourage you to also see that you might have more to share than you think.
I think we don't realize how much is happening in our lives on a daily basis because we are so focused on the next goal to reach. Every day we can share a lot of things that happened, but we choose not to because it probably doesn’t seem like a big deal. But who decides what’s worth sharing? What makes one situation more important than the other that it deserves to be shared?
At the end of day, we are all seeking connection, acceptance, and ultimately love. You only get what you put out. And if you are putting out a certain image of yourself that you believe is acceptable, then you will only receive that small percentage in return. And you will always feel like something is missing, and I'll give you the secret - that little missing something is a piece is you! The real you.
I will leave you with this quote I found the other day by Alan Watts, it says The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.