If you asked my 21-year-old self to define success, here is what she would say:
A six-figure income
Manger/Leader/CEO of _______.
Consistent awards + accolades
Being the top performer
Having the financial freedom to buy anything I want whenever I want
If you’re looking at this list and you’re thinking, Hey, that’s my success list, then that is wonderful. If it’s nothing like your success list then that is also so wonderful.
Pre-photography career, I achieved these ‘wins’ only to find myself conflicted by a work life that felt so meaningless, uninspiring, and lackluster. It wasn’t until I started my business in 2016 that I realized the gravity of my mistake. This wasn’t my definition of success, it was society’s definition. I misidentified success as the key to happiness rather than identifying happiness as the key to success.
If you asked me today to re-define the term, here is what I’d say:
Having the creative freedom to create whatever I want however I want to
Being a part-business woman and part-time mom
Inspiring and lifting others
Being able to work in my PJs
Being authentic and true to myself
The freedom and flexibility to stay home and care for my daughter
Traveling to new places
Having the time to read books
Sending my husband off with breakfast + a hot cup of coffee
As I redefined my barometer of success and pursued my passions in wedding photography, my work life has been guided by pure perseverance and genuine happiness. I work harder, longer, stronger, and more effectively than I ever did before. Every move I make is with intention and purpose. And I celebrate each and every win.
Your life is your masterpiece. Don’t let anyone program your happiness. Define success on your own terms.
“One day, I set fire to everything I thought I was and began to learn who I was.”