Most of us have heard from our teachers,
or our coaches, or our parents, that you need to go to college, get a high level degree, and a well-paying job in order to be "successful". I was lucky that my parents were never part of that, but every single one of my teachers fed into that toxic mindset. Every adult I spoke to about my future, outside of my parents, believed I should pursue a high-level career.
I was going to school to become a psychiatrist. When I started researching psychology I was a sophomore in high school, and when I began my 8-10 year journey to a doctorate degree I realized I hated this path I chose.
I worked in the field as an art therapist's assistant for dementia patients for about a year, while going to school full time, when I realized I couldn't do this anymore. And it wasn't until I baked an obscene amount of baked goods for Christmas that year that my parents sat me down and told me I could pursue what makes me happy, rather than what will make me money.
So that's exactly what I did, I switched careers to become a baker. And from there I grew to open my own bakery in the middle of a pandemic and continue to learn and grow to this day. It was all because I finally redefined what success meant in my life.
Here's what I changed, and what success means to me now.
Being A Millionaire Won't Make Me Happy
I know we all tend to scoff at the saying "money can't buy you happiness" cause... it definitely helps. Never having to worry about rent again or whether I could afford to spend money on my favorite things? That sounds amazing. So, instead of hanging onto the saying money can't buy happiness, I adopted the mindset that I don't have to be a millionaire in order to be successful.
For me, success and happiness are in the same boat because they both equal peace. Happiness is mental and emotional peace, while success is financial peace. So when I say I don't need to have a ton of money in order to be successful, I mean that as long as I have financial peace than I've "made it".
I don't need a G-wagon, or a million dollar mansion, or designer purses. Frankly, I would be the happiest girl in the world with a farmhouse on five acres and plenty of space for my family to grow and thrive. I don't need to be a millionaire in order to achieve that.
Don't Be Mainstream
Being "mainstream" is an everchanging concept. You'll never be able to stay "mainstream" in this day and age. When I decided I didn't have to be like everyone else, that I didn't have to keep up with the Jones', that I could be my most authentic self and thrive in that, something just changed in my life. It's hard to explain, but I felt like I could slow down.
I didn't have to be married by twenty-three if I didn't want that. I didn't have to have kids before twenty-five either. Admittedly, the dating pool is getting a bit smaller the longer I focus on my career. However, this is the life I've decided to live. I'm not racing anyone, I'll get there when I decide to get there. I want to build my little bakery empire before I settle down, and even then, I can never sit still.
You Can Thrive In Happiness
Have you ever heard the saying, "If you can find something you love to do, and make money at it, it'll never feel like work?" Well, that saying is true. You don't have to work that desk job to be successful. Do you enjoy woodworking? Do you love making jewelry? Do you sew and make your own clothes? If I made a list of all the successful entrepreneurs on my Instagram doing those exact things and completely replacing their corporate income and then doubling it, this blog would take forever to read.
And if you ever doubt yourself because of how saturated the industry is, just remind yourself. They may do the same thing, but there is only one you.
I need to remind myself of that at times too, I mean I own a bakery, there's thousands of those. However, you bring a spark and a passion to the industry that is all your own. No matter what field you're in, remember there is only one you, and that makes you a qualified contender.
Comparison Can Die
The fastest way to make you feel like you aren't successful enough, or good enough, or happy enough, is taking one look and comparing yourself to everyone else in the world. Comparison is a soul-crusher.
No one is living your life! There is not one person in this world with the same backstory, with the same values, with the same dreams as you. We are all more similar than we think, but we'll never be the exact same. So don't compare your life to someone else's, you have your own goals and dreams and journeys to go on.
That is what makes this world so amazing! Billions of different walks of life, billions of different goals and stories ready to be told. We are all one community and one human race, but we are just different enough to be incredibly special. I'm not saying you get a participation trophy for existing, but your mind is an amazing thing. Your creativity is unlike anyone else's, your drive and passion is out of this world! Build off of that. Create the life you want, without comparing yourself to everyone else.
Success Is What You Make It
When it comes down to success in your own life, think really hard about what that means. Success is different for all of us, so how will your journey end in "success"? We can all make it, because happiness and peace are the ultimate successes in life. But what do you think? Comment and let me know!
Until next time,