What success means to me

Something that has been on my mind lately is success. More so, defining my success. It isn’t likes, comments, followers or even money. For me, it always comes back to connection, conversation and community. My goal is and has always been to add value to a community, create conversations by speaking up and sharing my story, the good and the bad and focus on building connections through relationships, be that online or in person. 

Every time I’ve been asked “what do you want”, all I could and still reply with is “to be happy”. Money, influence, power, these things, they don’t motivate or fuel me. Money is important yes, I know how much I need to cover my expenses, I have goals, sure but I’m not focused on the money coming and going. I’m just working on making more money than I spend. 

Success is hearing how my words resonate with someone else, how something I’ve experienced and talked about has helped someone through a trying period in their life or how people can relate to my feelings or emotions. It is showing up, sharing, supporting and walking through life with people. I wholeheartedly value time and conversation. 

I can honestly say, life has been neither boring or uneventful. There have been moments, experiences and events I would never wish anyone to experience. However, after the rain stops, the clouds clear and I walk again, I try to reflect. Everything I have experienced has in some way shaped me, enabled me to connect and ultimately help others. You don’t realise when you’re in the midst of it but there is great value in pain, in suffering and in not always getting what you think you want. 

One thing I always try to remember is that you never know who is listening, watching or taking notes and who you are encouraging. Not everyone will relate, like you or understand you but hey, not everyone likes coffee. It’s ok. Live your life, define your own success and stop comparing. 

Until next time,

Jess x

Photos from a collaboration shoot with Sarah & Scarlett Kennewell, Eight Stems and Leiden Magazine