If you search #success on Instagram, at least 52,284,255 posts will appear — by the time you’re reading this, it’ll probably be more. If you search #successquotes on Instagram, at least 6,093,120 posts will appear — again, this number will most likely grow by the time you read this. There is an entire magazine called SUCCESS. There are books about success, and TED talks about success, and movies about success, and countless articles about success on the internet.
Success is something we strive for, and we idealize. We put success on golden platters and perfect pedestals.
We aim to have a successful job, a successful career, and a successful marriage.
We want success in our relationships, and friendships, and finances, and, well, life.
We scroll past pretty curated pictures on our social media feeds and wistfully look at the lives of others, wishing we had what they had, admiring their perfection from afar.
But what happens if the success we’re admiring is only half the picture?
What if, under the success we see is sadness? And dissatisfaction? And unrest?
We think of success as job titles and ownership, and things that we can accumulate and hold. But perhaps the thing we forget all too often, is that success is rather insignificant if you don’t take care of your insides.
You should drink more water, eat more vegetables, and exercise routinely. You should not have ice cream for dinner, (at least not all the time), or do drugs, or drink alcohol in excess.
You should do all of those things — and you should take care of your feelings, too.
Have the courage to cultivate your hopes and your dreams. Carve out time in your days to spend time with your loves — both people and passions. Be brave enough to try and bold enough to fail.
Have the courage to look at the feelings that hurt your soul straight in the face, too.
Recognize when you’re hurting, and sad, and depressed, and angry, and jealous, and bitter, and envious, and heartbroken, and lonely, and empty — and then spend some time with those feelings. I know it feels weird. I know it can feel scary, too. But I do hope you sit with your feelings, because when you do, you’ll be able to unpack the reason as to why they’re there, and then maybe, just maybe, they won’t come around as often.
Maybe then your sadness would start to fade.
Maybe then it wouldn’t feel like something was missing from the depths of your soul.
Maybe, if you took care of your insides, it would match the smile that you’ve plastered onto your outside.
Success is exciting and exhilarating and a beautiful part of life. It’s the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. It’s the attainment of popularity or profit.
But how can you possibly enjoy all that you’ve created if your heart and soul are a mess?
All the money in the world can never fill a heart that’s cracked and empty. All the job titles in the world can never make you feel as though you are good enough — that feeling has to come from within. Inner peace and joy aren’t something you can pluck off a shelf — they take cultivation, and introspection, and some quality time with your own thoughts.
Spend some time with your feelings so that you know who you are — what you hope for, what you dream of, and where you’d like your life to go.
Take care of your insides so that you can stand with ease in your happiness.
Take care of your insides so that you can enjoy the success that you have gained.
Take care of your insides so that you can be fully present and happy within the life that you’ve created.