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What If Your Success Was Your Joy?

So you say you feel stuck. You say you feel stuck trying to pursue your passions and your skills, trying to figure out what those even are. You say you feel lost knowing what you’re meant to do, how you’re meant to spend this one life, and not just what you’re good at, but what you’re good enough at.

It makes sense, you see. It makes sense that you feel stuck, that you feel lost, that you don’t know how to move forward, because you’ve been taught that in order to move forward you first need to know where you’ll end up. But you don’t know. You don’t know where you want to go, where you want to be, who you want to be…

And I’m here to say that that’s okay. That there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, I argue that there is everything right with that.

Because I know. I know you’re lost over your career, and it’s eating away at you. It’s keeping you up at night, and keeping you distant during the day, wondering if each passing second is another one wasted on your untapped “potential.”

But I also know this: You feel stuck, not because you’re behind in life. It’s not because you’re directionless and it’s most certainly not because you’re not enough. It’s because you’ve been deceived, yet again, through no fault of your own. You’ve been led to believe that your career is your purpose and that the state of your career equals your worth.

And your soul—yes, yours—refuses to settle. You, brave one, know you don’t want to do just anything, don’t want to end up fulfilling someone else’s purpose. You don’t want to miss your own. You want to prove to the world that you can succeed because you know, deep down, that you will do big things. That you are oh-so worthy.

But what if you have it backwards?

What if, instead of proving your worthiness to the world through your success, you proved your success through standing in your worth?

What if, instead of believing joy comes from feeling successful, you believed success comes from feeling joyful?

Because joy is your purpose. Love is your purpose. Creation is your purpose. Who you are with at any given moment is your purpose. Your purpose is to leave this world a better place than you found it, one compassionate action at a time.

There is only one way to figure out what those actions will be, and that is to explore. To experiment. To tinker. To try things, new things, old things, at every chance you get. And you will do them, not because they will bring you financial gains or status, not because they look good on a resume or because “it’s just what you do.” No, you will do them with intention. You will do them because they bring you joy.

If something doesn’t bring you joy, either directly or through supporting what you love, don’t do it. If something does bring you joy, do it often.

So you see, there is nothing wrong with not knowing where you want to go, or what you want to do, or who you want to be. There is everything right with not knowing yet, because exploration, experimentation, tinkering, discovering, these are your reasons for being.

Do not mistake the way you make money with your purpose. Do not confuse the illusion of certainty or a clear cut path with your ability to embrace all of life. For the man who thinks he knows everything knows nothing, and rather than constantly seeking to find fulfillment in how you make money, seek joy and you will have yourself a rich life.

No, maybe your passion itself won’t bring you money—to be sure, not everyone even wants that—but it will bring you back to the joy that is your nature, and that will lead you to your rightful path. And you will have at least uncovered your sense of self in something outside of earning a living while earning something far greater: a well-lived, purposeful life.

So you say you feel lost. But what if, just for a moment, you believed your success was actually your joy? What would you do then?

Your answer is where you begin.

About the author
Thinker, Feeler, Creative, Human • Holistic Healing Advisor Follow Meredith on Instagram or read more articles from Meredith on Thought Catalog.

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