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For several days I had been considering a way to share with you, and all of my other beautiful supportive sister friends, the primary misnomer about success in a way that didn’t seem predictable and rehashed. I had planned to share that there is success – then there is counterfeit success. The latter being the belief that the money you make or the fame that you achieve will bring you instant happiness and gratification. Then Monday, I listened as the lovely Viola Davis explained in the Netflix Special Event, OPRAH + VIOLA interview, that she discovered that after the fame - the period when it’s clear that you’ve made it, she still felt “very disconnected, very isolated from the world.” Viola revealed that she wrote her book, Finding Me, during the pandemic, but she believes she was having a bad existential crisis that the pandemic only exacerbated. She explained that it was a crisis of what’s her meaning and how does she connect to the world? She continued,
“What’s happened with me over the last probably 12,13 years is the ascension to a level of fame. I think it’s safe to say. And the feeling that once I hit it and once I got on top, that somehow my life was going to open up. All of a sudden, it would be some sort of feeling where I have arrived, that I know the meaning of my life, and the heavens were going to open up, and God was going to sing and that’s it.”
Then yesterday, in an interview with The TODAY Show, Tracee Ellis Ross expressed that “the focus most often is to tell people how to get what they want instead of how to be what they need to BE!” She added that if you figure out who you are-everything else you need begins to surround you.
The statements of these two gorgeous, accomplished women are a testimony to the fact that no matter how beautiful you are, no matter how influential – even powerful you are…you must still do the self-defining work of understanding and knowing WHO you are! It is this self-knowledge that liberates and empowers us to be confident and relaxed with ourselves. Tracee affirmed that she is now “comfortable even when she’s uncomfortable.”
Once you really begin to know yourself, you discover that the conveniences of money and fame, when devoid of meaning and purpose, are fleeting. Fortune and fame are never the end game.
So how do you incorporate your meaning and purpose while building your brand and/or business?
Be honest about who you are and what’s important to you.
Understand and appreciate the role of good people in your life – and your role in theirs.
Be a giver not a taker.
Learn to love completely and what it means to sacrifice for others.
Determine how you will enhance your family, friends and/or your community. There is indeed more happiness in giving than in receiving. It is inherent and innate.
Remember, even on your best days, the ones that are extraordinarily fulfilling, there will be days when you feel down, even emotionally defeated. Tracee addressed the solution best yesterday when she exposed, “I have a tribe of friends that surround me and love me even when I can’t love myself.”
Build your tribe ladies. And be a blessing in their lives.