Seriously. Ask yourself this question right now. I would imagine that in your head you believe that you can be both. In your heart I expect that you know the truth. It’s one or the other.
And if you are truly interested in being successful AND joyful in your life, then empowerment and growth are deeply important to you.
We’ve all followed friends, family, and famous personalities on social media, looking for connection and inspiration… Believing that we are creating “real” conversations and gaining wisdom or encouragement. But in actuality, these “connections” often reinforce the idea that we are only successful and worthy if we show up perfect. Every.Single.Day.
A few months ago, I noticed one of the tomato plants in my little urban garden had grown past the small wire structure I had built for it. The branch started to drag, the stem was bent, and the tomato on the end of the branch began to whither. I immediately ran to the garden store to create a larger, stronger structure – taped the stem back together – and voila! Soon, more tomatoes began appearing. Small green beads at first quickly grew into nourishing red plumps of deliciousness!
Surprised at how well the plant responded to my harried repair, I realized how similar life is to my little tomato plant. Our stems are growing fast, and it’s hard to keep up. But when we take the time to notice the things supporting us in our life and acknowledge our thanks, we too can blossom and thrive. The benefits of gratitude create a foundation from which great things grow.
But how do we create habits of gratitude?
Mom guilt comes on fast, like the torrents of a flash flood or the destruction of an undetected tornado. In its wake remains an overwhelming feeling of disappointment and regret.
But most of all, wonder.
Mom guilt comes with a heavy dose of incessant questioning that ponders if we’re doing enough, present enough, caring enough, good enough, wise enough and everything else by which a mother has ever been defined. When so much rides on us, it’s easy to feel like we are never enough in every facet of our lives.
But recently, I made a massive realization.
For many years, I would hear the constant complaints from friends and colleagues about how people are treated in corporate America. I sympathized, but really couldn’t empathize.
Last month, our Glen Mills, PA studio was hired to photograph a few hundred headshots at a national bank’s local headquarters in Wilmington, DE. We understood an agreed-upon pricing structure and sent our team over for several days, spending thousands of dollars on payroll and technology to ensure a smooth running event.
Have you ever watched someone make a sweeping decision about changing their life or business, and then you watch in amazement as it comes to life before your eyes?
Maybe they improved something personal in their lives, like suddenly eating so healthfully that the next time you saw them their eyes are sparkled and they looked like a new person.
Or, maybe they dreamed about starting a business, then, just like that the dream began to unfold into reality.