In a world overwhelmed by the pressure to go viral how do you meaningfully measure success?
I have a new favorite podcast called The Long and The Short Of It. It’s hosted by Jen Waldman (of the Jen Waldman Studio for all you NYC actors out there) and Pete Shepherd. First of all, I’m pretty sure that Jen and Pete are going to change the world with this podcast. And second of all, the episodes are short, sweet, and to the point so they’re easily digestible in our go-go-go kind of world. This morning I listened to episode 168 which is about the way in which we can intentionally measure success and I was reminded of my own blog’s mission statement:
“You Are Here is a space dedicated to redefining what it means to be successful by celebrating where you are in your epic journey of life and your ever evolving career.”
I come here today to unpack this as to remind myself of how I am choosing to measure my own success at this current moment in time.
Let’s paint a truncated picture of my life right now in January of 2022.
Our theater industry is reopened? Kind of. I haven’t been paid to perform onstage in a very long time. This pandemic has given me the gift of working on my craft in ways I previously didn’t know were possible.
I have a constantly changing and complicated relationship with social media.
I have a dog son who is the absolute love of my life.
My secondary career as a teaching artist feels like it is exploding and expanding in ways I used to only dream of.
So what does all this mean?
I’ll be honest with you; Over the past three months I have both felt like an incredible success and a miserable failure. And after listening to Jen and Pete’s podcast this morning about how we intentionally measure success I realized that the only difference between me feeling these two very different ways was how I was measuring my own success at any given time.
Here are the ways in which I am currently choosing to measure my own success:
Am I the king of artist who always seeks new ways to grow? Am I intentionally collaborating with the resources I have to tell thought provoking stories and spread joy? Am I being brave enough to choose projects that align with my values as a human being?
Am I being courageous in choosing to share my art, my voice, and my unique perspective because you never know who will benefit from said sharing?
Am I giving my dog the greatest life filled with love, adventures, safety, and so many face kisses? Can I afford to provide him with proper medical care when he gets sick? Am I enriching his life with training, puzzles, puppy playdates, and play time?
Am I the kind of teacher that creates a safe and welcoming environment to learn in? Am I fostering a love of theater, dance, and the arts in my students? Am I meeting each student where they are and challenging them appropriately?
Looking at this list of questions I take a deep breath and answer each one with a yes. A fact. Proof that my answer is true because there’s hard evidence of it.
So dear reader, how are you choosing to measure your success? If this topic lights a fire in your belly the way it did mine, I implore you to listen to Jen and Pete’s podcast The Long and The Short Of It (episode 168).
And if you want to unpack your own units of measurement with someone send me a message. I would love to engage in conversation.