The Secret to Success

If you asked my 21-year-old self to define success, here is what she would say:

  • A six-figure income
  • Manger/Leader/CEO of _______.
  • Consistent awards + accolades
  • Being the top performer
  • Having the financial freedom to buy anything I want whenever I want

If you're looking at this list and you're thinking, Hey, that's my success list, then that is wonderful.  If it's nothing like your success list then that is also so wonderful. 

Pre-photography career, I achieved these 'wins' only to find myself conflicted by a work life that felt so meaningless, uninspiring, and lackluster.  It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I realized the gravity of my mistake.  This wasn't my definition of success, it was society's definition.  I misidentified success as the key to happiness rather than identifying happiness as the key to success. 

If you asked me today to re-define the term, here is what I'd say:

  • Having the creative freedom to create whatever I want however I want to
  • Inspiring and lifting others
  • Being able to work in my PJs
  • Being authentic and true to myself
  • Wine nights and lots of laughter with friends
  • Traveling to new places
  • Having the time to read books
  • Sending my husband off with breakfast + a hot cup of coffee

As I redefined my barometer of success and pursued my passions in wedding photography, my work life has been guided by pure perseverance and genuine happiness.  I work harder, longer, stronger, and more effectively than I ever did before.  Every move I make is with intention and purpose.  And I celebrate each and every win.  

Your life is your masterpiece.  Don't let anyone program your happiness.  Define success on your own terms. 

One day, I set fire to everything I thought I was and began to learn who I was.
— JmStorm