Be grateful for your mistakes. They will teach you so much more than any of your successes ever could. We spend so much time striving for success and to be the very best versions of ourselves. But success is overrated.
Here’s why: no one wants to hear about your success. It’s true. People want to hear about your failures. One, because it makes them feel better about their own shortcomings. And two, because they want to learn from your mistakes.
This holiday season, I’m thankful for all of the bad things that made me who I am today, and all that good that came from them.
Fake it until you make it? Recently, a college friend told me she was shocked when she found out I was miserable in Florida. She said she saw all of my social media posts and thought I looked so happy. The first thing that reminds me is how powerful and misleading social media can be. But another important takeaway is how important the people around me in those pictures were in my happiness. When I look back at pictures like these, I don’t see a miserable girl, just faking it for the camera. I see a genuine smile of a girl surrounded by some incredible souls. We were united by our common disdain for producing news overnight and love of Thanksgiving food and wine.
Sometimes to let new things in, you have to let go. As much time as I spend thinking about the future, I reminisce even more. I listen to my heart much more than my head. Maybe it’s part of being a writer. Maybe it’s just in my blood. Or maybe I just don’t always like what my head has to tell me. But it’s important to recognize when it is time to let go of what is not meant to be in your life and make room for what is right.
I am done saying “What if?” Take the risk. But also acknowledge when your dreams change. Stop holding onto dreams you don’t have any more just because you think other people will think you’ve failed if you don’t fulfill them just because you’ve told them about them. Telling people about your deepest desires can be terrifying. You’re opening yourself up to be vulnerable. But changing your mind about dreams that you’ve shared is infinitely scarier. I’ve spent so much of my life chasing dreams that I no longer have because I didn’t want the people that doubted me to win. This year, I am so thankful for all of the old dreams that I didn’t follow, because it led me to where I am today.
Happiness is worth working for. How boring would it be if everything in our lives worked out? One of the best lessons my parents taught me growing up is that anything worth having is worth working for. They told me the satisfaction of working for something was much greater than just receiving it. That holds true in so many aspects of life — not just material possessions. Don’t be sad for the job you didn’t get or the relationship that didn’t work out. Don’t stress over the college you didn’t get into or the show you weren’t cast in. Those weren’t the right opportunities for you. It might take some time to realize it, but you will.
One of my favorite quotes is “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” Life is hard. You will encounter tough times. You will have bad days, bad weeks, maybe even bad years. But like I said, be grateful for your mistakes and the things that go wrong in your life.
Live like you’re about to make the best mistake of your life — the one that will lead you exactly where you’re supposed to be. Your happiness depends on it.