chasing your internal compass

This is an illustration from a vague memory of a night at Zanzibar.

There’s a persistent whisper in the wind, telling us that success glitters under the spotlight, wrapped in dollar bills and woven with public adoration. But what if true fulfillment lies not on some predetermined pedestal, but within the unique landscape of your own heart? Forget the extrinsic markers of achievement. Imagine success not as a glittering trophy on a distant shelf, but as a warm hearth fire crackling within. It’s the comforting glow that radiates from doing what sets your soul alight, from using your unique talents to make a ripple of positive change, even if it’s just a smile on a stranger’s face. Forget the cold, external pressures that define achievement solely by outward measures. They’re like fleeting shadows compared to the enduring warmth of intrinsic joy.. It’s the spark of joy ignited by using your skills to make a positive difference in the world, no matter how seemingly small. This isn’t to say external rewards are meaningless. Financial security and recognition can bring comfort and validation. But when they become the sole measures of success, they risk eclipsing the intrinsic joys that bring true meaning. Think of them as sprinkles on a delicious cake, not the cake itself. The beauty of defining success on your own terms lies in its boundless possibilities. For one, it’s deeply personal. The artist might find fulfillment in capturing fleeting emotions on canvas, while the scientist might chase the thrill of unlocking the universe’s secrets. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula. Secondly, it’s dynamic. Your passions and goals might evolve, and your definition of success should dance along. The baker who once dreamt of Michelin stars might find equal joy in teaching children the magic of homemade bread. Finally, it liberates you from the shackles of comparison. When you chase an internal compass, you’re no longer competing in a never-ending race against others. You’re celebrating your own unique journey, reveling in the small victories and learning from the inevitable stumbles. So, silence the external noise and turn inward. What ignites your soul? What impact do you long to make? Let those be your guiding stars, and you’ll find the path to a success that resonates deep within your being, a success that shines brighter than any external validation could ever hope to achieve.

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