Success is Better When Shared

 

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Boston Public Garden, fall 2016

This morning I woke up to find that my best friend’s article had been shared nationally on Her Campus’s social media. I was beyond giddy. I quickly sat up in bed, read the article, tweeted about it and of course texted my friends the fabulous news. I was experiencing the same emotions I had felt when some of my articles were picked up by nationals before I was hired by them this summer.

I was especially excited because I knew exactly what emotions she must be feeling. Having your thoughts and opinions shared with fellow college students across the nation, through a successful online magazine, is spectacular. I thought about this for a while, her accomplishment and what’s to come next. And then, as expected, my competitive thoughts kicked in. Her Campus is my find, my platform for my work, that I’ve been working so hard to become recognized on. I’m not one to share or be overlooked and now my best friend was being noticed too.

 

Quickly slapping myself out of it – why would her success diminish mine in any way? My initial reaction was full of joy and pride. The article she wrote was important, talking about mental health which she has advocated for throughout her college career. The article was well done and her voice was beautiful, all qualities I admire in writing. So why did I experience that moment of anger towards the situation? As if it took away from everything I have accomplished with Her Campus.

I will always believe success is more meaningful when shared. And, who better to share it with than your best friends? This girl has been cheering me on since day one, supporting my every move and giving me the strength I need to thrive. I have succeeded in many ways but I know I couldn’t have done it as easily without her consistent motivation. So yes, I’m hitting myself for even having those brief thoughts of jealousy towards her.

Both of our voices deserve to be heard. We have found a wonderful platform to share them on, reaching an audience that can relate to us. I think competition is fun, and her success will only push me to do better, but it will never take away from what I will accomplish.

The idea of applauding someone else’s success is an important message being spread in today’s modern world (especially among the feminists – hayyy) and I finally found myself in a situation that allowed me to see it clearly. I purposely surround myself with beautiful, intelligent, and courageous people – obviously they are going to be doing inspiring things throughout their lifetime. This is what draws me to them in the first place.

The most important thing you can do is to be confident in your own ability to succeed. Give the same support and encouragement to your friends when they are seeking greatness and they will surely return the favor when it’s your time to shine.

Everyone wants to be successful, but doesn’t it mean that much more when you have people to share it with?

I’m so proud of you, J.

XOXO – Autumn

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Having It All

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French Caribbean Sea, Guadeloupe

In one of my classes we recently discussed if women can truly “have it all”. The focus being on women since men’s ability to attain what they desire is rarely questioned. I’ll save my opinions on that frustrating reality for another time.

One of my biggest takeaways from this discussion is the lingering question of what it means to have it all. Does this generally mean the same thing to everyone or does it differ from person to person? I’d like to believe it holds a unique meaning for every individual but I think most could agree success is measured in career, love, family, and a social life. Let’s not forget about health either, a highlighted favorite these days.

I would have to agree – Having it all can be defined by finding success in these areas of your life. This is not to say other areas aren’t important but these seem to be where society puts an emphasis, and why not? Career can bring stability in money, love is unlike anything else, a good family dynamic makes each day better, and your friends are always there to show you a good time. Thriving in all of these ways while being healthy is ideal, but is it attainable?

Having everything consistently go your way is rare. I’ve found the best way to hold onto happiness is through balance. Invest yourself in each of these areas but never spread yourself too thin. Not only does this help you look at the bright side of any situation but it gives you a safety net when one aspect of your life isn’t going as planned. Relationship problems? Turn to your best friends and they’ll remind you of the many reasons you still have to be happy. Overwhelmed with school or work? A quick phone call home is enough to calm your thoughts and bring you back to center.

Inevitably, times will occur when you’re more invested in one area of your life than the others. A new significant other or career opportunity? Hell yeah, you deserve to be excited! It’s healthy to linger in your happiness but it’s important to remember to maintain all aspects of your life that are important to you. This way, you’ll have multiple reasons to smile despite what upsets may occur.

Finding balance doesn’t have to be difficult, it’s more of a personal awareness if anything. Hug your loved ones, open your heart & mind, and always work hard – success will surely follow.

You can have it all, whatever this may mean to you. Cheers.

XO – Autumn