Which Comes First, Value or Success?

Albert Einstein once said, “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”

Let that settle into your mind for just a moment.

I love this quote because in a world of likes, follows, and bigger/better everything, it can be challenging to see the difference between success and value.  In my humble opinion, if you are of value, you are a success, but when we measure most everything by its financial impact or popularity, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees.

When I first started blogging ten years ago, it was because it was of value to ME.  I needed an outlet and writing was what stuck.  The nature of my writing has changed over the years, mainly because I have changed and so have my life circumstances, but it has remained a comforting constant.

When The Mama Love Movement came to fruition a little over a year ago, it was a plunge into the unknown; a dive into the world of social media and content curation that I wasn’t incredibly comfortable navigating.  I am often unsure of myself when it comes to what I have to say or if I’m posting something of interest or value and I hate obsessing over followers.  But really, that was not the point of the site.  The point was to offer a place for mothers to quietly nod in agreement, laugh, cry or feel inspired. I wanted to incorporate a pay it forward/call to action component as well because I realized that focusing my energy on others was what kept me going during my most daunting hours of pregnancy and motherhood.  It allowed me to contribute to my community but better yet, be a PART of my community and something bigger and more important than me.  That’s why every time someone reaches out and says they participated in one of my monthly challenges or that something I wrote struck a chord, I remember that I am of value.  Not because of sponsors or lack thereof, but because somewhere out there, someone felt understood or validated or inspired.

In that vein, there are many people I find of value in this world – my family members; people in my community who face impossible challenges and then find ways to turn those dark moments into hope and light for others; writers who paint incredible images in my mind and open my heart and soul in ways I didn’t know were possible; musicians who find the words for what I am trying (and failing) to say; people who quietly do and give without anyone looking; people who live simply and find beauty in the mundane.  I could never list for you all of the people who better my days, but there are a multitude of them and I’m sure very few of them know the impact that they’ve made.

I have a dear friend who has a podcast that I love and he often crawls inside my brain and answers questions I didn’t even know I had.  But one thing he has always talked about is the idea of a “purpose project,” or in short, that gift that is unique to you that will add value to this world. Because more often than not, if we put our gifts into the world and do it for the greater good, success follows.

So mamas, readers – who inspires you? Who gives you clarity, hope and the motivation you need to stare down your own insecurities and share your authentic self and your gifts with the world?


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