Never apologize for the good in your life. People who try to make you feel badly because you have been blessed are consumed by self-loathing. Wear your accomplishments proudly, be it your career, your relationship, your children, your success. True friends will bask in the glow of your shine, not pray for darkness to fall. Life Is Not Complicated: Success
I have been in L.A for about 3 days now. Admittedly, I can now say that I can see why this city is often referred to as “La-La Land”. Yes, this is an actual, bona-fide, definition for Los Angeles; a definition which describes it as “a state of being out of touch with reality”. Now, I am in no position to say if that is indeed the case. However I can attest to the fact that material (and physical) enhancements are a pretty big deal out here. Who you know, what you wear, what car you drive, where you live… go a long way in framing how important you appear to be or how successful you are.
Now, I am not going to stand on a soap box and preach about how material possessions should not determine your self-worth. If you have read Life Is Not Complicated, you already know my stance on what determines healthy self-awareness. Not to mention, I am not naive enough to believe that some of life’s luxuries and benefits should not be a by-product of hard work and success. However, after spending time with two very successful and dear friends, I realize more than ever that the true definition of character really lies beneath the surface. You can’t mask fear, insecurity, self-loathing, laziness with nice clothes, expensive cars and mansions. Billy and Cocoa are two of the most down-to-earth people I know and they are, as we speak, the toast of the town in L.A! Today, we are preparing for a major movie premier (The Single Moms Club, Cocoa’s first full length major feature film), and all we have talked about are our kids, relationships, new business ventures, investing in the future and whether or not we have time to make a trip to Roscoes for breakfast! Simple things with immeasurable value. Simple things that will be here long after movie premiers, red carpets, limos, stylists. More importantly, they know (I know) that there will be people who love them and those who do not. People who will be thrilled with their success and others that will be envious. In the end, they are confident and satisfied that hard work got them here and they have every right to be proud of that. It is only befitting that they celebrate success. What they won’t do is become distracted by success. That is when your focus gets blurred; when you lose sight of the important things in life. And that is when things begin to fall apart.
In Success, I write about one of the most beloved men I have been blessed to know. He wasn’t a rich man, he wasn’t famous, he was not a world traveler. Just a plain, simple man (a father, a mentor, a football coach, son, brother, good friend) from Jacksonville, Texas. Yet, the impact he made on so many lives, just by virtue of his good heart, his integrity, his strength, and love of life, was (and is) more powerful than any amount of money can buy. He is eternal proof that it is not what you have, but who you are at your core that truly matters. And he was good with that. And in our eyes, he was a star.
Ultimately, we all just want to be happy. What gets us to that place of course is all relative. But one thing is for sure: True happiness comes from within. It comes from being confident, grounded, determined, and content with your lot in life. This should not suggest you settle for less. I am merely saying you should put the things you value in their proper perspective.
When you set your GPS to get you to a place where the simple, important things are a priority, you will never get lost in La-La land.