Life is full of ups and downs. For everyone, regardless of what who you are, how successful you are or how attractive you are – life always finds a way to take you on a rollercoaster ride. Throughout the last 7 years of my life, I’ve got from my lowest low to my highest high and have realized that your life’s status is ‘relative’. Your ‘low’ could very well be another person’s high.

Let’s talk about failure and success. I often find people seek success in the hopes of achieving some better state for themselves. Whether its for attention, monetary gain, acceptance or power, success seems to be everyones dream. However, success has a funny way to allowing you to fail in ways you would have never even imagined that you could. All of the four things I listed above can dissolve, be taken way or lost if not properly watched. That means that people become susceptible to a fear of losing them. A constant fear to lose something you’ve become comfortable with makes you more prone to losing out in other aspects of your life.

Perhaps you’re not working as hard as you used to. Perhaps the motivation to delve into life’s other curiosities like sketching or traveling have subsided. Or maybe you’ve let someone you care about fall to the wayside. My point is that something you fear to lose has a tendency to interfere with other aspects that could very well be as important or even more important. When priorities begins to consume enough time cast themselves into the realm of addiction, you begin to slowly lose everything else that requires time.

Life is about balance. It’s important to define and understand who you are, rather than what you are. Look at yourself in the mirror and inspect the person looking back at you. There’s been times in my life when the reflection isn’t someone I wanted to be, and that made me realize something important. Change can occur without you even realizing it. That’s not to say change is bad! Change can most definitely be metamorphic – just like a caterpillar to a butterfly. What is important to me, anyhow, is to make sure that my life is put into the context of who I am. Because the simple pleasures I listed above are not something you carry with you indefinitely. The moment they leave your life, its easy to plunge headfirst into a sense of failure.

But here, in this crevasse cut between opposites, is where you learn the most. You get to take a good hard look at money, attention, acceptance and power, and drill down to their very foundations.

  1. The freedom money grants you could just as easily cause blindness to true value.
  2. The attention that others give you could lessen the love of those important people in your life.
  3. The acceptance that you gain could detract away from your own individuality.
  4. The struggle for power could just as easily twist you away from truth and honestly.

These aren’t absolute and everyone is different – but are you? I tell you this because these four things are very difficult to devalue. They’re pressed into your face at every corner, made even more valuable by Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, or the ever present overarching media. A media that has garnered an industry that values the superficial and fake.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you not seek happiness – that would be silly. In fact, that would horrible! My point here is to take a moment and arrange in your head what ‘happiness’ is to you. Not as social media or as television tells you it should be – what it means to you. Make sure that whatever makes you happy is something that doesn’t age, or can be stolen. Make sure its something you can sleep alongside in the early hours of the morning. Make sure your direction in life isn’t in the control of someone who could just as easily pull it from under you.

Find out who you want to be, and find out what makes that person happy – it may just surprise you. Sometimes you’ll be on top, and sometimes you be at a low. But at least you’ll be you, and you’ll always know that the low you’re in is either one you can dig yourself out of, or one that you can live without. You’ll know this because lows are relative to success. If the success you’re comparing your state of life with is something superficial, you’re not actually at a low. You’re at a misunderstanding with life, and above all, with yourself.