There's a "Secret" to Success...
When I was a little girl, I was a dreamer! Like a really BIG Dreamer! I would look out of our apartment window in our low income neighborhood and my mind would just DREAM! I was never a status quo type of person (even as a kid), and I would always take risk, jump, and do what others were afraid to do. Now, back then, I was “jumping”—but it wasn’t always the greatest decisions (LOL)! But, the point is: I’ve never been scary.
Moreover, growing up, I used to think that “success” was defined by being able to live where I desired to live (especially when you consider the neighborhood I grew up in/how it & the people in it were perceived by outsiders); or breaking cycles of poverty and getting an education; or grinding hard and setting my family up to be financially free, and so on…
Well, with God’s guidance and help, I’ve achieved that and more—and the grind continues. But after all was said and done…I soon realized that all of the above was amazing and pretty dope (especially a chick like me…you know, “the underdog”)—but life soon taught me that success was always in front of me. Meaning, the genuine people that have rocked with me, fought with me, cried with me, helped me on my journey, believed in me, sincerely supported me, loved me, lovingly corrected me, and understood/got me, etc.
Granted, this isn’t some “false” humility type of write-up/perspective. Because I’ve worked hard to get where I am; and as long as I have breath in my body, I’m not finished until I’m done. But, my case in point is this: tangible things and/or achievements is what we’re taught that defines “We've Made It”! And those “things” certainly have their place, trust me. However, for me, true success is defined by genuine relationships.
Last night I was talking to a very well respected business owner, and as we sat in my living room chatting about some things he looked at me and my husband and said: “You got it…it’s about trusted relationships.” And Apostle LeStrange said something a few weeks back that really resonated with me as well…he said (paraphrased): “Success isn’t what it’s cut out to be, because no one prepares you for when you’re no longer viewed as a person, but instead you’re now viewed as an opportunity.”
All of that to say…things are dope! And never stop building and breaking those cycles! Give back…work, grind, get all that God promised you—and don’t stop until you’re done! But, NEVER allow accomplishments to fully define you and/or replace your healthy relationships. “Things” come and go; and “things” are replaceable. But healthy relationships are hard to find. And remember, healthy doesn’t mean “flawless”, but it does mean organic and authentic.
So as you continue on your journey to “Success” just be sure to stop...and do a few "temperature checks" of your surroundings...and your relationships.
Keep shining! Keep leveling up! But keep the "main" thing the "main' thing!
Canena Adams, LLBSW, MA, SRAS
Wife | Mother | Writer | Author | Public Speaker | Social Worker | Business Owner | Nonprofit Founder & Director | Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist | Healthy Family & Relationship Advocate | Adjunct College Prof. | PhD Student