stephen & i spontaneously decided to brunch at city hall bistro recently. we had never been until then, so we didn't realize it was in the beautiful adolphus hotel! one of our favorite spots in dallas to visit. and of course, he took these photos in the adoluphus lobby after we ate. dress is topshop, bag and earrings are zara.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post titled “a letter to my younger self”
where I wishfully had a conversation with a teenage version of myself about all the life lessons I wish she'd have known in those formative years.
I've gone back to read it once or twice since then, and while I cringe at one of the points, I refuse to remove it from the post, because first of all, I still think it's all pretty sound advice; but I now realize the post was more of a diary entry depicting what kind of self-discovery I was experiencing at the time, rather than me actually talking to younger Brittany, as imaginative as that is.
In fact, I will probably do something similar again in the future, as it's one way I like to make sense of life and reflect and document as it unfolds. Its one way to be intentional about learning from mistakes and becoming better.
But the question I can’t shake at the moment is: what would my future self tell me NOW?
What would she thank me for not putting off? What would she be proud of? More importantly, what could I do today that will lead to long-term fulfillment?
Becoming fulfilled isn't an overnight process. Or even something that can be accomplished (or even figured out) in a day; if that were the case, life would be quite a bit easier. Deciding to live a fulfilled life requires making changes. You always hear the quotes about how the smaller, consistent changes are more impactful than the occasional drastic ones (think I even wrote a post on that earlier this year). And it is so true. Consistent, daily progress, built up over time is much more effective than a huge leap once in a while... in fact, it's hard to sustain the latter without the former.
How does that play into whether or not you experience fulfillment in life? To put my simple, black & white understanding into words:
consistency + hard work leads to self-discovery leads to character development leads to preparedness leads to opportunities leads to fulfillment.
just a little math, nbd.
i would also add, the sheer fact of having a worthy goal that you're working toward daily is fulfilling itself... the process itself is gratifying.
back to math. think about your efforts coumpounding... putting in effort is like an interest-bearing investment account. How much you have at the end of (say a year, for example) is determined by how much you put in consistently every day. how much you gain tomorrow will be determined by what you put in today. and what's more? the rich experience gained along the way.
so... one day, either a year, or a decade from now, i'll be glad to look at myself now and thank that woman for deciding to put the work in. i'll even thank myself tomorrow.
While this is very easy to talk about in theory, applying it is another beast to tame. Simply for the purpose of accountability... for me, constant effort looks like this:
- commit to never stop learning, even outside of classes and after I'm done and graduated. books, networking, etc. education comes is many different shapes and sizes
- commit to seeking out new perspecitves regularly. having an open mind and being ok with being wrong is key to growth. one way to accomplish this is have deeper, more meaningful conversations with friends, family and other people i trust. (this also does good things for your relationships, win-win!)
- commit to my health, both physical and emotional. regularly/daily engaging in activities that keep my body fit and my mind in a healthy place (seriously a loaded topic for another post)
okay... brb i need to stop talking to myself about myself in third person before you all think i've gone mad! but really... thanks for reading along as I document my life as it unfolds :) after all, if i'd waited until i had everything figured out to expert level, i wouldn't have anything to write about.