While sitting on the side of the bed, Gerard looked up from his phone with a smirk. “Babe, I just read the craziest email. I’ve been chosen as one of Black Enterprise’s ‘Be Modern Man’ candidates!” Now, I knew what Black Enterprise was but had no idea about this “Be Modern Man” thing.
According to Black Enterprise, “Be Modern Man” is an integrative program that honors the essence, image, and accomplishments of today’s man of color. With features of today’s leaders, executives, creatives, students, politicians, entrepreneurs, professionals, and agents of change—these men share the common thread of creating a new normal while setting the bar in tech, art, philanthropy, business, and beyond. The BE Modern Man is making a positive impact, his way, and has a story to tell.
A week later, the interview was published. Man, after reading it I had a proud wife moment! Not that I wasn’t proud when he told me about the nomination, it was the fact his answers showed me that he really understood the true meaning of success. It was music to my ears and just the reminder needed of how far we both have come.
At one point we both looked at success simply as being busy, obtaining material things, chasing titles, and so on. We were doing good things, but not necessarily the right things. Basically, we defined success by society’s standards. We’d often find ourselves burnt out, disconnected in our marriage, and feeling unfulfilled. You could say both of us just existed. We weren’t living at all.
To be totally transparent, there have been many times I’ve thought about giving up on Heroic Inspirations because I felt it was unsuccessful. Not only did I think this blog was a failure; I thought I was as well. If I didn’t get a certain open rate, a certain number of likes, shares, or new followers and subscribers – I considered it a failure. I equated popularity to success. That was until I gained an understanding of what success really was.
One definition I looked up defined success as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” The word “purpose” stuck out and made me question, “How can someone be successful if they don’t know or forgot their purpose?”
Both as a couple and individually, we’ve learned true success isn’t a popularity contest nor about how much stuff we can accumulate. Instead, it’s about making a positive impact on the world – living a life of service. Gerard and I have used our life experiences to make differences in the lives of others. The undesirable circumstances and situations we’ve endured weren’t meant to break us. Instead, they were setups to allow us to be able to help others.
Where I once thought Heroic Inspirations was a failure, I’ve now come to know it’s a complete success. It’s not about the popularity of it but the impact from it. I’m constantly reminded of the need for it because of the purpose behind it being fulfilled. Every “me too” moment…the “were you in my conversation” comments…to the “I’m going through what you came out of” remarks and so much more is my confirmation.
I’ll leave this with you – Don’t define success as a popularity contest. Instead, define success on how you live out your purpose. Use what God has given you to impact others. It may be small to you but could mean the world to someone else. Start living your life as a life of service!