Amazeballz Stories Day 86/100: The 3 Step Life Map that Changes Everything

Once upon a time, I wanted to be someone. I wanted to achieve something important — something that mattered. I wanted to be a person who people looked up to and admired. I wanted to be a success.

I have come to realize (painfully and slowly) that I have been stuck in a road map that leads nowhere fast.

No one really cares about ME. They care about THEMSELVES. I was focused on my experience of being awesome rather than the awesomeness itself. I was focused on the recognition, the achievement, the pride in accomplishing — essentially — my ego.

It’s ironic, because I have spent a lot (too much) time judging people who I think are too ego driven and finding fault with them — while I swanned around thinking — “That’s not me. I’m not an ego maniac like that douche-canoe!

But slowly, slowly, slowly I have come to realize that my old formula of success was painful and impossible.

No matter what I achieve — someone else always achieves more.
No matter what I build — someone else always builds something bigger.
No matter what recognition I get — it always fades quickly.
No matter what praise I get — it is never enough.
No matter what I earn — I always “need” more.

When I believe that this is success, I am a bottomless pit of neediness and want.

Success is not any of that bullshit — no matter what the internet tells me.

Success is joy. Success is helping others. Success is expressing my passions and talents. Success is connecting to someone new. Success in the process.

Yes, I’m going to say it: Success IS the mother-effing JOURNEY!

My joy (real satisfaction in my life) only comes when I remember to focus on the journey. The crazy journey which endlessly cycles and repeats. The journey which surprises and drifts and creates fascinating side paths and repetitions.

Here is the simple and perfect formula I have learned to use.

1. LEARN

2. DO.

3. TEACH

It is that simple. I find something I am interested in. I learn everything I can about it. Then I start to talk about it, meditate on it, and try things. I get confused. I get lost. I fail and try again. And once I feel like I have just enough experience under my belt, I teach it to others. And then the cycle repeats.

LEARN.

DO.

TEACH.

I have never learned anything without doing it, and I have never truly understood what something means to me until I teach it to others.

This pattern, this simple three step process is responsible for every single thing that matters in my life. The things that are fun — even when they are hard. The things that are worth eating a shit sandwich for, have all come through this cycle. The things that I would do no matter what— whether I ever got paid a dollar for — they have come to me from this pattern.

You know how you see people on reality TV contests and they say “I want to be famous. I want to be discovered. I want to be a professional singer!” Those people are all stuck — stuck in that old, cracked pattern of success.

People who REALLY want to sing care only about their music, their voice, their craft and their ongoing development. They don’t sing to get famous or to matter. They sing because if they don’t they will shrivel.

They listen to music endlessly and practice (learn).
They sing on the corner for tips, just for the experience (do).
They collaborate with other artists even though those people are not famous or connected (teach).
And they do this over and over again.
They DO music.

They don’t sing to get discovered. They sing because it is their soul’s longing to sing and to sing well— and that is why they (sometimes) get discovered.

These passionate and connected artists may or may not ever be discovered or become a conventionally successful singer. But that is not the point. That has never been the point.

When I chase SUCCESS (that old bullshit version, I mean) I will always fall short because I am not chasing a thing that will ever make me happy or touch my soul’s longing to be my best self.

Oh, I can make it seem like the process is all about others and a success definition beyond my ego — but my ego will always crave more and I will always feel like I am not enough.

But when I let go of being a success and being recognized and achieving important things — I always return to the heart and soul of why I am here.

I am not here to be an important person. I am here to be.

I am here to be the best of me — regardless of how much acclaim that gets me. That is joy. That is soulful living. That is success that can sustain me.

Other articles you might like:


Hi! I’m Mary — a chiropractor, a writer, a marketer, and a teacher.

I am the founder of The Art of Story Project, an online business which coaches speakers and content creators to use story to become more powerful influencers.

Press the ❤ below if you liked this story. It means a lot to me. Plus, it helps other people to discover it.

If you appreciated this post, you will enjoy “The Rest of the Story”. It’s a FREE weekly curation of storytelling content. Join me now and get a free newsletter to inspire and educate yourself each Monday! Register to get the free “10 Stories to Boost Your Business” PDF today.