The idea of an “aha” moment is something very enticing to all of us, whether we experience it through discovering something about ourselves, or realizing that we have a goal we’re so passionate about that we see a clear path to achieve it. Therefore, it may seem unfortunate when these “aha” moments don’t arrive, and what we’re left with is a journey that’s all too muddy, unclear and even terrifying at times. For me, it was actually the muddy and terrifying journey that led me to start Matterial Fix — no “aha” moment in sight — yet I couldn’t be more grateful for the lessons I’ve learned along the way.
One of the reasons starting something new is so hard is because we feel as if we have to create a master plan that will lead us straight to success. If we don’t follow that plan, then we are deemed a failure. However, if we boil all the fear out, what does success and failure really look like? Who decided these definitions for us? What would happen if we redefined them according to our own passions and talents?
My major flaw was (and, at times, still is) that the idea of success revolves around money. If I made a lot of money, then I’d be successful. If I lost all my money, then I would be a failure. Yet, I slowly began to realize that the longer I sat at my desk (at my then purposeless job) while knowing that I had the ability to empower and love others, though fearful to act because I didn’t want to lose money or security, I was only living life to protect something that wasn’t guaranteed. I needed to start redefining success and failure for myself.
My Failure: Not taking a risk; looking back and wishing I would have tried.
My Success: Using my passion of jewelry as a catalyst to support non-profits empowering girls to, at the very least, rescue at least one from sex-trafficking. To give just one girl the power to get married when she was ready, to have children when and if she wanted them, to avoid HIV and create a powerful, generational change.
I created Matterial Fix to do more with my ambition that just design jewelry. I love well-designed, fashionable goods and I also love stories of social justice. My goal was to blend these two things together and to create a space where materialism didn’t have to mean something selfish, but instead something that passionately, financially, creatively and generously mattered in the lives of others.
Twice each year, Matterial Fix partners with local and global non-profits who empower young girls, rescuing them from slavery, giving them education and offering self-awareness programs. We travel all over the world to serve with them and become advocates for their stories. I then design a collection of jewelry inspired by that specific culture. We donate 10% of sales from the jewlery to help support our partners, and we also invite others to join in the story of generosity. My dream is to empower girls to change the world, and to help see 250 million girls in need become zero.
What dream do you have that has been silenced somehow, or that you feel is on the brink of either giving up or taking off? Either way, know this: simplify your idea of being a success or a failure. Focus on how you can rise by lifting others up along with you. Cultivate the ability to listen to your dream, because passion is loud, unstoppable and uniquely yours. Nobody on the planet was given the exact same gifts as you were, and how you use those gifts has the potential to change the world.
Image via Matterial Fix