“Comparison is the thief of joy”

― Theodore Roosevelt

Have you ever thought about what it takes to succeed?  Do you see all sorts of recipes for success everywhere? Has it ever seemed like there’s some secret sauce you’re missing to find fulfillment?

Sometimes it feels like we’re spinning around in circles while everyone else is rocking it. Taking a look at yours or anyone else’s social media feeds and you’ll see an endless parade of beautiful people who just had a fabulous meal at a spectacular resort on a gorgeous beach mixed with rockstar entrepreneurs who just invented a new way to launch million dollar products with just a few clicks sitting by the pool in their spare time.

But social media gives us a very skewed yardstick by which to measure ourselves. Fear of missing out, (FOMO) is rampant. The very nature of the beast keeps us from seeing the underbelly of those sparkling people’s lives. In fact, excessive use of social media has been scientifically correlated to the lowering of self-esteem in young people, with Instagram being the worst, followed closely by Snapchat and Facebook.

Every lifestyle guru still has to go to the dentist or take out the trash. The winning online entrepreneur has spent years in the school of hard knocks polishing an image that is carefully crafted to get you to sign up. It’s human nature to share the best and ignore the rest — feel-good posts rise to the top by default.

Notice that in the first paragraph I used the term “find fulfillment” rather than “get ahead.” It’s important to use your own yardstick and self-reference what truly brings you joy before comparing yourself to any external measurement. Happiness is a holistic term comprising a range of factors, just ask any lonely millionaire in failing health if money is all that matters.

A healthy measure of wealth certainly provides a foundation for well-being. Mastering the spirit of money in order to create the time and freedom to do good things in the world for yourself, your family, and your legacy is a mark of wise maturity.

Less easily quantified, but no less important are vital elements of life like contribution, community, and co-creation. We all have different kinds of dreams to fulfill, and myriad ways to manifest meaning in the grand scheme of our existence. Only you can know your biggest goals and deepest desires, that’s why there’s over 7 billion versions of success alive on the planet today.

That’s why a simple concept I recently learned from one of my trusted advisors is so relevant today. Evangelos Diavolitsis is aDance First member, a 5Rhythms facilitator, and renowned money coach based in Calgary, Canada. One of the things he points out about me is that I have a broad understanding about the many things that bring happiness beyond just money. (such as having breakfast with my family and friends at our favorite spot in Albany — Sam’s Log Cabin!)

We’ve discussed many different models for success and talked over any number of methods for dialing up productivity. He works with a lot of different kinds of folks, and has plenty of insight into what works across the board. He shared that it boils down to these three areas that anyone can rate themselves and work on for personal growth and improvement.

The first two are belief and motivation. You’ve got to believe that you can do it and build up confidence in yourself. That’s about becoming comfortable with who you need to ‘be’ to achieve your dreams. Then you’ve got to get clear on the ‘why’ which is all the personal goals and reasons that put the gas in your motivational tank, (or juice in your hybrid battery!)

Last is strategy. Once you’re clear on the ‘be’ and the ‘why’ you can move on to the ‘how’. Your strategy is your personal plan and your individual ‘to-do’ list that gets you from here to there. As you can probably guess, each of these three are very dependent on the others.

Think of them like your three-legged stool of achievement. Action goes nowhere without belief. Belief relies on luck without a plan. And without the fire of motivation, why bother doing anything anyway?

So rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 for each of these. Make three lists and see what you can do to bump them up a notch or two. See how you can make your personal tripod of belief, motivation, and strategy serve your unique set of goals and dreams.

Think of your tripod of transformation as the foundation for your dance of life. You get to define the terms, make the lists, and set the goals. Forget the FOMO and compare yourself only with your own ideals. Pat yourself on the back when you measure up.

You’ve got a life that only you can dream. Let your dance define you and manifest meaning with your every move. Make a difference by modeling your highest self and leave the comparisons behind!

Much love until next Monday!


Mark Metz
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine

Dance First Media Partner Spotlight – Win Tickets to BELOVED FESTIVAL!!!

This weeks spotlight is shining on an event that is a stellar standout in the transformational festival world. BELOVED is celebrating it’s 10th annual gathering in Tidewater Oregon on August 11-14th! Win a pair of weekend passes, details below!

Billed as an ‘Open Air Sacred Art & Music Festival’ this event has much going for it that sets it apart from many other gatherings of this nature.

The emphasis on live and devotional music for one thing, but even more unique is the fact that attendance is limited to prevent overcrowding and that the music is presented on a single stage.

“We wish to treat the main stage as a mandala, concentrating and holding the energy of the festival throughout its duration, rather than dispersing the attention in too many directions.”

This allows for the organizers to carefully curate a highly engaging journey with a sequence of artists crafting a story and performing an “Alchemy of the Heart.”

BELOVED also features a Temple Meadow for individual and group prayer, a Market, Gallery, and Café Village featuring thematic goods, treats, beverages, and healing tonics, a Yoga Pavilion offering joyful embodiment practices, and a Care Circle Sanctuary — a safe space for peer support, dialog and resources for self-care.

The line up this year includes the global voices of Amadou & Mariam, A-wa, Fémina, Khun Narin, Las Cafeteras, Michael Stirling, Portland Taiko, Rahim Alhaj, and Youssoupha Sidibe. Roots Reimagined features The Abyssinians, Brietta Ward, Dezarie, the Everyone Orchestra, House of Waters, Jah Levi, One Tribe Movement, Sara Tone, Tubby Love & Amber Lily, and Zena Carlota.

In the Heart of Devotion you’ll find Bagavan Das & Sharada Devi, Deva Priyo, Eostart & Mathias, Fanna-Fi-Allah Sufi Qawwali, Gina Salā, The Hanuman Project, Johanna Beekman, Joss Jaffe, Kavita Kat MacMillan, Matura Seva, Sharanam, and Spirit Musique.

Conscious Dance is central to the BELOVED experience, featuring Captain Planet, Deya Dova, DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid, House of Hamsa, DJ Nikodemus, Phaeleh, Quantic, Random Rab, Sunmonx, Thornato, Whitebear, and Yaima.

All this and more happening in a forest paradise 2.5 hours from Portland. This event always sells out, so make sure you get your tickets now.

Enter to win a pair of FREE weekend passes to be given away by Conscious Dancer on July 31st. Simply enter your first name and email address at the link below!