It’s Not About What You Achieve, It’s Who You Become

Darling Days

Nov 7







Last week I met up with an old friend that I hadn’t seen since 2016. “What’s new?!”  The question that everyone asks was plopped right on the table in front of me.

“…Well, Chloe got a bath last week.”

Kidding – but not kidding. Side smiling to myself, I dove back into my past memories from 2017 and I hurriedly tried to think of what I had “achieved” over the last year – especially with my career, or concerning my goals, or relationship status or whatever. But what in the world have I been doing? It was like they were expecting me to spill about a new boyfriend (HA!) or that I was the next immaculate conception or something (just kidding y’all, it’s a JOKE), or some big news with the blog.

The only thing that came to mind was how we paid our taxes this year. Yeah girl – we paid estimated taxes, because that’s exactly how I love diving into deep meaningful convo … taxes.

Oh, and I went to Michigan.

Silence…anything else?

I sat there pretty stumped. Looking back on 2017 – I had a hard time gathering “what’s new,” when so much of my outer world looks the same. It was my inner world that made big changes. And I must admit, I felt a bit “disappointed” with myself for not having a shiny “what’s new” answer.

Things turned around a couple of days down the road when I was reading a new book. What I took away was:  Life’s fulfillment lies in not what you achieve, it’s who you become. 

Plot twist.

Let’s throw in the word “character.” It’s a sensitive word. Not used so much in the Instagram world, huh? In fact, maybe… never. The things that our culture expects to grade ourselves on are transitional; they are temporary. Yada yada beauty fades, goals are made then forgotten, boyfriends change, jobs are unpredictable, momentum dies, clothes wear out, but behind of all those things – who is she?

Fast forward 50 years and I hope that no one will be dishing out today’s likes and following numbers, work sales quotas, 2017 Instagram filters, hair extension trends, press lists and partnerships. What they’re going to remember from “way back in the day” is the… heart. Did 2017’s achievements build you up or tear you down? Are you building a shiny new inside or are you building a shiny new outside for others to see? Is your goal one that you’ll forget about the minute you achieve it?

So as I started to pull out my goal list, my work identity checklist, my achievement status — I held my horses. This one begins and ends with who I’m becoming and that gives me way more to smile about, and isn’t something that fades.

This post is short and sweet – but I love opening up the convo about character. Especially in a social media industry where character is often covered by filters and followers, and lacks the face-to-face personal experience. Do you have any favorite quotes that catch your eye?

Image found via pinterest at Tumblr.

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  1. Kat

    I loved this post!!! You are so right about social media only focusing on someone’s exterior and not their character. I love posts like these and I’m so happy you wrote it!! Thanks for the inspiration

  2. April

    I love this post!! I think we all fall into the trap of feeling like what we achieve is soley on the outside! Thanks for sharing your heart, beautiful!!

  3. Tabitha

    Loved this! It’s refreshing to hear about one’s character and how we can improve upon it, especially in a day in age where character doesn’t matter anymore. We need more messages like this to inspire people and to really start thinking about one’s character.


  4. Julia

    Thanks so much Jessi! What an introspective post! What was the name of this book, I’d love to read it!

  5. Jennifer

    Love this! Instagram has become this persona that everyone has the perfect life but that’s not the case, No one’s life is perfect. Thanks for sharing!

    Effortlessly Sophisticated

  6. Carey

    I love that your blog has become a place to open up about topics like these! Reading this post was just what I needed today!

  7. Suzanne Molt

    I loved this. I just had a similar experience!! After reading your post I was able to reflect on all the growth I have achieved within. That is whats most important. What was the book you were reading? I am curious. I just started receiving your emails and I am enjoying everyone. Thank you.

  8. Mary-Katherine

    Absolutely LOVE this post! I have found myself in a similar situation these last few months where I don’t have a good canned answer when people ask what’s new and it’s been bugging me because it makes me question if I really am doing anything worthwhile. This is the perfect reminder that those aren’t truly the things that are worthwhile anyways, and that the inner growth that might be harder to notice or explain is what really matters. Thank you for sharing!

    xo Mary-Katherine

  9. SAmantha

    I love this post! I have been struggling with the same feeling of achievement. I am 25 and single with a steady job and in this era it feels like it’s not quite enough compaired to others around me. After this post though, I have realized that although my life is steady with no large achievements I am in love with the person I have become which is what matters the most! Thank you for that reminder!

  10. Sierra

    I really loooove this post. You are so right, it’s about the character. Thanks for sharing this, especially right before many of us will see family for the holidays. I’ve been so focused on my career this year that sometimes I feel like I’m getting so absorbed in that, and completely abandoning building my character, which is really way more important. Thanks for sharing this, it’s giving me stuff to think about ☺️

  11. Emma

    What book were you reading where you found the quote?

    1. The book is Called “soul keeping” By John Ortberg! It’s so deep!

  12. Maureen

    Yes social media is a blessing and a curse and while it’s great to stay connected I think the don’t judge the book by it’s cover is lost. But remembering who we are and why we are doing this will only shine through in the years to come because like you said you focused on you.

  13. Jenna

    This was a great post. Honestly, I feel like not many people have character anymore or if they do that muscle is so weak that it’s not even visible in their life. I just pray that I can leave a legacy of character and I am known by that…not what party I was at last night or what country I traveled to this year.

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