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Defining “Success”


Malia MiglinoIf you live in LA than I would bet you have (more than once) found yourself in a conversation with multiple people who are going on and on about how they can’t wait to be successful/ book their dream job/ be rich.

It’s always interesting to me how people define “success.” Most define it by achieving some goal decided upon in the past, like booking a lead role on a network tv show or having six figures chilin’ in their bank account. Although I am a goal driven person and do believe in setting goals for yourself – I fear it’s a dangerous path to limit considering yourself a success until the day you reach one of these goals. It’s dangerous because everyday until that day you will probably think of yourself of some sort of a failure and/or “less than” those around you who are already achieving these things AND what the hell do you do after you hit that goal? What if it’s not all that you expected? What if it doesn’t satisfy and instantly change your life like you built it up that it would? The danger in always looking towards one goal, one result means you not only miss the journey to get there but you also closed yourself off to other opportunities.

I decided long ago to already consider myself a success. Sure, I barely made rent last month but that’s not the point. Success by my definition is living your dream – by that definition that is exactly what I am doing. Currently that dream has less zeros in it and no star wagons but that’s just where I am right now in my journey. I’ve realized that if those zeros never show up, if I never see my face plastered on a billboard on Hollywood blvd. that I will still be successful. How could I not be? Everyday I do something creative, each week I get to act, I get to be apart of a crew on a set, I collaborate with like-minded individuals and I have a BLAST. I shot scenes for a film I’m starring in last week in downtown LA. It was a guerrilla shoot, no budget but the key point is I WAS GETTING TO ACT IN A FILM IN FREAKING LOS ANGELES. If I told my 7 year old starry eyed self that she wouldn’t ask me how much I got paid; she would just think it was awesome I was getting to do what I love.

As adults it’s easy to want – we want more money than we could ever imagine so we won’t stress about bills anymore but you remember the saying, “mo’ money mo’ problems?” Yea, that’s not a lie. We want so much for our futures we convince ourselves we can’t be happy with the now because that means we’re settling or getting comfortable with the struggle therefore we’ll never actually reach our want goals. I say BULLSHIT. Life is not a guarantee, time is a gift, life should never be about the end result. I’m sure you can think of a time in your life that you achieved something you thought would change your life and it didn’t. This is because things are rarely as great as we think they will be OR they’re awesome, but we realize we still strive for more.

Human life is not a game of Candy Land. There is no one path that leads you to your destination and honestly would you really want it to be? Life is all about the journey, the beautiful twists and turns that if you’re open to it, totally open your eyes to new passions, new people, new ways of thinking. If you limited yourself to one goal, one path, one definition of success, you would cheat yourself out of true success; happiness.

In true moments of loss and frustration just remind yourself of this; as long as you are being true to yourself and following your heart and not judging the life experiences thrown your way – you will always be successful. You WILL live your best life possible. Best of all, it will be even better than any one definition you could have dreamt up.

Malia Miglino

About Malia Miglino

Known to most as an actor and make-up artist - Malia Miglino considers herself a creative above all else. Her passion to create and chase her dreams brought her to LA at 18 where she attended the Makeup Designory and received her Journeyman Certificate. After years of both acting and doing make-up for web series and indie film; she was inspired to open her own freelance beauty and consult service, Beauty and the Brush in 2011. In 2014 Malia decided to start taking her career into her own hands and created her first web series “Macabre Mondays.” Whether it’s illustrating a children's book, filming an old haunted location, delving into a character or making up an actor on set; happiness comes from living the life of your choosing. For Malia that means creating something everyday and inspiring other women to do the same.