How do you define success? Have you given yourself your own definition, or do you let people define your success for you? As a creative person, whether you think you are successful or not, whether you are younger or older, whatever creative field you are in, it is up to you to go for your own dreams and define you own success. Other people will try to define you and put you in a box that fits their idea of success, and that may or may not be your definition of what you think success is.
Your career, my career, his career, her career, we are all different. Our journey’s are all different. Thank God. No two careers are exactly the same. What I might think is sucessful, you might laugh at. Success is many things to many people. That is why you need to define success for yourself.
Define Your Own Success
IT’S YOUR LIFE
It’s your life. You only get one shot at it. It doesn’t matter what other creative people think. It doesn’t matter what your friends think. It doesn’t matter what your father in law thinks. What matters is what you think! If you let other people define your success, it gives them power they should not have.
Decide for yourself what success means to you.
Is your success just your work? Is it just money? A big house? Family? Personal Peace? What is it to you? Ask yourself some questions like:
Are you doing the type of work you really want to do?
Are you enjoying your craft?
Are you content with the lifestyle your work brings you?
Are you getting any recognition from your work?
Are you able to be as creative as you want or need to be?
- If you were to do something else, what would it be, and would it be better or worse than what you have now?
The questions above don’t have anything to do with the square footage of your house, what kind of car you drive, how many vacations you took last year, or how many commas are in your savings account balance. I’m not here to say that material things like that don’t matter , of course they do. If that is part of your definition of success, by all means! Just keep in mind that the things you can buy are not, in the long run, as important and fulfilling as your creative self.
Avoid comparing yourself to others in your field.
It’s certainly alright to be motivated, inspired, agitated, and more by people in your creative field. By trying to compare yourself and where you are in your life and career to someone in your profession is a waste of time, unless you say to yourself: “If they can do it, then I’ve got a shot too”. When you compare yourself to someone else, you have no freakin’ idea what they have gone through or not gone through to get where they are. Maybe they were willing to work twice as hard as you. Maybe they are comin’ after you just to eat your lunch, or they are willing to do things you would never do. Maybe their professional life is great, but their personal life is a roadmap to ruin, you just don’t know.
Your Journey – Your Life – Your Success
When I was a teenager, all I wanted to do was do something fun with my artistic abilities and make $50,000 per year. I thought I would have it made if I was able to accomplish that. When I got to that point, I thought, I’m just gettin’ started here, there’s so much left to do. It was probably at then that I realized whatever success was going to be for me, It wasn’t a destination, like going to see Mt. Rushmore. You drive there, get a taste, and leave and that’s it. I figured out that whatever success is or isn’t, it was going to be a long road trip with a whole lot of highlights, and a few pot holes along the way. I could live with that. In fact, I think it still sounds good . Success the journey sounds so much more exciting to me. Think of your success as your creative journey. Your life, your journey, your definition of success. It’s what you decide it is. It’s all about you.
If you think and feel you are successful at this time in your life, congratulations. How about being even more successful and help or mentor somebody who’s hungry and shows promise? You might be surprised at how good of a feeling that can be.
If you are not as successful (by your definition) as you want to be, take a few moments right now and ask yourself some questions.
- What is success to you?
- What is keeping you from being successful?
- Is success all about career, or is it more than that?
- Do you need more education, a mentor, or do you need to work harder?
- If you are married or have a partner, be sure and include them, they may be more help than you know.
Once you decide what you’re going to do, stick with it! Don’t quit! Try developing your personal core list to help you out. You may have to re-evaluate things from time to time, but don’t quit if you know you are doing the kind of creative work you should be doing. Everybody’s career has some rough spots. Don’t be afraid to seek out help and advice from people in your field who you think are successful. Don’t envy or be jealous of successful people, be glad they are where they are, ’cause if they can be a success, somebody else can to. It might as well be you.
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