You Need to Define Your Own Success

in Success

It is up to each person to define their own success and not let anyone else do it for you.Whether you consider yourself successful or not, whatever age you are or field you’re in, it’s up to you to follow your dreams and define success for yourself.

People will talk about you whether you are successful or not, so you might as well do what you really want to in life.

As a younger person, all I wanted to do was have fun with my artistic abilities and make about 50 grand a year. I thought I’d have it made if I could get to that point. When I got there I thought: There’s so much left to do here; I’m just getting started.

About that time  I realized success wasn’t a destination, like the Grand Canyon; you drive there, get a taste and leave. I figured that whatever success might bring, it was going to be a long road trip with a lot of highlights and a few road blocks along the way. In fact, success as a road trip sounds so much more fun and exciting to me. Think of your success as your personal creativeroad trip. It’s what you decide; it’s all up to you.

This is your life and you’ve only got one shot. Our journeys are all different; no two careers or life stories are exactly the same.

It doesn’t matter what your friends or other creative people think; what truly matters is what you think! What I might consider successful, you might laugh at. Success can be many things to many people, and you need to decide what it means to you. If you let others define success for you, it gives them power they shouldn’t have.

Think for yourself what success means to you. What is success to you? Money? Work?  A big home? Family? Personal peace? Ask yourself: Are you enjoying your workt? Are you content with your life as it is now? Is your work bringing you the recognition you want? 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 improve your life?

The questions above don’t have anything to do with the square footage of your house, the car you drive or how many commas are in your savings account balance. That’s not to say material things don’t matter; if they’re important to you, by all means! Just remember material things 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 comparing yourself and where you are in life to someone else is a waste of time, unless you tell yourself: “If they can do it, I’ve got a shot too.” When you compare yourself to someone else, you have no idea what they’ve done to get where they are. Maybe they were willing to work twice as hard as you. Maybe they’re willing to do things you wouldn’t. Maybe their professional life is great, but their personal life is in ruins; you just don’t know.

If you are someone who has achieved success at this point in your life, congratulations! Try giving back some of that success to help someone else who shows promise; you might be surprised at how good that can feel.

If you have not arrived at the success level (by your definition) that you always dreamed of, take some time right now to consider a few things. What does success really mean to you? What is keeping you from being successful? Is success all about your 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, don't leave them out. They are vital, and may be more help than you know.

When you decide on a plan, stick with it! Try developing a personal core list to aid the process. Occasionally, you may have to pause to reevaluate, but don’t quit if you’re doing the kind of creative work you should be.

Remember everyone’s career and life hits rough patches. Don’t be afraid to seek help and advice from successful people in your life. Don’t envy those successful people; be glad they got where they are, because if they can do it, someone else can too. That means it could be you.

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Craig Shillam has 2 articles online

Craig Shillam is an artist and blogger living in the Pacific Northwest. On his blog CashArtBlog.com  you can see landscape and oil paintings, read articles about art and success, as well as painting tips, interviews and other worthwhile subjects. One of his latest posts is on the ant philosophy, which is really interesting if you have never heard about it. 

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You Need to Define Your Own Success

This article was published on 2012/03/28