So the definition of success, according to dictionary.com, is the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals. Wow. That sounds kind of contradictory to me. Anytime the word termination is mentioned it always sounds so definite to me. That it is the end. Curtains, as they say. It does say favorable or prosperous which gives me hope. It means that you have finally reached your goal, whatever that may be. But for me, it never seems to be a possibility. I am always striving to find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
When I was younger and looking to the future of what success in my field would look like it wasn’t what it has turned out to be. Don’t get me wrong. I have been very fortunate and have seen and experienced things that a kid from Cincinnati, Ohio could only have dreamed of happening. But once I reached a certain “goal” it never seemed to be what I thought it would be. It seemed the road to get there was a lot more exciting than when it actually happened. Or in my case, I seem to always wonder if I had ever achieved the initial goal in the first place. Things happened that were totally unexpected which was part of the excitement. And then it wasn’t. Failures lingered with me and often times made me feel like giving up.
I traveled at a break neck speed to try and prove that not only was I successful in my mind but in the mind of others. It was so important for me to look successful in the eyes of my peers, whatever that picture was, and in the process, started to lose the joy of why I decided to choose this path in the first place.
I still go about my work with the same focus as before as my innate nature is to have everything in order. Perfect and pristine. The mere thought of me being mortal and actually making a mistake keeps me reeling for weeks.
But something is starting to shift as I’ve gotten older. I have embraced a real tunnel vision for my work. I’m having a hard time dealing with all of the business outside of my immediate, creative process. I know it’s important and has to be dealt with but I’m finding that my real success is when I stay on the peripheral of the chaos and know that what is happening on the outside is going to happen whether I want it to or not. The real challenge is for me is to not engage in the panic and remain still in knowing that the reason why I am there is the work.
I know I will get caught up in the drama from time to time and quite frankly I get angry at myself for being swept up in it. But to succeed in any goal, I think, is to know the different between termination of one’s insecurities and the discovery of one’s soul. For me, that’s the real definition of success.