What is Success?



"The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they've craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You's BlogLovin' Tour, which I'm thrilled to participate in alongside over 100 other creative bloggers. Learn more -- and join us! -- by clicking here."

What is success? I define success as having a sense of accomplishment.  In other words, if I set a task for myself and complete it I count that as success.  It has nothing to do with monetary gain or recognition for me.  A long time ago, I realized I was not going to be the artist on the cover of Art in America. Nor was I going to have the long-awaited retrospective at the Whitney.  How then would I be successful?  It took some time for me to reconcile myself to the notion of "self-recognized success."  I just made that phrase up, by the way.  Once I realized that I wasn't going to have the type of success that big name artists have, and got over the immediate sense of failure around that,  I set about defining my own type of success - "self-recognized success."

This is just a shift in perspective, you know. 

From one point of view my career could look less than successful.  I haven't had a major museum show or been covered by a big glossy art magazine.  On the other hand, I spend my days teaching art and making art as a self-supporting working artist. I have one to two shows a year and sell my work fairly regularly.  And I know for a fact, I'm the envy of some of my peers and most of my students.  Everyone I meet expresses this wonderful sense of joy, for me, that I get to do the work I love every day.  If that's not success, then I'm mad as a hatter!

In essence, I think what I'm getting at here is that success if how you define it for yourself.  So get out there and start practicing "self-recognized success."  It works!


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