If you’re a regular reader of this little art blog then you know that I’ve been working on improving myself as an artist. This has lead me to think a lot about success and what being a successful artist means to me specifically. A lot of people think that being successful has everything to do with how much money you bring in and almost nothing to do with quality of life. Those people are wrong. At least, to me.
To me, success is waking up in the morning with a list of things you’re grateful for. Success is having friends that you can laugh with and rely on. Success is being able to help a friend when you can. Success is being able to spend my days doing the things that I love. Success is knowing that my kids are happy, healthy, and secure. Success is having a good relationship with the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with. Success is going to sleep at night knowing that I did the best I could with the day that I had.
Success is not waking up groggy and disappointed that I have to spend another day at a life-sucking job that I hate. Success is not spending my days worried about what other people think. Success is not wasting my time on people that are poisonous or disruptive. Success is not wasting my days trying to put others down. Success is not having trouble sleeping at night because I didn’t do everything I could to squeeze every bit of joy and gratitude out of my day.
I don’t measure success by how many paintings I’ve sold. I measure success by how much joy I brought to people with my work. I don’t measure success by how much money I have brought home at the end of the day, but in how many hours in my day were happy and meaningful. I don’t measure success in terms of hours=money. I measure success in terms of activities=joy. I don’t measure success by how many things I can accrue. I measure success by how much use I get out of the things that I do own.
I readily admit that I don’t sell as much work as I’d like to. I wouldn’t complain if I sold more art, but a perceived lack of sales from an outsiders perspective does not in any way relate to my measure of success. That’s just how other people view success.
If you’re happy with your job that’s awesome. You’re in league with my husband and you’re getting something out of the work that you do. My hubs says that even if we became millionaires he would keep his job, because it’s work that he enjoys. If that’s what you have then you’re not just just working to live, you’re spending quality time doing the things you love AND getting paid for it.
Isn’t that everyone’s goal in life?
I would like to note that even though I consider myself to be incredibly successful there is always room for growth and improvement. There is a lot more that I would like to do and I have goals in mind for the future. But that doesn’t take away from the level of success that I already have.
What does “success” mean to you?