"Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are
two of the surest stepping stones to success."
I've written a lot about "success" over the years and I'm still amazed when I meet or hear about somebody so overfocused on it, that if "success" knocked on their front door tomorrow they'd never recognize it. Some of you have become so dedicated to what you think you have to do to achieve success that you're missing the fact you've already arrived.
So, at the risk of trying to sound like an old fart looking back on his life, here's what I've learned about that elusive critter so many of you are obsessed about.
Everyone's definition of success is unique. We all look at other people and make judgement calls based on our own values as to whether or not they're successful. The truth is, success is personal and can't be defined in general terms. Your definition of success is different from mine.
For many of you success has morphed into being totally business based. You're working the hardest you've ever worked to build your business and there's nothing wrong with that, but here's where you're missing out. You don't take the time anymore to simply stop and smell the roses.
Last night I did a short presentation on social media to a group of photographers, the Lakewood Ranch Digital Photography Club. They did their monthly print competition and I had a chance to see some stunning images from a group that's a mix of young and old, professional and amateur photographers. They're a group of 114 people passionate about photography and I had a chance to meet some very successful artists. "Successful" because they're working to master the craft, because they're passionate and because they're simply happy sharing and helping each other.
A lot of you are relatively new to this industry and you panic when you hit a speed bump, something that slows you down on that quest, a failure. Well, just like "success", the definition of "failure" is also different for each of us.
Here's the bottom line...stop thinking success is defined exclusively by how much you can grow your business or how much money you're making. Don't become so obsessed with your business that you miss the beauty of your family, friends and the people you have a chance to meet along the way.
Last weekend I ran this video in my own tribute to a friend who recently passed away. I know there are so many of you who never watched it, but for me it truly defines success. It's about simply appreciating everything around us and recognizing how our experiences and the people who touch our lives make it richer.
We've got a holiday weekend coming up and all of us have an opportunity to just slow it down and focus on the things that simply make us smile, our families and friends. I apologize for getting sappy this morning, but there are so many of you who I admire and I want to find a way to just help you learn a few of the lessons it's taken me a life time to figure out.
Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.
P.S. Sorry about running this video a second time, but it's too good not to!
Illustration/Photo Credit: © Creativa - Fotolia.com
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.