Photo by suphakit73
We all love to believe that we live in a just world, a place where effort is rewarded. Certainly, most rich people seem to believe this. They’re always spewing advice like, “Just follow your dreams!” and “I worked hard to get where I am—you just need to work hard, too!”
Okay, fine. But here’s the deal: some people have dreams like, “I want to have the world’s most awesome collection of Star Trek memorabilia!” And some people work hard at things like defusing roadside bombs in Afghanistan. Those people may have vast reserves of knowledge, big dreams, and a crazy work ethic. But they aren’t going to become “successful,” because in our society, “successful” means rich. If you want to hear the awesomest TED talk ever on this subject, follow this link to hear Alain de Botton's thoughts.
But—what the heck? Who says that money equals success? I know a bunch of rich people who are complete jerkboxes. Are they successful people? They think so. But not me. And I don’t think the Creative Universe thinks they’re so successful, either. Here are my Five Steps to Creative Success:
1. 1. Write down all of your ideas about what a “successful” person has. Personally, my demons like it when I believe that successful people have a shelf full of awards, loads of money, and have their books made into movies.
2. 2. Burn the list. (Or, if there is no safe place to burn them, or you aren’t old enough to use matches by yourself, or maybe you just don’t have any matches around, or whatever, just rip it up.)
3. 3. Come up with a new list of things a successful person has. Things like: Friends, or even just one good friend. Loving family. Happy moments. Respect. Integrity. A creative mind. A good heart. Appreciation for beauty.
4. 4. Realize you already have those things. Then express gratitude for them. Thank you, Creative Universe, for my beautiful husband and daughter, the ahweesomays, and my brilliant job, which allows me to spend time on a couch on a sunny day writing up lists like this one.
5. 5. Get back to your life. Now don’t you feel better?