Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Achievement vs. Success

Promoting "Justice Woman" has proven to be an arduous task.  After years spent bringing the series to fruition, you want people to recognize all the hard work, time, money, sweat and tears you've put into it and somehow applaud you for it. There are those who will do just that, and god bless them for they get where I'm coming from, and then there are those who will ignore your work or, worse, belittle it. It is the latter "snobs" who somehow placate our hearts and minds with self-judgment and self-doubt even though on the scale of comparison with the praises received they are the most minuscule and insignificant of the bunch. Yet they manage to reach into our core and unleash our inner fears and anxieties. Why? Because we allow the snobs to reign over us by placing success above achievement. 

What is Success? 

Success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose; the attainment of popularity or profit; the outcome of an undertaking, specified as achieving or failing to achieve its aims.  It's a concept that exists outside of ourselves and is measured by social standards. That is, it is a social concept that is ever-evolving and has nothing to do with our happiness.

Success is the value that others place on our actions. It is not a bad concept; we need some success and social acceptance to survive. The problem is that success is out of our control; it's arbitrary; it implies a constant comparison to others; it depends on many factors and it can be fleeting.

What is Achievement?
Achievement is a thing done successfully, typically by effort, courage, or skill. On the contrary, achievement is a concept that is related to our motivation, self-fulfillment and personal efficiency. It comes into existence when we improve a certain aspect of ourselves. Thereby, implying effort and learning - enjoying the journey more than the end result.

Therefore, the current worrying over success is exaggerated and not something we should be so concerned therewith.

Here is a TED talk by Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success:

"Not that we should give up on our ideas of success, but we should make sure that they are our own. We should focus in on our ideas and make sure that we own them, that we are truly the authors of our own ambitions because it's bad enough not getting what you want, but it's even worse to have an idea of what it is you want and find out at the end of the journey that it isn't in fact what you wanted all along." -Alain de Botton

Hence, "achievement" as opposed to "success" should be the focus since it ensures a more secure journey to happiness.  After all, isn't the purpose of life to be happy?

"What is the purpose of life? I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy." -Dalai Lama

Every now and then as creative beings we need to be reminded of why it is that we do what we do. It's not for "success", as defined by others, but for "achievement", as defined within ourselves.

I love the journey that I'm on with "Justice Woman" and with my career as an Artist. I look back and realize that this is where I'm meant to be in the present.  Yes, there will be "snobs" along the journey, but they don't define our achievements and they shouldn't define our success.

"Let's probe away at our notions of success. Let's make sure our ideas of success are truly our own." -Alain de Botton

1 comment:

  1. This is a fantastic blog :) and I really enjoy your work Vanessa!