My 12-year-old has decided that she wants to be an animation artist.
Less than a year ago that thought would have sent shivers down my spine. Lack of job security? No, thank you!
Given my new personal views of success, I had to immediately pull back on the reflex to scream those words at the top of my lungs. Instead, I sat her down for a short conversation about work and pay out.
Many people define success by the amount of money they possess.Ask 10 people what success means to them, and they will likely answer with some variation of “be a doctor!”, “No! An attorney!”, “No, no! Have a thousand dollars in the bank!” (a small goal is still a goal.)
The point is that all of these things directly relate to cold hard cash.
It turns out that having money or not isn’t actually the issue. It’s true that a padded bank account is a lovely thing, and not having to worry each month if you can pay your electric bill and eat dinner for the week is certainly something to aspire to. (All of us sadly probably know at least one person who struggles with this.)
Truthfully, people just want to be happy.
So I sat my daughter down to tell her a story.
We have a cousin, we’ll call her Laura, who aspired to be an artist. The problem was that she was utterly horrible at it. Laura was the sort of person who couldn’t draw a straight line with a ruler.
Laura knew that she wasn’t able to be an artist at her current level, but she didn’t give up. Throughout high school she practiced. She took extra classes and projects at school and privately. Every free moment was spent perfecting her chosen craft.
In college she took every art class she could sign up for.
Eventually, Laura’s art progressed to the point that she was winning art competitions and she began to sell her pieces in various places.
Knowing that she wanted to achieve even more, she kept practicing and now she lives and works in Florida as an artist for Disney!
While this is just a single example, it does very well to illustrate (see what i did there? I know; it’s a bad pun.) that your ability to reach your own success is only what you make of it.