Creative Labour and Defining Success

Creative labor and success

How do you define success for yourself? I’ve been very curious to know how people define success for themselves. I started the podcast in 2020 with the clear intention of building skills and relationships with people, and I’d say that I am super successful as I’ve been achieving what I wanted based on my intention.

In my quest to learn more about how people define success — I’ve asked several of my podcast guests about it and read other articles and quotes on the web. This post is a short compilation of podcast interviews and selected quotes that I’ve struck me deeply.

If this post resonates with you, please help me in spreading the word about it. That’d mean the world to me. Thanks!

Podcast interviews:

Quotes and Passages:

“Excerpt from Maria Popova, founder of Brain Pickings: “…I frequently get emails from young people starting out and asking, ‘How do I make a successful website or start my own thing?’ And, very often, it’s tied to some measure of success that’s audience-based or reach-based.’ How do you build up to seven million readers a month or two million Facebook fans?’ But the work is not about how to get that size of an audience or those numbers. That’s just the byproduct of what Lewis Hyde calls ‘creative labor,’ which is really our inner drive. The real work is how not to hang your self-worth, your sense of success and merits, the fullness of your heart, and the stability of your soul on those numbers—on that constant positive reinforcement and external validation. That’s the only real work, and the irony is that the more “successful” you get, by either your own standards or external standards, the harder it is to decouple all of those inner values from your work. I think we often confuse the doing for the being.”

“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together” – Marilyn Monroe

“Recently, a stranger in a coffee shop asked me — what do I do for work? First time in the last 2 years, I didn’t say I am a podcaster/blogger, and rather simply said I work as an Engineer. It was interesting to feel the sadness of those “parts” in me who felt valued, significant, and validated, by the success and the fame which came through the podcast. I realized that I “matter’ without external validation and success, I am “significant” without any external fame, and I’m “complete” without hanging my self-worth on the shiny object.”

— Nishant

“Throughout my career, there have been several times when self-doubt has crept in my head as I’ve seen someone doing something similar to my work and the question has popped into my head. Is there even a ROOM for me here?  Is there even room for one more personal growth blog? Is there even room for one more acrylic abstract artist? Is there even ROOM for one more online business in a sea of so many?  But it’s a question born out of a scarcity mentality about how the world works. What does this idea of ROOM mean anyway? It assumes that there is one Table of Valid Successful People and that there is a finite number of chairs around that table. But that’s kind of BS, right? Life is not a zero-sum game. There is no such table, and there certainly isn’t a finite number of ways for us to become Valid Successful People.

Caroline Zook

If this post resonates with you, please help me in spreading the word about it. That’d mean the world to me. Thanks!

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