On Success and Failure

Lots of people say that, when we fail at something, we shouldn’t take it personally. It’s just a small blunder, and after all, the work we do is an entity separate unto ourselves: we must “detach ourselves” from the work, and learn to pick ourselves up and move on.

Yet when we are successful, it becomes very easy to accept the work as part of yourself, to really make it known that you were responsible for it and that you should get credit for it.

Which isn’t a wrong thing to do: after all, you did slave for hours on-end to get to that position of success.

However, I find it necessary to remember that, even when we are successful, we must still detach ourselves from our work, and accept the work to be an entity on its own; that we are merely the vessels giving it the spark of life it needs to grow on its own. This is especially relevant to any creative work – writing, designing, composing. Attaching oneself to a piece of work makes it a very personal thing. And personal things tend to affect us greatly. Letting success get to you can be a dangerous thing: it can act as a retarding force, slowing your ascent to the next project, and the one after that.

As creators, we must remember that every project we do will be better than the last. That the next big thing is already in our minds, just waiting for the moment to show itself to us, to allow us to cultivate it until it is strong enough to stand on its own and attain its own success.

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