Have you ever wondered what makes people famous and what keeps them there? How Elon Musk and Bill Gates are among some of the driving forces in innovation, progress, and change in our society? How do you reach that plateau of success and how can you learn to be like them? They didn’t get there by accident. They got there by being prolific at what they do, working hard towards a clear, defined goal, and developing a successful mindset to do it. In a world where people fold at the slightest set of difficulty, there’s merit in developing a mindset for greatness and reaching the status you’ve always wanted. It’s a long road, but it’s there for the taking.
cultivating mental resilience provides an incredible advantage. By building the ability to stick it out as those around us give way, we are setting ourselves up for success. – Charles Chu
Think creatively, of where you want to be, and how you will get there step by step. Picture in your mind the position you want to be in then envision the hurdles you will need to overcome to get there ie. If you want to be a successful artist, first you need to become great at what you do, this requires learning and practice. Then you need to build an audience, you do this by curating, being consistent, creating quality work and allowing time. After these steps and building a name for yourself, depending on what industry you are in, you may get offers to interview for personal blogs, for magazines, to guest on a podcast, or even speak on TV or on Radio. Not to mention that your work travels further than you think, this means more clients, which means your more likely to find better clients among them. The quality in the pool rises.
The important thing is to chart these steps and understand what’s needed to overcome these obstacles and plan ahead. To learn art you need to sit down and practice, learning techniques, developing a style, knowing its history. You can plan for these by dedicating a specific time in the evening after your day-job for deliberate practice. This is one example of how to tackle an obstacle on your way to success. It’s all about a road map, envisioning how you will get there, identifying the hurdles that could get in the way and are most likely to get in your way.
You have to play the long-game.
Playing the long-game is hard to consider. Especially in a fast moving society. ‘But, how can I get ahead if I’m playing the long-game when everyone I know or follow already has an audience? I have to keep up with them’, you may think. That’s your first problem, comparing your own progress to someone else’s. It’s not about where you are compared to them, it’s about where you are compared to yesterday. How are you going to show up today, what are you going to create that keeps you progressing along your journey to where you want to be? Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was the platform/audience of the people who you follow.
It takes years of behind-the-scenes work to build up a catalogue of quality work, establish your professionalism and expertise, and the momentum needed to carry something through to the next level. Whatever that may be to you; 10k followers, high profile clients, more sales of your artwork, invites to interview for magazines or prolific websites in your industry.
Everyone’s drive and end-game are different. We each have different goals we want to achieve and reasons for starting in the first place. What is important is that you can’t reach these goals or take yourself to the next plateau without developing a successful mindset to do it. Find what drives you, and use it to reach your goal. What motivates you to wake up early and show up to make your work every day. Have you got a hero, someone you admire the work of, to guide you and teach you their best practices. Find that person. If it’s an artist, a musician, an architect etc. or maybe they aren’t in your creative field at all. What’s important is that you syphon their creative energy and use it to drive you.
Drive vs. Motivation
There’s a difference between drive and motivation;
- Drive – The factor that makes you take action.
- Motivation – The reason you do the action.
You need to have the motivation in the first place before you can have drive. Motivation is the reason you get up in the morning to do what you do. You want to become a prolific artist, an incredible photographer, make your parents proud, prove a nay-sayer wrong, or become a videographer that has your movies play in cinemas. Motivation is the reason you start something in the first place.
Drive is the action you take to get you to the destination. Think of it in it’s most literal form. Drive gives you the energy to get where you need to go. Some of the best ways to find drive is to be around other people who are driven, those who have a motivation and an energy to get things done. Other ways to get drive is to have an accountability partner. Someone you’re accountable for, if you don’t show up to do this thing, you’re letting them down. At most points in our life, we are accountable to someone. Never underestimate fear and jealousy as a determining drive factor.
“You can’t steer a parked car” – Seanwes
Your motivation will give you drive at the beginning, but it’s naive to think that this initial burst of energy will carry you through the long run. This is why you must find your passion. The thing you love to do more than anything, this will give you a huge drive. But again, it being your passion alone isn’t enough to take you through years of practice and hard work to get it to where you want.
This is why people give up after doing something for the first couple of times. They don’t have both the drive or motivation for it in the long-run. One will only get you so far without the other. When it gets hard or you come to your first hurdle, people usually give up, because they don’t see a reason to do it anymore. There is no reason to put themselves through so much heartache to do something that was only for a bit of fun in the first place. This is why you come across so many blogs with 3/4/5 posts. Which is fine too, everyone has to experiment and try a new thing to see if we enjoy them. The real test is if you persevere through the challenges, show up consistently, and prove that you are serious about what you do.
Live a better life
Some general advice on living your life better and developing a successful mindset in everyday life;
Think outside the herd. Don’t blindly follow. Question what you read, identify ulterior motives. Don’t do something because everyone is doing it. Don’t care what others think of you, because they don’t care about you anyway. You’re worth and reputation is more than someone with that kind of mindset. Don’t judge others. It’s easy to do but remember that everyone has a different set of circumstances and was raised with different morals and values. It’s assinine to not care about what others think of you but then for you to judge others for thinking like that. Become a producer, not a consumer. Make more work than you consume. Support the artists you admire. Do what makes you happy, regardless if others don’t want you to. Cut back on social media (Unless publishing and promoting your passion/work). Don’t read comment sections. Read more books. Develop a passion for succeeding. Experience new things.
When is the last time you experienced something for the first time?
The only thing you can control is the action you take right now to become a better person. Someone you can look back on in 2 years and thank for making the decision to change for the better.