Let’s examine this rationally – how we define failure will be specific to the goal we are seeking. The thing is, sometimes we think we are working towards one goal, only to later find out that perhaps that wasn’t the goal all along. If the goal is a passing grade in school, there is no gray area – you either pass or fail. But most goals in life aren’t so black and white…
For a long time I thought I was making records and creating music for a large audience, and that the yardstick for measuring success was how many people bought my music and the recognition it would bring. I wanted some kind of confirmation that what I was doing was somehow special and important. By those metrics, I failed. The problem is, that failure didn’t stop my desire to keep creating. Which led me to a dilemma – if I still felt compelled to do this after I had seemingly failed, what did that mean? What was the purpose?
I think, for me, the answer is that the act of creating IS the goal, and that whatever happens to the stuff I create after it’s done is incidental. By those metrics, everything I have created has been a success. I couldn’t feed or clothe myself or find shelter from the sales of my art. But I don’t need to – I have a great and fulfilling job that gives me satisfaction and allows me to live. Now, I understand that to most people this will probably make no sense at all. That’s OK. But if you are one of those people who wish to nurture their inner desire to express themselves, try to understand this concept. It might save you a lot of pain on your journey.
When you are expressing your humanity through making art, YOU must be the final and sole judge of it’s worth. Everything else is superfluous.