Not so easy to answer, is it? As difficult to wrap your head around as this may be, the only part of your “success” that you have any control over is the joy and fulfillment you get from actually making cool shit. Who gets to decide whether something qualifies as cool shit?
Everything else – recognition, accolades, having what you do touch other people in a meaningful way, (notice I didn’t bother to put money on the list) – all these things are out of your control.
But the joy of creating something out of nothing is inherently yours. No one than take that from you unless you let them. By all means, put your creations out in the world. Just don’t get too upset if nobody notices.
As an ER nurse who survived cancer, I know how fragile life is. Everything can change in a second. This is not necessarily knowledge you want to have, but it does put things like “success” in perspective.
Everyone wants to think they’ve left something meaningful behind, but the truth is most of what was ever created will end up in the dustbin of eternity. The only thing that lives on even briefly are the memories you left on those whose lives you touched.
So if making things is a compulsion that gives you joy and makes your life richer, why get bogged down in something so out of your control as “success?” Or better yet – redefine the word itself.
This is what you do have control over:
How you perceive life. That and how you choose to spend your time is pretty much it. But controlling your perception is everything. Revel in it.
Oh, and BTW – be kind to other people while you’re doing it. That may be the only legacy you leave behind.