When assessing what we want to do in our lives, it can be easy to let two things limit us; the amount of risk involved and how much money it can offer.
For the longest time, I let my financial gains from my illustration pursuit dictate that I was a failure. I let it tell me that I was nothing and that I’m continually running this cycle of getting nowhere. It wasn't until I was able to let go of these negative aspects that I started to find real freedom in what I was doing.
From the lifestyle design media I’d consumed, I was continually fixating on “making it” and “being somebody”. I had this unhealthy ego where I constantly wanted to prove to the world that I was someone. I was always focused on “being put ahead”.
From my experience this projection from wanting acceptance from others, further detracted me from wholeheartedly embracing myself and who I am. I was craving acceptance from others, but I wasn’t willing to accept myself.
From this misguided vulnerability, I would focus on trying to receive admiration from other people within my design and illustration pursuit. To no surprise, I wouldn’t get this admiration I desired, which made me felt more hollow. My state of self-esteem was so low that I wouldn't want to take the time to embrace myself and accept who I was. Instead, I'd rely on other people to give me words of praise thinking this would make me "accept myself".
Very vain, but I felt very much that money was a dictation of power and status. When I felt like I meant nothing to myself, I very much want to acquire this say “power and status”. Yet the avenue I was taking through illustration wouldn’t offer that immediately.
Continually putting all these unmapped hours and effort into my work, I felt like things weren’t paying off because financially I wasn't “reaping the benefits”. Which further made me feel like a failure.
But this notion of failure was being dictated from one aspect, from one part of the journey. When I’d go through and look at my work, I could see a noticeable improvement in my work and craft. My friends and peers would continuously tell me how much better my work is getting. Yet because I was measuring my life through the scope of finances, it made me feel like I was nothing. Which is a foolish mindset to be in.
I’ve touched on this point loosely, but I’ve really gotten into the framework of looking at my life as a series of experiences rather than narrowly focusing on the destination. This aspect of working hard and experiencing what comes my way makes me feel a lot less entitled to what actually happens to me and a lot more accepting.
I’ve met a lot of people who have, say a pursuit and their focus on the destination and lack of enjoyment in their current situation has always been a big turn off. It’s easy to have this microscopic mindset of “I’m not where I want to be, and I’m not going to be happy until I reach my destination”. But from living in that headspace, I’ve found that I neglected so much enjoyment of each moment and had essentially robbed myself of living a happier life.
Instead of being in a mindset of “these are the things that need to happen” it’s a lot more fulfilling to have goals and accept that what happens to you and to be fluid and reactive to circumstances rather than trying to dictate what situation you prefer to be in.
A lot of these ideas are quite abstract, but I’m really hoping some people relate to this aspect of pain in wanting things to happen but being far from your say “destination”.
Let's not let the money bring us down, because after all we as creatives should let the love of what we do elevate us and make sure we do what we can to not only enjoy what we do but also to enjoy ourselves in this journey of life.