Friday, May 8, 2009

What Does It Mean

Sometimes I overthink, I have a tendency to live in my own head quite a bit. Lately I've been thinking about designs, time management and on-line connections to other people. About the meaning of success, and about what it means to be successful. About why I blog, and why others do, too.

Tomorrow I'm going to do a giveaway. I'm going to post a photo of an emblem I made with a saying on it that goes along with these thoughts, and if you post your thoughts in reply to that post tomorrow about these thoughts, I'll choose someone to get the medallion or emblem, as a thank-you for sharing your feedback, which I really appreciate a lot.

If you want to post thoughts but don't care about the giveaway, you don't have to wait until tomorrow, of course, post away here.

And you can definitely post a comment today AND tomorrow, maybe for some extra giveaway points, who knows.

But I figure if there's a bonus with the giveaway, maybe I can lure some of you who read the blog but never leave any comments (you know who you are, and I'm so GLAD you're here) into giving me the benefit of your ideas, too. Fingers CROSSED!


Here's a glimpse into some of those thoughts. They're random, and maybe a little confusing or hard to follow. I hope you'll comment if you have similar thoughts, or especially if you disagree, I'd love to hear your thoughts too. To keep me out of my own head, just a bit.

Have you ever met or known people who thought a lot about success, mainly their own, and seemed to have it pictured like a bucket full of golden coins, and if someone else gets some of the coins, there are less coins left in the bucket for them.

Instead of thinking of success like a spring that flows, and the more you dip out, the more there is coming, some for everyone. More the merrier.

Here's something else I wonder about, maybe I'm alone but I suspect and hope not. It seems as though some folks don't comment on blogs or create links to others who they think might be direct competitors.

I'm not even sure what that means, I guess I'm a bit childlike in that way. If I link to you, and you link back, doesn't that create a flow, a path for friends to follow, and eventually they will find their way back to you, all the richer, for the wanderings. Connections.

Do those of us who make beads, or create jewelry, compete directly with each other, really? If someone spends their time looking at certain designs, will that keep them from admiring other things too?

Is it limiting, or expanding?

I also feel sometimes like I'm in a race, trying to keep up with others. Did someone else get a magazine article this month? Did someone else get a project in a book, or an entire book? Does that mean I'm somehow failing, if I didn't?

Am I less creative, less happy with my work if I'm not somehow keeping up? How should I measure my own success in my own mind?

I don't want to think that way, that "keeping up with the neighbors" idea. I don't think it means that I'm failing if I'm not published this month, or if my Etsy shop isn't hitting a certain number of sales.

Does it?

I guess it depends on how success or failure is defined. And that's a personal thing after all, I guess. So that's why I'm hoping you'll share your thoughts, ideas, doubts or convictions. To help me sort this out.

If you think the sky's the limit, no holds barred, life is a war and there's only one winner at the end, TELL ME.

If you think the sky's the limit, everyone floats their balloon and the more balloons the prettier the parade, TELL ME THAT, TOO.

Most of all, if you ever have these self-doubts, do this kind of mental gymnastics and questioning, let me know that so I don't feel all alone with it.

So keep an eye out for the giveaway post tomorrow. And I hope you will give me your ideas and feedback on these random thoughts and questions. Please?

I'm really earnest about this.

And if you like Oscar Wilde plays, you know the "Importance of Being Earnest" - that's an obscure literary joke, sorry, I just couldn't resist ...


The comments on this post are exactly what I was hoping for - and thank you for that. If you posted a comment here, and then go to either of the Etsy shops, you will get 50% off anything you want to take home with you when you identify yourself from this post as a genuine THANKS from me. Send me a comment on Etsy and I'll reserve your choice and adjust the price.

Now on to the next post, with the GIVEAWAY! and there will be something special for those who post in both places.

I'm really, really sincere about these questions. The replies here have been very, very helpful to me, and I'm taking them to heart. Please share your insights with me (and then we all benefit from the discussion by reading each other's thoughts) and next week I'll post the winner of the giveaway and the special bonus for everyone who posts their thoughts!


SummersStudio said...

I get the joke :) I like obscure literay jokes. There is a little not well known fact about me. Lynn, I am struggling with similar issues right now. And reading this has me thinking about where those issues come from. Success has never been overly important to me. But I think acceptance is and that sense of belonging that comes with it. There can be a great pressure from external sources to 'acheive' and that gets all mixed up with success and sense of being. I've actually been fairly successful in the academic environment (in a very narrow field mind you). I gave that up because it did not nurture my soul and left me little time to pursue what did. Lynn, I wish I could sit down over cups of tea with you and chat this one out. It would take many cups of tea! I'll be thinking some more about it. Warm regards, LeAnn

Cynthia said...

This reminds me of a favorite quote:

Talent is always conscious of it's own abundance, and does not object to sharing.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

and so I am posting it here...and posting your contest on MY blog!


Kristin said...

LOL. Love the Oscar Wilde reference, but my son's name is Dorian, so of course I do. :-) You got me thinking so much that I did a whole blog post about these sorts of issues. Like LeAnn, I wish we could sit down with some tea and talk it all out.

Elaine @ said...

It's intriguing isn't it. Many of us become so used to dealing with adversity, with hardship, that we're completely unused to the working with the reverse. Success, abundance, riches are much more difficult.

I never did feel like someone elses success was less for me. Yes, sometimes I feel as I'm in competition with people but that's never bothered me much really - I've always done well at what I worked on and helped others to as well.

There is research on the Happiness Project (by Gretchen Ruben, an excellent blog) that says: People success or fail in groups. So consider that if those around you are doing well, you are likely to as well. And if you do well, it will influence others to.

And I'm one of the lurking readers commenting out of the blue.

sharon said...

Lynn, when I signed up to blog I truly didn't know what to expect, and overall, I found, everyone is truly sincere,but there are a few exceptions, just like anywhere else. I have definitely experienced what I would feel as a definite tension of non commenting bloggers and some in your face success oriented blogs. That is rather disappointing to me. I posted something similar to this a few weeks ago... hope you can read it and maybe that will help you know where I come from. It's about being true to yourself. I think there is room in this world for everyone, and I can't have it all, and wouldn't want to. I admire others that are way more successful than I am, but my hope is that they can be true teachers from their success. Insecurity usually shows up in the form of competition. Whew, I am really becoming long winded, I'll continue tomorrow!

Mimi said...

Have you read Eckhert Tolle's "A New Earth?" It's about staying in the moment, being conscious and aware of your thoughts and choices, and living in more stillness. I found it to be fairly life-changing. If you read his book and agree with his philosophy, you can't possbibly worry about the success or activities of others! It's really fabulous to become conscious of your own mind--you will see things so differently. One of my favorite things that he talks about is that voice so many of us have inside our heads. The one that is always talking, talking, talking (and worrying and critcizing). That voice is not who you are and you do not have to listen to it. That was BIG for me. Give the book a try--I found myself rolling my eyes at some parts, but then I just skipped over them and moved on. Overall, this book gives us all a lot to think about and it can remove those feelings of competition and inadequacy. I am fine! You are fine! When you catch yourself worrying--stop it! It's a choice, and a poor one at that. Your art is very pretty and gives me lots of new ideas.

SarahKelley said...

I had someone ask me once about my 'competition'. I told them that it depends on how you look at things.

On the one hand, you could look at it like we as sellers compete for every dollar customers spend with us. They have limited funds afterall-- so in one sense we compete for those funds with other jewelry artists, Wal-mart, the dentist, school charites, etc-- anywhere the customer spends money.

On the other hand, you could say that a customer who spends their hard earned cash with you likes *your* work-- specifically yours. Meaning the customer who spends hundreds on a highly textured beadwoven cuff is looking for that specific vision-- why be afraid that she'll see a more architectural cuff or wire woven gemstone earrings?

In reality the truth is probably somewhere in between, but why let fear get the better of you on this one? Don't we have better things to be afraid of?

The Joy of Nesting said...

Hmm much to ponder tonight. I'll be back tomorrow with maybe a little insight on how this middle aged she found some of her answers :)

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mexico

dogfaeriex5 said...

hmmm deep thoughts.....all i know and what i do is what makes me happy whether they are in or out...i find that if i love what i am doing it shows through in my jewelry or my partiular piece i am working doesnt mateer if i am not in the current somerset at this time it seems to me that it is always the same bunch of people anyway that get publish that live in the area and are always are the somerset headquarters.there are so many wonderful wonderful artists that should be in those mags or get turned down, my reason for wondering why they keep putting the same boring names in print with their art..gosh, i better get off my soapbox!!xoxo

SharonP said...

I remind myself that there is plenty for everyone in this great Universe, nothing is in short supply, but in great abundance.
We all can enjoy the fruits of our creative endeavors...and I never take myself too seriously!