One of the defining qualities of creative success is that we all define it differently.

Here are some definitions from well-known creatives, to offer you a window into thinking about your own definition. (Sidenote: For “man” in these quotes, please read also woman. And men, can you please stop doing that?) Below the quotes, you’ll find questions to help you to establish your own definition of success.

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” ~ Bob Dylan

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” ~ Maya Angelou:

“The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.” ~ Auguste Rodin

“”No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”” ~ Samuel Johnson

“When it is working, you completely go into another place, you’re tapping into things that are totally universal, completely beyond your ego and your own self. That’s what it’s all about.” ~ Keith Haring

“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.” ~Vincent van Gogh

“Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need – a homely home and simple pleasures. One or two friends, worth the name. Someone to love and someone to love you. A cat, a dog, and a pipe or two. Enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink. For thirst is a dangerous thing.” ~ Jerome K. Jerome

“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing.  Making your unknown known is the important thing.” ~ Georgia O’Keeffe

Your Definition of Creative Success

So what about you?  Here are some questions to help you write your own succinct quote explaining your definition of success.

  • Does your definition of success involve money? How much?
    [5 lines]
  • Does your definition of success involve inspiring or enabling others?
    [5 lines]
  • Does your definition of success involve loving what you do and how you do it?
    [5 lines]
  • Does your definition of success involved having freedom and time? What sort of freedom? How much time? Time to do what?
    [5 lines]
  • Does your definition of success mean having a summer home or a fancy car or world travel or… [insert favorite material desirable here]? Name the object or experience and what it means to you.
    [5 lines]
  • Does your definition of success mean maximizing your potential, self-actualization?
    [5 lines]
  • Does your definition of success have a spiritual dimension? Explain.
    [5 lines]
  • What is your definition of success?
    [25 lines]

Once you have your answers to these questions, summarize your writings with one quote like those from the writers and artists above.

“[2 lines]_____”