Magic Monday: Defining Success

That blissful aura of January.

Goals, resolutions.  Expectations.

As I have reflected back on 2010 I have had some profound realizations of what it means to be successful.

The humorous part of my year in review was looking at the goals that were not accomplished and asking myself what went wrong?  Why did they not happen?

One of the common themes among the “failed” goals was disinterest and lack of personal motivation simply because it wasn’t the right goal for me.  Yes.  I just admitted that I set goals that were WRONG for ME.  And that was a big reason for their failure.

In the competitive world that we live in, we have to make sure that the goals we set are

1.  for our own good and not determined out of what we think others expect of us or what seems to be popular

2.  That what we are working towards is really based out of the right motivation and is realistic for our current season of life.

In essence, we have to define what success is for ourselves within the realm of reality and our current circumstances.

And when I understand what my personal success definition is, I am more likely to recognize my own progress and less likely to judge myself unfairly against other people who’s definition of success is different and personal for them.

I can choose to feel like a failure of a professional photographer because I don’t have my own studio and I do not shoot a high volume of sessions, or I can remember that I have a one year old child whom I have chosen to be at home with and secretly really love not having any studio overhead, and intentionally want to shoot minimal professional sessions so I can maintain home/life balance and passion for my art.

My success definition might look something like this:  Shoot 1 professional session a month and one personal creative session a month.  It’s realistic, and fits in my current season of life circumstances.  No, I’m not going to strike it rich on one session a month, but remember that my definition is mine only and not the worlds, not the school of business, not the wave of the industry, but mine.

My definition may totally change every year or even throughout the year.  But when we define our goals according to what is measurable and attainable within our current circumstances and based out of our own personal needs rather than external hype and expectations, then we’re happier and can more easily recognize our progress.

Hooray for failure!  🙂  I learned to smarten up this year and am much happier in the pursuit of what is right for me.

What’s right for you?

Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah. She loves housework and 2:00 p.m.  The official Snow Home Nutella hour.  It makes everything better.

Brooke teaches private photography lessons , online photography classes, as well as monthly photography classes in Logan, Utah.

9 Responses

  1. Nicely put Brooke. Yay for not having any studio overhead! While I am often tempted to put more money, debt, etc. into my photography I recognize that the greater the overhead, the greater the pressure, therefore the greater the stress.

    For now I’m keeping it cheap to keep it real.

  2. Thank you for sharing your definition of success because it has inspired me to remember what my definition is and what I want out of 2011 for my family. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the “success” of number of sessions and that’s not it!

  3. I keep asking myself this same question on what defines my success. I know I have not achieved it yet but will I know when I get there? kind of like the grass is always greener on the other side. I know Donald Trump is successful but I bet he still feels that he has room for more success

  4. GREAT post. (Love Nutella too I think we need a nutella hour!) Sometimes I get caught up in wishing I was more well known or something like that but really I am as busy as I want. I am a MOM who does some photography and that is success.

  5. Brooke, I think we know it when we get there if we have defined it first 🙂 At least its a whole lot easier to recognize. Otherwise I find that I keep waiting for something elusive. We have to know WHERE we are going in order to know WHEN we get there. Otherwise we’ll WANDER around.

  6. Thank%20you%20so%20much%20for%20this%20post.%20%20I%20am%20kind%20of%20trying%20to%20figure%20out%20the%20same%20things–and%20trying%20to%20keep%20photography%20fun%2C%20without%20getting%20overloaded.%20%20Thanks%20again.

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