The Definition of Success
"Happiness is a Choice", "Life is a journey", and "If you Believe it, it Will Come True", are sayings you keep hearing, but are any of them true? It's easy to blame the lack of success on not believing and trying enough, but there's quite a lot of luck involved in succeeding. However, we only hear of the >1% of those who have achieved fame and not of the 99% of those who gave up.
I am not where I thought I would be in my life. I was of the generation that was told to pursue your dreams, not realizing how hard that road would be or that failure was a possibility. Yes, if I compare myself to the Hollywood superstars, I have failed, but it's not really so.
I think one of the biggest mistakes we all make is to define "success". Is it to be so famous you walk in any restaurant and everyone recognize you? Is it that you are so rich, you can pay to be alone eating at that restaurant? This is what Hollywood movies have shown us what successful people are.
However, I would define success as achieving Happiness.
In the last few years, I have been going to markets and festivals, hoping to network. I have met a lot of people and saw with my own eyes people who "fake it till they make it". Not that they faked entirely who they are, but more regarding the amount of success they project vs their actual success.
I won't take away what I learned from them, because as fellow filmmakers and people of the industry, their feedback was amazing to get. I am a lone artist and none of my friends or family are in the industry, therefore I am sole judge and critic of my work, which is not helpful. We all need an outside perspective to tell us what works, what doesn't, and how to improve on it.
However, after researching some of the people I met, I noticed that they had not achieved more than I (which, guiltily, made me feel better). The struggle is real, but you will never see it on their faces because they are happy with their journey. The Pursuit of Happiness, that is what they have as they chase their goals and dreams.
I don't regret anything in my life because I am happy where I am and grateful for all the things I have, knowing it's a lot more than a lot of people have even at my age. But I will talk more about happiness later. I want to focus on the fact that I have two indie movies and three published novels available online to my name, which is more than a lot of companies and productions I worked on post film studies.
Yes, I looked them up. Every now and then, I look up an old acquaintance, to see if any of the people I studies with or low budget productions I worked on, have made it. None of the Canadian productions I worked on exist on IMDB (though mine are), and my peers have moved on from the acting or cinema dreams. I think only one I crossed paths with, is still trying, which is great. That makes me feel less alone, as I keep on dreaming and working on the next project.