The Myth of Overnight Success

January 15, 2014

I've had this Seth Godin quote scribbled on a sheet of paper and tacked to my bulletin board for awhile now. It's a quote from his Creative Mornings talk in 2013. 

In any industry, it's easy to get caught in a trap of envy and anxiety. I feel like I encounter these emotions a lot in the design industry - from myself personally and from speaking with others - wondering how your works stands up against the rest, trying to figure out how some designers seem to have "effortlessly" become successful overnight, thinking about how to stay true to yourself. 

It's hard to not compare yourself to others. I attribute a lot of the anxiety designers seem to experience to the constant stream of updates we receive from social media, where we are bombarded by images of others' work and, usually, their "best" selves or top moments. 

I particularly like Godin's quote because it serves as an important reminder that nothing happens overnight. That you define your own sense of success. And that, from the outside, you never know the actual story of someone else's "success" (or failure). 

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