Nurturing creativity with art, animals, and science fiction

Tag: The road to success

The road to . . . where?

The Artdog Image of Interest

This artwork was published in The Etude, a music publication, in 1913. It came from by the National Cash Register Company and was created as a motivational poster. As quoted in the Gallivance post, according to Ken Jennings in Mapheadit was “one of the most popular illustrations of the 1910s.”

Looking at the details of the piece (helpfully provided by Gallivance), I’m sure any creative or business entrepreneur will recognize distractions and pitfalls along the way to a successful career. They’re just as troublesome now as they were 100 years ago. Whether any single “Right System” will get you where you want to go, however, is a bit of a question.

I’m not sure we’re all equally eager to achieve the Shining Lyre of Success on the hilltop, but seriously. Who doesn’t want to be successful? 

Nobody I know is willing to say they don’t want success–but the answers tend to diverge when you ask how people define success. We can’t all be standout athletes, business tycoons, movie stars, bestselling authors, virtuoso musicians, or any other high-profile performer in our careers.

Thank goodness, success isn’t always about being high-profile. It isn’t necessarily about being wealthy, and it isn’t necessarily about being famous. There are a great many people who really don’t want those things, yet who still have what they consider to be successful lives.

Perhaps it’s fitting, then, to end this post with a quote from another musical source, the Boston Philharmonic’s Benjamin Zander (who, we might note, also has achieved some of those other hallmarks of success . . . by avoiding some of the very pitfalls we looked at above).

IMAGES: Many thanks to Gallivance, for this artwork, both the full image and the details, which was created by an artist whose name I haven’t managed to track down. I also owe thanks to AZ Quotes, for Boston Philharmonic conductor Benjamin Zander’s definition of success.

Fostering greatness

The Artdog Quote of the Week 

This is one of those quotes that some people will read and then scoff at. It’s the kind of “touchy-feely” hard-to-measure kind of focus that for some practical-minded folk will smack of nitwitted impracticality.

Sorry, but I disagree.

I’ve seen students driven by seemingly endless demands to achieve. Many are quite brilliant, but even more are quite desperate. Trust me, if your kid is bright and taught well, she or he will indeed shine. If properly nurtured, he or she will perform brilliantly.

But, as noted in last week’s quote, not everyone is built the same way. Not everyone has exactly the same sort of genius. If you’re ruthlessly driven in one specific direction, but your greatest gifts lie in other areas, then you are a walking tragedy, no matter how many “A” grades you score.

Certainly academic success is one road to a certain type of achievement. Certainly scholastic skill opens doors that don’t open to everyone.

But so does kindness and caring. So does cooperation. So does optimism and the ability to encourage others.

In a business setting, these competencies are essential to networking effectively. They’re essential to team building, and seeking continual improvement (your team can’t ultimately succeed, if individual members are continually tearing each other down).

And in the grand scheme of life, who’s the more successful and happy person, the one who ruthlessly scrambled to sit, alone and hated, at the top of whatever particular heap they chose to ascend, or the one who mentored others, cooperated well, and built lasting accomplishments through cooperation?

IMAGE: Many thanks to The Learning Station on Facebook, via First Grade Fun Times teachers group on Facebook, for this unattributed quote from an unattributed graphic designer I couldn’t track down.

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