When I read about children cutting their life short because of the pressure to be successful, it saddens me that our society does not teach us to face failure. The ridiculous comparisons between siblings, peers is the worst possible psychological damage we can inflict on young, fresh, creative minds who are endowed with their unique DNA. We need to celebrate individuality and strengthen their wings, so they can fly where ever their heart wants.
As much as the need to be materialistically successful is constantly hammered into our heads, dealing with setbacks with the same zeal should be inculcated in our every breath. We can never learn without stumbling. If we learn to look at it in a little humor, and be less critical of who we are, then our perspective is altered for the better.
Someone I am well acquainted with received over 40 rejections for her work and while I was a little aghast, her statement had me howling in laughter: "...I can make a wallpaper with all these rejections I have received today." It only meant she had to try harder, which she continues to do and look for other paths.
On another occasion, I was under the weather at work because I was handed over a grave statement, "...you missed the boat", and one of my dear friends only had this to say, "...tell them you will catch a flight".
Yesterday, I was listening to Neil Gaiman's Inspirational Commencement Speech at the University of Arts. He leaves you in no doubt about the passion and perseverance you need to reach your mountain and never lose sight of it; money will not matter at some point - in his words, the universe will smack you when you get the better of art. More importantly, enjoy the journey.
Make good art.