You guys know most of the posts I write on here are based on real life meanderings of my brain. I literally spend hours in my apartment pondering over random ideas, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and other stuff. I share most of it on here, because I have a philosophy in life – If I am going through something, there are probably hundreds others who are going through exactly the same thing. It is a certainty to me, as it gets proven over and over to me.
Okay, so what are we going to talk about in this blog post?? Projects, creativity, money, and the misleading idea of success. A lot to cover in the next few thousand words, so let’s get on with it. Shall we??
I just launched a major new creative project. When I say, major, I mean, my life’s work, my opus, my grand oeuvre. Whatever you want to call it, I cared about this project a lot. It was important to me. More important to me than my kidneys (as I skipped going to pee a lot, while working on it). More important to me than my relationships (as I skipped a lot of family and friends’ gatherings to work on it).
My Opus Was Launched And It Left A Hole Inside Of Me
Okay, you get the picture, I think. It was important to me, and I launched it on November 2nd, 2017. Called “The Awakening Odyssey“, and it is a gamified spiritual journey through body, mind, and spirit, using 108 video modules. It literally took all of my heart, blood, sweat, and tears to make this project come to fruition.
So it’s out, and of course, like I am protecting a little child, I want to hear nothing bad about the project. People are trying to give me feedback, and I am defending my project like a mother defends her babies.
I had been working night and day, literally, for the past 2-3 months, and finally, my project is out and about. Not only did I have the damnedest time hitting the launch button, because I was so afraid that the project was going to be taken the wrong way. But also, I am now sitting with his huge gap in my heart, brain, and calendar, because I don’t know what to do with all of this free time.
I feel empty. Emptiness that I have been filling with chips, junk food, and copious amounts of Thai food for the past few days.
The Project Was Launched And It Didn’t Transform The World As I Expected
I’m sure you can relate to this, if you’ve ever launched a project on your own. To us, our creative projects are the end-all of be-all. We launch them, and we expect them to take the world by storm. The expectation being that the world has to see the power behind our blood, sweat, and tears projects.
I mean, c’mon! You would have to be blind not to see how powerful this odyssey is! Right?
Well, it seems the world is blind. Or the truth is that my project is just one of many hundreds that are released every month and some are successful right away, and others require a bit more massaging.
As the creator of this opus, I am so damn attached to the outcome of it. For most of my other projects, I write without abandon, or create videos without blinking twice. I’m unconcerned with where it leads me, knowing that it will end up somewhere good, because that’s life.
But with this project, I am grasping, and absolutely crazy attached to it. I just want to hold on it, like a mother wants to hold on to a frail son or daughter. I am an overprotective mama bear right now, and it’s not the right way to do things.
The Thought Naturally Draws Towards Money And Success
As I am an imperfect human, my thought after the nominal success of the launch, naturally went towards money and success.
Hmm, does this mean that all of those months of concerted efforts, hard-work, pain, fear, doubt, anxiety, cross-eyed work on the computer, and more, was all a waste!! Does it mean, that I should never have disturbed status quo, and worked on this project? Does it mean that I am a huge failure and I should just go and hide my head in the sand, like a shamed ostrich would?
As I sat there, analyzing things, the thought came bubbling up to the surface.
“Is a project only successful if it makes money?” Mind-blown. Woah. Hence, the enticing title of the article.
This was a question that came to me in the middle of my meditation and I realized that it was a powerful one that had to be shared with the world. In my humanness, and my human need to be accepted, successful, powerful, and rich, I realized that I was putting a lot of pressure on my fledgling project to be successful and powerful right away.
Are There Other Measures Of Success For A Project And A Person?
My parents love me, as all parents love their children. Sometimes more. But there is one lament they always have. I’m not as successful as all of their friend’s children. I am living in a rented apartment in a developing country, working on pushing my business off the ground. It is not exactly the Ritz Carlton of successful lives, especially by Indian standards.
But when I speak about this to my friends here in Chiang Mai, or even with friends back home, they see me in a different light. I am living a life on my own terms, I am ecstatically happy, I am free, and I am healthy. In their opinion, I am successful.
You see what I am saying?
When I tell my friends I launched my opus, they always ask me the same question – how many members do you have, which in essence is asking me how much money I have made from it.
But the truth is, the minute, the absolute minute when I launched my opus, that minute my project was a success. That exact minute. I was a success. The project was a success. If I really think about it that way.
My Project Was A Success The Minute I Launched It
Okay, let me expand on this idea a bit more. There’s so much here, so bear with me as I dissect it down for all of us. My project, my opus, my grand oeuvre, it is important to me. We’ve already established that.
With importance, comes a lot of freaking resistance. While I was working on my opus, in the past 2-3 months, there were many instances where I felt like giving up, because I was so afraid. So afraid of success. So afraid of failure. Afraid of everything.
Even when I was ready to launch the project, in that moment, I had that moment of hesitation and doubt, and instead of launching it on November 1st which was the planned date, I dilly-dallied and launched the site on November 2nd.
Oh, I had plenty of useless, inane excuses. But the reality was that I was afraid, in so many different ways. I had doubts. I felt like an imposter. Who was I to launch a project of this magnitude and scope? I felt all the feelings. All of the negative emotions, you could think of.
Thus, when I finally hit ‘Go’ on the launch pad, and launched my project, it was a monumental moment of success. At that point, I was in all measures an absolute success. No matter what my project did after, I was already a success.
Most Projects Never Get Off The Ground
You probably know this already, because I can bet you, you have at least a half a dozen projects sitting in your hard drive right now that you began with good intentions, but never finished.
Am I right, or am I right?
The ugly truth of creative work is that there are many projects that start off with all the hoopla and fanfare of a marching band, and then they fall flat to the ground, like a balloon that’s lost its air. Whoosh!
They are dropped, and forgotten. There are so many people who lament about the fact that they had the idea for Uber, or AirBnb years before those companies launched, but because their idea remained an idea in their head, they are sitting at their horrendous 9-5 jobs, while the founders of these companies are billionaires.
Ideas are nothing. They are a dime a dozen.
There are a billion, trillion, quadrillion ideas floating about in the air all of the time. But they don’t mean a thing, until someone, a conscious being, takes that idea and makes something happen with it.
Thus, I was already a success once I launched my project, because it could have very well been one of those projects that stayed in my head forever, never coming to fruition.
Does A Project Have To Successful Right Away?
This brings up another question. Okay, so I am already successful because I have launched. Yay me! But the reality is that the idea that a project has to successful right away is an abhorrent and absolutely false idea.
It’s a falsehood. Get it out of your head. Forget about it.
Like any book, which has to be massaged for days, weeks, or months, before it can be revealed to the world, a project, any creative project is the same. It needs time to fully come into its own. I am so lucky that I am not reliant on the income of this project to live or survive. I have engineered my life this way. So I need very little, and I can afford the time to build this project up to where it is self-sustaining.
But the conclusion here is that a project doesn’t have to be successful right away.
This Gives Me Time To Find Bugs And Fix Them – Lucky Me
Another reason why time is always a good thing to have on our side? Well, I have released my project as an MVP – a minimum viable product. I built it in 2 months, and I released it out into the world. I didn’t do all of the bugs testing, because I knew as with all software launches, the user is going to discover so many more bugs than I ever could.
The users are there as our friends, not our foes.
If I had waited until my project was perfect, because releasing it, then I would literally be waiting until I was dead in the ground. It would never be absolutely perfect. It’s impossible. Le impossible!!
So the conclusion? I’m rather lucky to have a soft launch with a few members, so they can test it all out for me, and tell me how to improve it all. Before the deluge of more members causes it difficult to make too many changes.
Luck, thy name is delayed gratification.
I Would Have Done This Project No Matter What – The Money Is Just Icing On The Cake
Finally, I want to remind you and all creative people, the paramount rule of creation. What is it?
“We create for ourselves. Scratching our own itch. Not creating for the world. We create to satisfy our own needs, desires, and motives.”
Okay, so what does this mean? It means, that no matter what the end results, I would have absolutely created this project. Even if it ends up being a failure (which is highly unlikely), the reason I worked so hard on this project, was because I had to do it.
There was something inside of me that was telling me that I had to push this project out of myself. Like the contractions that tell a pregnant woman that the baby is ready to come out her womb, my project was poking and prodding at me. Telling me over and over again, as I slept and lay awake in the middle of the night, that I had to get this project out.
I had to do it, guys!
Just like a painter has to paint. A writer has to write. A business has to release products. I had to create this project. It was absolutely crucial. I would have gone insane if I hadn’t done it.
So no matter what happens with it, it was an absolute necessity that I pushed this project out of my creative womb.
It Sits There Awaiting Your Judgement And Conjoining
I have done my job with this project. I have created it, and pushed it out into the world. Now, comes your turn. It’s your chance, your turn, your presence that is required now. Check it out and let me know what you think of it.
Life is always about completing the circle. Completing all of the circles that are thrown our way. A person says hello, and we say hello back, to complete the circle.
I write a blog post, and you read it, to complete the circle.
I ask you to dance, and you comply, completing the circle. Hundreds of circles completed every single day. By hundreds and thousands of people. This is life. The sacred circle of life.
Finally, I created this awesome project, “The Awakening Odyssey“, and it is your role and prerogative to complete the circle now. Check it out at the link above, and let me know what you think of it.
As I always say with these kind of projects, even if you hate the project, guess what? We are still friends, and no hard feelings. Boom Shikha out!