We live in a VERY visual society. People often utilize what's obvious to generate their perspectives/opinions on other people, things, etc. But many times what meets the eye can be very misleading. If a guy pulls up in a Bentley coupe and hops out wearing the latest designer clothes, then automatically this guy is considered successful. But, a wealthy CEO may pull up right behind him driving a normal car and wearing normal clothing. He most likely won't be considered successful right off the bat. In reality, the guy whipping the Bentley could be just like the rabbit above on the right side. Looks impressive in public, but in reality all those things could be loaner items from his record label to make him "look" the part. But the modest CEO could be like the rabbit above on the left side. Not too impressive at first glance, but having a massive amount of wealth under the surface! Who's society going to deem as successful off looks alone?
Now with that said, my reason for writing this post today is to encourage you. You may look at others and feel unsuccessful in comparison. You may feel like other people are making more progress with their craft than you are with your craft. You may think another person "has it made" and you can't wait to get where they are. You may even start questioning why you aren't already where they are. Don't fall into that mental trap! It will stifle your productivity big time. The spotlight can be very misleading. There are plenty of successful people outside of the spotlight. Everyone has their own unique path to take in order to get to what they consider "success." Focus on your path and don't waste time comparing yourself. On the flip side, you may be a person that knows you're successful. The problem may be that other people don't consider your success as real success. Don't let that get to you! People are going to think what they want to think no matter what you say or do. Let them believe whatever they want! You don't have time to prove anything to anyone. It's not your responsibility to shape their opinions. Be YOU and let the chips fall where they may. Enjoy your success in silence!
As I often do with my blog posts, I'm going to give a personal example just to make what I'm saying practical. Part of my income strategy involves me being an internet music producer. It's not considered as glamorous as being a traditional industry music producer, but I love it! I don't have grammies, I don't have a ton of placements, I don't have big shot industry friends, and I don't drive a Benz/Beamer/Audi (even though I could). Amongst the massive amount of support that I've graciously received from a lot of you (Thank You So Much!!!!) I also receive very unfavorable commentary from some. People say things like "You're undervaluing yourself," "You're wasting your talent," "I would be a millionaire if I had your talent," "you can't make REAL money selling beats online," "if you want real success you should do this or that" and my personal favorite lol "You're messing it up for everybody else." All these and more are VERY erroneous statements, but it's a waste of time trying to correct people's opinions lol! You won't catch me passing out my bank statements, running behind people constantly trying prove anything, or shooting a Tone Jonez edition of MTV cribs lol! I enjoy my success and keep working! I let them think whatever they want. When I wake up in the morning and do what I want for a living everyday, that's what success means to me. Not being a slave to any contracts, labels, jobs, drugs, etc., that's what success means to me. Being able to fully take care of my family without any lack, enjoy as much family time that I desire, and help others along the way, that's what success means to ME. Enjoy your version of success till the wheels fall off, even if others don't consider it success.
Have you ever noticed how so many rappers make all these songs boasting about money this and money that, but in reality they are only worth a few million? Some not even worth that! They blow through their money trying to look so outlandishly rich. But then you have these business guys who are super rich and live very modest lifestyles. I have a rule of thumb that I go by. Most times when you see a person trying to flex SUPER hard about what they have, there is usually a major lack somewhere else in their lives. They're usually dealing with life issues, things that can't be solved with money. Money becomes a tool to cover up the emotional depravity, pain, and unhappiness that lies underneath. Why do you think there have been so many "successful" people that have committed suicide? Aren't they supposed to be happy? Having money alone doesn't automatically equal success or happiness. Success is about a balanced combination of a good spiritual life, finances, health, character, family, and relationships. Most times, the spotlight only highlights the financial portion. Stop looking at other's success and comparing it with your own because you may be very surprised to find out that you're the one with the bigger carrot underground. Things aren't always what they seem. Be blessed! -Tone