Success Starts Here

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It may sound strange coming from a member of the Columbia community, but the fear of success can inhibit people. What did he just say!?! Success and inhibit in the same sentence. Is this an oxymoron from a moron? I won’t lie, I’ve always wondered if it’s true. But I was talking to a friend, and they expressed their fear of “making it.”

It makes perfect sense. With success comes risk. Risk of failure, risk of losing friends, risk of changing who you think you are. Even the risk of being seen as a “fraud” is out there. But we can drive ourselves crazy trying to justify our talents. Validation comes with a cost. But more often than not, it also carries a huge reward.  It can be fame, wealth, popularity, or moving up the list of trending topics. This is the success to which we aspire.

But – what IS success? What would it look like for YOU? And how does being a member of Columbia College Chicago GET you there? These are the questions that gnaw at me when I’m suffering from coffee induced insomnia. Yes, I should probably run around and do a little p90x…but I don’t. Instead I let the idea run through my brain. I figure this is the time to take ownership.

The building block of success is preparation. For me, a member of The Film and Video Department, it’s not enough to read a few scripts and keep my Netflix cue moving to achieve. It also requires putting yourself in the right situation, not over extending yourself, and asking for help. I try to log extra hours at the editing lab to prepare my success. And I scout locations for a Grant Park shoot.

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It goes beyond the foot work. The tools used to break down a script can help prepare you for what’s waiting ahead.

As an exercise, I used to write, in stream of consciousness, about what type of success I wanted. Don’t judge. Money, material things, recognition, pride, power, creativity, travel, that Iguana you’ve always wanted. And then what – what more? Keep writing. Success is also some other stuff: going out whenever I feel like it, not stressing about money, eating carbs and high fructose corn syrup without giving a rats behind.

Success is fickle. It comes and goes. That’s why we’re at Columbia, to get those basics so we can survive beyond these walls.