Thursday, February 2, 2012

Love, Your Partner, & Success

It's a truism that pop stars marry models, actors marry other actors and writers marry people with proper jobs - to help support their vocation!

The idea of marrying for 'only love' is wonderful, of course, but how many of us would choose haphazardly if we knew our artistic careers (or lack of them) were so dependent on picking the right person to share our lives with? 

Fact is, if you have any creative leanings and you pick an unsupportive partner, your life may well be full of frustration, bitterness and regret - and not a little resentment aimed directly at your 'other half'!

I remember meeting a guy who shared an apartment in London with Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley when they were a couple. 

He said they spent most of their twenties sitting around the house waiting for casting calls or modeling assignments. 

Despite having no real evidence that they would both end up being superstars, their faith in each other's talent, good looks and abilities enabled them to do nothing else but wait for the big breaks to come.

'Normal' people would have given up years before, succumbed to the pressure of the rent and bills, the need to conform to societal expectations, or even just got bored of the seemingly endless wait for 'the call.' 

But no, in Hugh and Liz's world, there was only one way to go: celebrity or nothin'. No amount of waiting limited their belief in themselves. Why? Because they had each other to constantly reinforce the aspirations and values they held dear. Hence, perhaps inevitably, they both 'made it.'

Society doesn't really teach us 'success education' at school. 

On the whole, that's not what modern schooling is for. It's designed to create the 'norms' - the 99% who will work for a living, be productive and 'settle down'. 

Trouble is that those intellectually rebellious enough to have an artistic bent are often left without help, without guidance. If artistic individuals won't push their creative talent into design or engineering or sociology, they're made to feel like outsiders - unworthy of our attention.

The logic - if there is one - is that if truly creative people want to make their mark on the world, they will do it anyway, whatever obstacles are in their path. 

The cream, it's thought, always rises to the top. 

Fine for the few with obvious talent, drive and an almost insane belief in themselves - but what about the many who harbor creative dreams but find they are locked into a society, an occupation or worse, a relationship that does nothing to fuel their ambitions?

I make a habit of watching celebrity relationships to help me understand the dynamic behind successful artistic people and the way they manage their lives.

Clearly, an actor is going to want to marry another actor, as opposed to, say, a chartered accountant, for one simple reason. The accountant will not understand the lifestyle of someone who lives on their wits, with no 'realistic' view of their chances for sustaining success, from one day to another. 

Indeed, 'being realistic' is often anathema to the creative artist's world view.

In my life I've had many partners, most of whom had no concept of this way of living. 

They may have loved and supported me - and believed in me, even. 

And yet, when it came to my creative projects, would resist any but the suggestion that the proper way to live was having a 9 to 5 job - and sticking with it, no matter the consequences for me emotionally, intellectually or spiritually. 

Simply put, they would rather I was miserable and with them, supporting them financially, rather than being truly happy.

I don't think I'm an isolated example. 

Many of my subscribers email me to say that they would have done this or that were it not for their partners, who saw little value in their aspirations.

I remember seeing Anthony Robbins a few years back. An audience member asked, "What should I do if I have an unsupportive partner?" Tony's answer was immediate: "Leave them."

If you've stuck in an unsupportive relationship but there's a degree of commitment and love involved, this is harsh - and probably unhelpful - advice. But really, it's the only long term solution.

The fact is most all relationships fail anyway at some point. Marriages have a less than 50% chance of making it past the first seven years.

Okay, a good relationship requires some compromise, some give and take, and trust, but ultimately, if you're not happy, how can you sustain happiness within the relationship? 

Besides which, doesn't a partner who truly loves you, actually want you to be happy?

Of course - but this is often easier said than done, especially when the poet, musician,
 playwright or actor wants just 'a little more time'.

Being creative is a compulsion in most true artists - not unlike an unbreakable addiction. It's not something that counseling will make go away. The urge to become successful as a creative artist gnaws at you constantly. Perhaps it is a sign of an aberrant personality - but it's the kind the world needs to properly grow and prosper.

I count myself the luckiest man alive to have met and married Robyn, my partner and soul mate.

Finally I'm in a relationship - like Hugh and Liz in their early days - where each understands the other's motivations and value system. Where the idea of having a proper job is absurd and where creativity and the pursuit of artistic success comes first for both of us.

Actually, that's not quite true. Our love for each comes first. Because, unlike so many of our partners before, we each know the other would never ask us to give up on our dreams.

That's a crucial element in anyone's success strategy.

To Your Success!

 rob at home

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