“An artist can not fail – it is a success just to be one.”

The words above were sent to me by Martin Stellar.
They inspired me to think and write.

We have all heard…
“We are only failing if we are not trying.”

The answer that comes to me with this is:
To simply be alive is to try.

If you look at it that way, then it is all living people who are always succeeding, and not just artists.

If that is not true, then what is failure?

Struggle of One white pawn and black chessmen with its full complement.

Lack of success.
The omission of expected or required action.
The person playing the white pawn above has omitted required actions!

Thomas Edison and friends tried and failed to invent the light bulb many times.
Over 1,000 perhaps.
He is a great example of someone who did not give up and changed the world with his invention.
Yay Persistence!
What if he succeeded the fifth time and then went on to invent 100s of other even more amazing things with all the energy he had?

Or, how about that “failure is inevitable and good.”
You have to get good at it, get used to it, because it will always happen.”
Not be bothered by it.

Let’s add this too: “You must fail well.
This is so you don’t fail the same way twice.

Then there is the thought that believing that ‘failure is okay’ is actually bad.
Failure is not good and that you should always aim to succeed and to never fail.

Businesses fail, and people are weakened by those failures.

Many companies, organizations, and countries have failed in their practices of taking care of people, animals, and the environment.
Do you think that is a ‘good’ failure?

With that said, what is success?

Here are some things thought to equal success…


Spiritual balance.
Hot cars.
Having time.
Emotional balance.
Good health.
Owning a castle.

Do you want all of those things?

Many people forget that this is a 100% personal question.

They let everyone and everything else define what success is, and then run around spewing all their energies in hopes of reaching this external definition of success.

One of the most ‘successful’ people I have ever known was a man who I met in the rainforest of Peru.
He was called Abuelo (Grandpa).
He was in his upper seventies.
Worked hard all day.
Cut open fruit for me so I could sip the delicate fresh nectar.
Took me on long walks through the jungle.
All while I stumbled about and he had to wait for me to catch up.

He owned two shirts, a pair of pants, a cooking pot, and a machete.
That is it.

And he was HAPPY.

This is not about us needing to own nothing to be happy and ‘successful’.
But, what DO you have and how amazing is it?

Some of my success HAS involved me being an artist.

To be an artist is to know and see things in your own special way.

But what people often do not know is that we are all artists.
We can all do that.

We are all artists already.

  • The secretary paints organization with her voice and typing.


  • The counselor paints healing with his words and ears.
  • The masseuse sends newly painted, radiant bodies out into the world.
  • The business executive takes up his palette knife to build numbers, connections, and decisions.
  • The mother paints forests of new beginnings as she cares for herself and her family.
  • The landscaper expertly uses the most difficult of colors to paint with – green – to create rolling yards of beauty.


  • The scientist swirls murals of analysis.
  • The customer service representative paints watercolor pathways to guide people where they want to go.

In conclusion, yes, it is true.
“An artist can not fail – it is a success just to be one.”
Since we are all alive and all artists, we are all successes.
Ah, and now for us all to get on with REMEMBERING that fact.

My idea of success is always going to be different than every other person in the world.
So is yours.
What is your definition of success?

(Images – Deposit Photos and me)