How do you define success?


Success is subjective.  To some people success might mean some financial gain, and with others it may mean they gain more followers, and in my work with my clients, it is very important that I understand what success means for them.


This morning as I sat by the window in my living room, I found myself thinking about what success means to me, and my mind drifted to a time when I first felt the feeling of what success feels like to me.

I was seven years old living in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.  My mother owned a dancing school which we lived above.  It was my favorite place in the world to be. In the summertime, when her school was closed, my mother took me into Manhattan for professional dance class.  I was the only child allowed in the class, and my mother very firmly told me as she placed both her face and index finger in my face, “Do not embarrass me!”

I was in awe of where I was.  I was surrounded by famous broadway stars and people I recognized from TV.  I was not really concerned about embarrassing my mother. I knew that I could do what all of these adults could, and wanted to show them that I could.  When I go back to that time in my mind, I experience a girl that was fully present and fully alive. I felt no doubts, only honest attention to learning the steps and putting my whole heart into performing the routines.  

If I look at my career at the things that I am most proud of, I would say that the experience was somewhat similar.  The only difference was, that I was one who was the choreographer. I was creating both the stage and the dance. As an adult, ideas have come to me in the form of a vision, and the vision has been so strong that I felt that I had no choice but to take steps forward even if I did not know how.  The first experience I had with such a vision, was when I created a series of street art rugs with three of the most famous street artists from Los Angeles, Shepard Fairey, Kenny Scharf and RETNA. The idea came to me as I watched their murals begin to populate the walls of the West Hollywood Library, and was solidified when I bumped into Shepard Fairey on Robertson Boulevard twice in one week.

Four months after the idea was first formed in my head, I signed all three artists.  It was just me, my vision, combined with the inertia of moving forward with my whole heart.  That is what success looks like for me: having a vision, understanding why it is important to me, and then moving forward even in the face of doubt with my whole heart.

Ginna Christensen