Artist Development 05

Ego, Attitude, Passion and Grit

by John Latimer

 Many aspiring artists fail because of attitude and ego as well as lack of passion and grit. You wouldn’t believe how many artists fail because of this.

Their failures are often caused by a negative attitude or uncontrollable ego. And yes, there are stories of artists becoming more successful because of their attitude or ego. But on the whole, success is fleeting when ego kicks in. And when ego and attitude gets mixed up, the artist fails. Ego and be dangerous. The importance of Attitude, Ego, Passion & Grit must not be overlooked as another part of Artist Development.

As a part of this section of Artist Development, Artists may look at various factors that influence their ego and their attitude. Motivation is a big part of this. Why does and Artist want to be an Artist in the first place? How motivated are they?

Another part of this is the definition of success. Every Artist defines success in a different way. Success is only defined by the individual. Society may categorize people as successful but society cannot define what success is in the mind of the individual. Success is defined as a favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors. It is also the accomplishment of one’s goals. To build on this point, if an Artist sets unrealistic goals with unrealistic time frames, they may have a tough time finding success.  On the other hand, when an Artist sets goals too low, their idea of success may take a very long time. The secret when an Artist measures their success, that they start with realistic and achievable goals.

Our own definition of success can make us happy or sad. Everyone wants to be a success, however, that simple desire for success creates anxiety.

Loser is a failure of man-made rules. Success is deserved. Losing is deserved. Was Hamlet a loser? No, he just lost. All success involves choices. Succeeding in one area fails at another. Artists should strive to be successful but define what success is to you. Success is our own definition, our own ambition. Make sure our idea of success if truly our own. When you realize that you have enough, then you are truly rich.

Verse 38 of the Tao: The great master follows his own nature and not the trappings of life. A truly good man is not aware of his goodness and is therefore good.

No Where to Now Here and… where are you going… No where. Go back to now here.


As a motivation in the entertainment industry, there are different reasons individuals are motivated for to do a certain job. One of these includes passion for the occupation within the job. Many artists love the entertainment business. After all, it is a glamour business. When an artist is passionate about what they do, the results are more work being done and more work satisfaction. These same individuals have higher levels of psychological well-being. When people genuinely enjoy their profession and are motivated by their passion, they tend to be more satisfied with their work and more psychologically healthy.

Passion and desire go hand in hand, especially as a motivation. Passion is an “intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction”. This suggests that passion is a very intense emotion, but can be positive or negative. It could involve pain and has obsessive forms that can destroy the self and even others. In the music business, when an artist is very passionate about their work, they may be so wrapped up it that they cause pain to their loved ones by focusing more on their job than on their friendships and relationships. This is a constant battle of balance that is difficult to achieve and only an individual can decide where that line lies. Passion is connected to the concept of desire. In fact, they are inseparable to many people. These two concepts cause individuals to reach out for something, or even someone. They both can either be creative or destructive and this dark side can very well be dangerous to the self or others.

As a motivation for Hobbies

Hobbies require a certain level of passion in order to continue engaging in the hobby. Singers, athletes, dancers, artists, and many others describe their emotion for their hobby as a passion. Although this might be the emotion they’re feeling, passion is serving as a motivation for them to continue their hobby. Recently there has been a model to explain different types of passion that contribute to engaging in an activity.

“A harmonious passion refers to a strong desire to engage in the activity that remains under the person’s control.” This is mostly obtained when the person views their activity as part of their identity. Once an activity is part of the person’s identity then the motivation to continue is even stronger. The harmony obtained with this passion is conceived when the person is able to both freely engage in or to stop the work altogether. It’s not so much that the person is forced to continue, but on his or her own free will is able to engage in it. For example if a woman loves to play guitar, but she has a rehearsal the next day and her friends invite her to out to a party, she is able to say no on her own free will.

The second kind of passion in the dualistic model is obsessive passion. Being the opposite of harmonious passion, this type has a strong desire to engage in the activity, but it’s not under the person’s own control and he or she is forced to engage in the hobby. This type of passion has a negative effect on a person where they could feel they need to engage in their art to continue interpersonal relationships, or “fit in” with the crowd. To change the above example, if the person has an obsessive passion towards playing guitar and she is asked to party with her friends, she will say yes even though she needs to practice for her upcoming rehearsal.

Since passion can be a type of motivation in art, then assessing intrinsic motivation is appropriate. Intrinsic motivation helps define these types of passion. Passion naturally helps the needs or desires that motivate an artist to some particular action or behavior. Certain abilities can be developed early and the innate motivation is also something that comes early in life. Although someone might know how to write songs, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are motivated to do it. An artist’s knowledge of their innate motivation can help guide action toward what will be fulfilling.” Feeling satisfied and fulfilled builds the passion for the art to continue a artist’s happiness.


What is confidence except repetition, repetition, and more repetition? The more an artist rehearses, the easier it is and the easier it looks. Not only does it look easy, but the artist feels more confident with their artistic expression.

We make and design whatever we want in our lives. We have the ability to create happiness and we have the ability to create unhappiness. The more confident a person is as a performer, singer, musician or content creator, the happier they tend to be.