As I sit on the red cushions of the old wicker couch on this long Texas porch, the heat of the cushions feels great on my travel-weary back. My sleepy eyes are squinting at the intensity of the morning light, which is casting a yellow glow on the side of my art studio in the back of the property. The dogs keep jumping up on my lap, then leaping off to chase squirrels. I’m happy to be home after four months away in the Adirondacks.

Life of Regret

Recently I had a discussion with a friend who has lived a life of regret. In fact, he was sad and pathetic because every time we meet, he tells me about all the things he could have done but was too afraid to do. He was tremendously talented, but his fear of failure destroyed his life. Instead of using his amazing talents in Hollywood, he locked himself in his house for 30 years after he did not get a job he felt he deserved.

Stuck in the Mud

We all have experiences we regret, and many of us struggle with clinical depression, but every time I talked with my friend over many years, he brought up the job he almost got, and then told me all the reasons he did not really deserve to get it. He was stuck in his own mud.

What if he had tried one more time, or two more, or 20 more? What’s the worst that could have happened? Instead, he stopped trying.

How Do You Define Success?

We all define success differently. Some want jets and mansions, others want a great family, others want adventure. Yet to gain the success we want, we have to overcome fear.

I was afraid to ask out the most smart and beautiful woman I ever saw. But I eventually overcame my fear and ended up married to an amazing woman who gave us three wonderful kids. What if I had never overcome my fear?

Success is defined by your willingness to step out in spite of your fear in order to accomplish your dreams.

I’ve met some of the wealthiest and most successful people in the world, including presidents, vice presidents, billionaires, astronauts, sports heroes, and people who run giant industries, celebrities in film, TV, radio, and music.

Funny thing .. they are just regular people in every way. Some I’ve met did not even seem all that smart. But the one thing they all have in common is that they don’t let the fear control or stop them. They persist in spite of their fear, in spite of their failure.

What if I fail?

So what?

What if I look bad?

So what?

What if I lose everything?

So what?

Success in life, in work, in career, hobbies, and family is always about overcoming fear. We fear working harder, we fear failure, we fear ridicule, and we fear rejection.

What do you fear?

What could you do if you had no fear?

In what ways is fear controlling or preventing you?

Though there are many habits and abilities that impact success, fear is the one that holds us back most.

Have the courage to look fear in the face and say, “YOU DON’T CONTROL ME.”

You can do this. I know you can.

No matter your stage in life, old or youthful, you don’t want to look back at what you did not try because of your fear.

People who change the world have fear. But they step out anyway.

When will you overcome your fear? When you do, you’ll have newfound freedom, and greatness will emerge.

Eric Rhoads

PS: Happy Halloween! I’ll be out tonight, costume on, begging for candy. Maybe someone will mistake me for a large overgrown kid pretending to be an ancient being from another time 🙂

I thought it would be nice to bring you up to date on my world and all the things we’re working on. 

  • I’m doing a PAPIPA … Paint a Pumpkin in Plein Air challenge online. Paint a pumpkin from life  … any style, carved or not, and post it on your social media with the hashtag #PAPIPA and tag @EricRhoads. The winner will get a full ticket to our REALISM LIVE online virtual conference, which is coming up a week from Wednesday. The second and third runners-up will get their choice of any video we’ve produced at Streamline.Art.
  • Last week we released a new video by Mary Garrish, called The 6 Elements of Design. She is very impressive and a great landscape teacher. She’s simplified things to six elements, and it really makes painting easier to understand.
  • TODAY (October 31) is the last day to enter your paintings into the monthly PleinAir Salon. You can win $15,000 and the cover of PleinAir Magazine, and there are $33,000 in annual prizes. Our esteemed Judge is Patricia Terwilliger, co-owner of Jones & Terwilliger Gallery.
  • This Tuesday, November 1, Is the last day to get the pre-release price on the new Camille Przewodek video, A Colorist’s Guide to Painting. As you know, I studied with Camille, and she changed my life when it came to understanding color.
  • Speaking of Realism Live, there’s $750 in bonus gifts if you get signed up by November 7. Oh, and I do an “If You Don’t Love the First Day, You Don’t Pay Guarantee.” The lineup is amazing, including Quang Ho, Jacob Collins, and dozens of others.
  • I’m always signing artists who are hot. In fact, we don’t sign anyone unless they are the best of the best, or if they are a hot up-and-comer. This upcoming weekend we’ll be releasing a new video from Kyle Buckland. Keep an eye out for that.

Have a great Halloween.