Making It vs. Make It Happen

I recently noticed a posting on a YouTube video. The comment pointed out that the fan loved the track, but wondered if the artist "had made it".

Make it. Its a phrase you hear a lot in the creative industries - especially music and fim/tv, and usually as a way of describing the moment someone enters the mainstream. It is a destination goal, one shared by thousands of X Factor contestants and Hollywood hopefuls.

Making it means you have been chosen, that you are worthy, that you are good enough. Its an external validation, where your career is dependent on others' assessment of your talent. Perhaps that makes it highly prized - but rare, as it is determined by forces beyond your control.

You won. You did it. Congratulations.

(funny how this phrase is rarely found outside creative careers - why does it not apply to any other industry?)

Compare having "made it" to "make it happen".

Artists that make it happen have taken control of their own careers. They are working towards goals that they have established for themselves - rather than trying to achieve a destination determined by other people. It is an active phrase, describing an exciting career that grows rather than just peaks. And it indicates that responsibility is in the hands of the artist.

So - which is more rewarding?

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