Take a dive and go all-in.
I won’t lie to you. I’ve spent most of life playing it safe. Instead of taking my dreams and goals head on, I’d approach them indirectly. I’ve known for a long time now what I wanted to do with my life. It’s my dream, my calling if you will, to tell stories. My greatest wish is to share my imagination with the world through stories.
You’d think that within all this time that I’ve known, I would have progressed towards that profession in some way. Honestly, I haven’t done anything that is significant long term. Of anything, I have been going the opposite direction. This past week I’ve reflected on the matter and have come up with several reasons why I (and perhaps you) have not been successful in certain ventures.
- You’re tripping off of what everyone else thinks.
Everyone has an opinion and everyone is entitled to it. That’s America for you. Yay first Amendment! With that said, everyone is going to have something to say no matter you do. No matter who you are people will let you know how they feel about you and your actions. Whether you fail or succeed, the Chatty Cathys and Talkative Toms will be there to spread the word. Therefore, as cliché it sounds, you’ve got to do what’s best for you. In simpler terms, like what Madea says, “It ain’t what people call you. It’s what you answer to.” Oh yes girl, I went there.
Take my approach to my education for example. Currently, I just got my A.A. in sociology. When people asked why I chose sociology for my major, I’d tell them, “Can’t make people laugh if I can’t understand them”. True but if I’m not directly applying the material that I’m learning, it’s just as useless. On paper being a sociology major was a great experience and opportunity to learn about people. Not only that but it also pleased the ‘rents if you catch my drift. In reality though, it was an was a way for me to play it safe instead of going directly after what I really wanted. It was a curtain for me to hide behind. Studying as a sociologist, I was able to learn facts and crack jokes with them every so often. It was somewhat close to what I wanted to do so I went along with it. After all, everyone would tell me that instead of being a storyteller and learning to perform, getting a legitimate degree in sociology would be better when being a storyteller doesn’t work out. I know now that this is incorrect. I can never be a storyteller if I’m too caught up in sociology. Just like a glass of water doesn’t pour itself. If I don’t put in the work to become a storyteller and instead put in the work as a sociologist. Odds are I’ll be a sociologist (and homeless. A little sociology major humor if you will.) Which leads me to another point. . .
- You’re not prepared.
Get ready, stay ready. Skill doesn’t appear out of thin air. (Unless you’re playing Sims and use boolprops.) From the simplistic, repetitive ones to complex, applicable ones skills have to be developed. Were you born with the skill to make your own PB&J sandwich? No, you had to learn how to digest solid foods, appreciate the deliciousness of the PB&J, get other people to make it for you, watch them, and practice. Initially, you might make the mistake of using a knife for the jelly and a spoon for the peanut butter, you crazy animal you. Use too much jelly or not enough peanut butter. Both equally terrible sins in the sandwich making community. After a while, you get the hang of it. And when you get to be a professional like myself, it’s now like clockwork. You can even sprinkle some style over it if you wish. I like to use three pieces of bread when I make my sandwiches. You read that right. Sue me. Point is that you’ve got to be willing to put in the work and learn what’s necessary to level up to the next stage.
- You’re too caught up in what was and/or what isn’t.
Rome was not built in a day and neither was the iPhone. Let us take a moment to fathom the amount of time that has passed in between the two events. Crazy, right? Imagine how people in Roman times would have reacted had they known the possibilities that were open to future generations because of the the decisions that they made on a daily basis. What would you have been like back in those times? Granted, you wouldn’t have the same opinions as you do now during that time. Thus, there has to be a reason why you were born in the time that you were. There’s a reason why you experience what you experience when you experience it. So you can take advantage of the current possibilities and reach your fullest potential. You are here now to experience now. Don’t let it pass you up. And don’t forget to laugh. Laughing gives +2 points towards happiness and success.