in doing what you love

You have to fuel your own vision

When I was younger, I used to think that it was enough to have a good idea. After all, we tell kids that good ideas can lead to great things happening. After years of failing, I started to realize that it doesn’t really matter how smart your mom thinks you are, how successful you were in your last job or how much you think you deserve to “make it.” It’s not the job of other people to empower your dreams. Will it happen sometimes? You betcha. But it’s not a bet you can make nor should you gamble your life away assuming that someone else is going to show up recognizing the intrinsic abilities you possess and try to help you get there.

It’s all about timing. But it’s more than that, too. You’ve got to bring your A game more often than not and when it’s prime-time, you just have to be ready. Sometimes, it won’t come all at once. It’ll be a slow crescendo that rises up from nowhere. Maybe it happens so fast you didn’t even know it while it was going on. But the biggest thing I’ve come to accept over the years is that you can’t expect anyone else to embrace your vision.

If they did, it’d cease to be yours. Or they’ll screw it up and annoy you, when really, it’s just your fault. Too much of this stuff starts earlier than we realize. So when you ask someone how they became an overnight success, they tell you a story about when they were six. Or nine years old doing that thing they loved. Or how they transitioned at a certain point, committed themselves to it and good things came about to the point that they’re talking to you.

There have been far more eloquent folks who’ve tackled this topic in a far less impromptu manner than I am right now. So much of the rhetoric these days rests on blaming someone else for what didn’t work out how we wanted it to go. It just seems misplaced. Are there structural problems with certain things? Yup. Are there people who exist in the same places we live, work and play who have legitimate grievances and don’t even know it? You betcha.

Success isn’t a pill and it doesn’t come in the form of a piece of paper. You have to define it for yourself. It might not be what your neighbor wanted for her life, it might not be what your dad wanted for his. That’s okay, because so long as you’re excited to wake up everyday working towards whatever this thing might be…there’s not much more you can ask for than that.

It can be disappointing when we’re not where we want to be at a particular point. I know I think about this a lot and try to find the words to describe it; but I usually don’t have them. Resilience comes from recognizing that if you’re still in the ring, that you have to keep fighting or else you need to find a new thing to do.

Tomorrow is a new day and what happens isn’t entirely up to me. But there are things I can do to make it the best day possible and you can best believe that I’ll do that tomorrow as I did today, yesterday and the days, months and weeks before.

Ultimately, all you’ve got is your ideas. Bring them to life or spend your days daydreaming and wondering “what if?”