What Empire Are You Building?
Last night around Midnight, my roommate and I got into one of our usual, “What am I doing with my life? / I have no future,” talks. You know the ones. I mentioned that I felt like I was either sitting on a goldmine or a grenade… there is no middle ground. Everything is going to go as planned or it just won’t happen at all. I know that is totally dramatic and not entirely true, but that’s what life feels like when you are trying to pursue something that seems out of reach.
I think as long as you are still yearning for the thing you are chasing, it’s still a goldmine. No matter how risky, “irresponsible”, or challenging it is to get there, it will always be worth it if it’s something you are truly passionate about.
It becomes a grenade when you take the easy way out and simply stop trying because of your disbelief in yourself and your dream. Grenades are created by unapplied potential and doubt. Setting the grenade off results in regret and disappointment that is difficult to bounce back from. We usually set off our own grenades by being our own worst critics and allowing apprehension to hold us back.
Earning your goldmine is extremely more complicated than maintaining it.
They (they being a talent agent I frequently work with) say that getting the job is the hardest part. I’ve noticed that the more work I put in, the easier it gets to have confidence in my own skills and ideas. Once your assignments get past the “this feels like a chore” stage, your hard work becomes naturally consistent and more enjoyable. As long as your creativity and genuineness are able to shine through, nobody can tell you that you are on the wrong path.
I haven’t reached my ceiling yet, so while I do fear the thought of never living out my dreams, I truly believe you get much farther when you believe that you will. Whatever we are reaching for, I think we will probably never stop reaching. There will always be something more that we are trying to get our hands on. Nothing is wrong with setting goal after goal. It keeps us strong-minded and humbled enough to realize that we can keep improving. The message here is that our success depends on US as much as it depends on timing, fate, or even raw talent. We are our own worst enemies, but we are also in the privileged position of controlling our own life destiny.