I suffer from self-delusions of someday becoming a famous author. Of making millions off of the words that I write. These types of fantasies have happened since I was 7. Except, when I was 7, I had my whole life ahead of me and I knew that for sure I would achieve my dreams (my dreams back then consisted of either being a super-famous pianist or a successful chemist, like Peter Parker).
Now that I’m almost 40, my fantasies are generally followed by a swift kick of reality straight to my baby-makers. I think about all the millions of people that have the same dream as I do, and I imagine they probably have more time and more talent and access to better resources and so I give up on trying to make my dream a reality and stick with my little fantasy.
Fantasy is awesome because you don’t have to do anything to enjoy it. You just sit in your comfy chair and dream about the life you will probably have someday.
And in the back of your head, you secretly hate yourself a little.
You hate yourself for not acting.
You hate yourself for not reaching your potential.
You hate yourself for feeling trapped.
But what are you going to do? Trying sucks. Trying is hard and it’s exciting at the beginning, but it isn’t any fun to try really hard, and to focus, and to actually get to the point where you’ve created something you aren’t totally ashamed of, only to realize that a 5th grader could probably do a better job at it than you.
So you give up. You change your values. You tell yourself that life is about being around people you care for. Because that’s something you know you can do. You can even be around people you care for when you’re sitting on your ass watching tv and drinking another beer.
And you know what? That is important. It is important to be with the people you love.
But you’re avoiding your purpose.
Sorry, I can’t say that. I don’t know what your purpose is.
But, if I’m just sitting, watching t.v., I feel like I’m avoiding my purpose. I’m seeking the easy way. I’m placing distraction over hard work. It isn’t easy. It’s hard to change your value system. Your operating value system.
Not the imaginary one that you tell yourself to feel good about yourself.
Here’s some truth to help you get past the block you’re facing: you can be making more money. You can be more successful than you are. And you can do it by doing something that you love. But you have to work really hard. You have to be efficient. You have to do a lot of work. A lot of work. The world is big enough to have thousands of experts in every category imaginable. Experts that can make money for their expertise. The pie is big enough for you to get a slice.
But you have to put in the work.
This is where faith comes in.
This is where you start working hard, exercising, practicing, getting better and better and better.
You will never get strong without working out. But for every person that wants to eat a proper diet and exercise regularly, they can all have a great body. All of them. There is no scarcity there.
So why do you imagine there is scarcity when it comes to career? Well, it’s because leaders need followers. And authors need readers.
But every leader follows someone. And while there may not be a 1-to-1 relationship on leaders to followers, don’t ever let the need for followers keep you from being a leader.
Look for opportunities to lead in your category.
Be the best by exercising, by practicing, by challenging yourself, by competing. Get good at the hard stuff, look past the small stuff, find people to help you with the maintenance stuff.
You don’t have to be a Type A personality.
You don’t have to put your family’s needs last.
You do have to put your purpose first, though.
Make it clear in your mind.
Many people are capable of showing up to the office every day for their job.
But they somehow find it difficult to work on their mission.
Maybe it is the accountability.
Maybe it is the level of decision.
But it is only once you’ve decided you’re going to do something. Once you’ve committed to those who are most important to you, and committed to yourself, that you’ll witness the real change.
Go on the diet. Do the exercise. Practice your skill. Ship your work. Produce. Create. Contribute. Be the voice you wish you had listened to when you were younger.