I have invested years and dollars going to school to learn how to make things. I have spent years reading, watching, listening, asking, and toiling to figure out what I want to be and do with my life. I have spent the past year and a half learning how to teach others to produce creative and technical work. In the midst of my journey, I have learned several important lessons about how to do what you want to do.
Know What You Want
The biggest and most important lesson in doing anything is knowing what you want. Do you want to make a lot of money? Do you want to eliminate malaria? Do you want to create a search engine that does not target advertisements based upon searches? Do you want to be a web designer, a developer, a filmmaker, an artist, a photographer?
I was told growing up: “Now you know and knowing is half the battle.” I would argue that in today’s fast-paced, competitive world, knowing is 80-90% of the battle because the knowledge of who you are and what you want leads to action.
Once you know what you want, you’re going to do whatever it takes to get there. You’ll be purposeful with your time, your energy, your relationships, your money, your tangible and intangible resources. Why? Because you know what you want to do. You have a vision for what you want to accomplish and your mission is to bring that vision forth into the world.
You’re going to stop collecting the accolades and criticisms from others. You will learn who truly wants to help you and who is out to watch you trip and fall. Purposed intent helps you to avoid the fear of failure, which often leads to paranoia and inaction.
Be a Fool
A fool is someone that doesn’t know any better when attempting to do something. A fool looks at a task and attempts to do it regardless of the outcome. A fool trips, falls, and fails regardless of who is watching. A fool is in love with what must be done.
Being a fool does not mean you are stupid. It simply means you don’t know any better. You aren’t listening to the messages of others telling you how you should be. That is the world of conformity attempting to mold and shape you into its image. There is a vast cavern between conformity and reality.
Get back up. Go another round. Be tenacious in your knowledge and in your application. If you wait for others to bring you around to where you want to be, you’ll learn a very important lesson: People get tired dragging dead weight for too long.
If you are tired, take a nap, but get back in the game as quick as possible. Tenacity is just as habitual as laziness. You’ll be surprised how quick you can go from being eager to lackadaisical.
As I get older, I find that two things annoy me: When I feel the excuses from within and when I hear excuses from others. Ultimately, there are no excuses. You are either do or do not. Yoda had it right.
If excuses are mounting, then it’s important to revisit what you want. Do you remember? Or are you just going through the motions?