At one point in my life, I almost completely gave up on the idea that I could make a better life for myself if I just worked extra hard. Up to that point, I had lived a life that seemed to strongly suggest that only a select few were destined to truly succeed in life… and that I wasn’t one of them.
It seemed as though no matter how hard I worked, no matter how committed I was to trying please others and help them… I wasn’t the type of person that was meant to live a life different from the one I was born into.
I had my reasons for wanting so badly to live a different life. Was I not grateful for the life I had lived up to that point? Of course I was. But as much as I had appreciated everything I had to that point… I was convinced that there was more to my life than what I had received.
If you understand what I am saying, then you will understand what followed after I thought that I wasn’t meant to succeed in this world.
I became miserable.
I’m not sure what depression is really like, but to some extent, I feel that was what I went through.
I could not stand the idea of waking up on a Monday.
And the reason why I felt that way… was because I felt as though whether or not I did wake up… nothing would get better.
I mean, we all go through challenges in life. We all experience hardship. But one of the things that helps us fight hardship is the hope that we can overcome it. That we can do something… take some kind of action… to either reduce the hardship or eliminate it entirely.
I did not feel like that.
At the end of every day, I would wonder if anything I had done that day was helping me get out of that hardship.
The truth… the honest truth i felt… was that nothing I did was making a difference.
I soon realized that all I was trying to do was to make sure that the hardship wasn’t getting worse. That was what I felt I was doing at the end of each day.
The day that this feeling really sank in… was the day I felt miserable. I asked myself this one question out loud as I stared at my bedroom ceiling one morning, “How is it that I’m working extra hard… just to make sure I don’t live a more shittier life?”.
You probably read that and probably think that I was too consumed by negativity and I was feeling extra sorry for myself.
Yes. You are right. I was.
That was the root of my misery. My outlook on life based on my experiences.
Which is what most of us go through.
So don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it was right of me to see things this way… but to some extent, many other people have felt this way, or have felt something similar in their lives.
What’s important is what came after. Because now you are reading an article about self-development on a blog dedicated to publishing such articles.
One of the things that saved me from drowning myself in such thoughts was realizing that there were people out there in the world who could relate to what I was going through.
Not only that, but the same people were able to turn their lives around and actually attain great success.
I’m not sure if you understand just how significant that ended up being for people like me at the time.
“Are you saying that despite all these obstacles, challenges and people that look down on me and hold me back from pursuing what I want… I can still find a way to succeed?” was the question I asked.
A person from the other side of the globe responded with a strong YES!!!
That was the moment I found success in my life.
My life changed from that point on. I made the decision to take a leap of faith and pursue my calling.
I decided that the only person that would ever be able to hold me back or convince to stop… was going to be me and me alone. Fortunately for me… that person is ready to die with the decision I made to pursue my goals.
Almost all negativity was erased from my way of thinking.
As cold as it might have seemed, I even cut out all negative associations that didn’t understand just how important it was for me to pursue my own life in my own way.
I replaced and continue to replace those associations with people that better understand what I’m trying to do… because they themselves are doing the exact same thing.
Do you get it? No matter how crazy or farfetched your dreams are… there are PEOPLE… not just a person… but PEOPLE like you who want the exact same thing… or even more.
So who is really ready to try stop me with my modest goals? Who can really tell me to be realistic about my humble desires?
There are people that have built planes from ideas. They have built space stations from ideas. They have built computers from ideas.
They have built things that are 10,000 times bigger than what I want to achieve on this planet.
So who would dare waste my time and their time… trying to stop me from getting the little things I desire?
That person would be brave to stand in front of me… and tell me to my face that I can’t achieve my goals.
Whatever comes out of your mouth… is a reflection of how you think.
Wait. That’s not what I meant to say.
Whatever comes out of your mouth… is a reflection of how you CHOOSE to think.
The same mouth can utter the words, “I will succeed” just as easily as it can utter the words “I will fail”.
What follows, is the decision to defend and grow one of the choices.
Success and failure is truly a battle that is fought in the mind… not in the real world.
There are phrases that I have never heard used by the successful people I respect.
Phrases like, “That’s not realistic” or “That’s impossible” or “That’s a stupid idea. It can never work”.
I closely monitor their social media feeds, their interviews… but nothing. Never have I heard them use those phrases.
However, for a good number of people I have been around growing up… such phrases were part of everyday speech.
Am I saying that being blindly positive is a great way attain success?
What I’m saying is that being blindly negative is NOT a great way to attain success!
I’m blessed to know people around me who tell me, “Hey Oscar. I have dream to become a well-respected comic book artist. Do you think I can do it?”
“Hey bro. I’m not sure if this is realistic or anything… but I am deciding to pursue a life as a video game developer. Do you think that makes sense?”
If that is what you truly feel you want to do or achieve. Then YES!
People will tell you that it’s unrealistic based on THEIR point of view.
A point of view that is very often UNINFORMED.
Because if you asked one of the artists that was responsible for creating Spiderman if your dream to become a comic book artist is realistic… what exactly do you think he would say?
If you told the person that brought the world the video game Minecraft that you have a dream to become a video game developer… what do you think he would say? That’s a dumb idea?
If you told Eminem that you have a dream to become a hip hop artist… would he tell you to stop speaking crazy and focus on doing well at your job?
And before you answer any of these quesitons… I want you to understand what I have just done.
I am making you realize that we often derail ourselves by talking to and seeking advice from the WRONG people. Just because we have people close to us, doesn’t mean they have all the right answers.
One of the worst things you can do is ask advice about your passion from someone LESS SKILLED than you when it comes to YOUR PASSION.
I keep telling dreamers, you will make significant progress if you align your thinking and your habits with those that have SUCCEEDED in doing what you are trying to do.
If you are willing to work long and hard through the guidance of those that have attained their success through the same way… then who or what can stop you from attaining the life you want?
Work hard in the right direction.
Never take advice from those who you do not want to trade places with.
Whether you succeed or fail has little to do with life situations… but has more to do with how your react to what is thrown at you.
To succeed isn’t always easy. But it is not impossible. To find out how… you must get the answers and tips from the RIGHT people.
A few weeks ago, a person asked me what my definition of success was. At first, I didn’t know what I would say. I began crafting a long answer. Because naturally, I don’t believe a person can speak on behalf of everyone else when it comes to defining success.
Then it hit me!
Success is being able to do or have whatever you desired to do or have.