“Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.” ~ Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Reaching for the Stars
Are you an aspiring or “starving” artist? A wannabe-writer? A someday-star?
Are you filled with a passion to somehow change the world for the better?
Perhaps you’re a student attending college or university, aspiring to be an actor someday, but in the mean time all your time is devoted to your classes, homework, and working at a part-time job to foot your tuition and cost of living.
On the other hand, maybe you’ve actually completed your studies, but are having difficulty finding work that fits in with your degree and dream-job, and thus you opt to work as a waiter while looking for other work.
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to be a writer, but your creativity seems squashed by your day-to-day boring job that you really only do so that you can pay for rent and food and, hopefully, buying yourself some time to write. But you don’t seem to be getting anywhere with that because your job as a waiter really drains your creative energy.
Perhaps you’ve got great musical talent and ability and have always wanted to sing your heart out on stage while playing the piano or guitar, seducing your audience with your whimsical words of wisdom and tantalizing tunes, but for some reason just can’t seem to get started, even in your spare time.
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Many of us have dreams and aspirations to be more than what we currently seem. Striving to be more than what we are is part of being human.
Getting started on transforming your dreams into reality can be one of the hardest things to do, even if it is getting started on following your heart and your passions, living the life you’re always imagined.
But why does it seem so hard? If you’re pursuing your passion, wouldn’t doing so be easy? Your passion is supposed to fuel you with energy allowing nothing to get in your way… isn’t it? Your apparent lack of ability to get started is probably an indicator that you aren’t even truly passionate about what you thought you were passionate about… and you should probably just re-label your “passion” as a mere “interest”, and instead pursue it passively as a hobby or pass-time… Right?
Should a trip to the moon or Mars remain a fantasy simply because it’s really frakkin hard to overcome the pull of gravity that’s keeping you stuck where you are?
In my opinion, it’s very possible — and perhaps even common — to be passionate about an idea of a goal or a dream yet still experience a lot of difficulty and resistance in pursuing that dream. We all have to overcome inertia in order to get moving in the direction of our dreams. Depending on your individual life experiences and circumstances, it’s possible you may have a lot more resistance to overcome than others. Everyone is unique. But that’s completely okay. Recognize and appreciate where you’re currently at and move on. Decide what you want. Make a plan. Take action.
It will take courage, persistence, and perhaps some experimentation to overcome inertia before you change your Passion Litmus Test result from part-time hobby to full-time career.
Blue = Part-Time Passion/Hobby, Red = Full-Time Passion/Career.
…Wait, are those colors of litmus paper test results, or colors of the pills offered to Neo by Morpheus in the Matrix? Hmm… Perhaps they are analogous.
Why does following the white rabbit of your dreams take courage? If you want to achieve something really badly, something you crave and desire with every fiber of your being, something that you love and care about with a deep passion, this obviously means that the stakes are high and that you care a whole damn lot about it.
If, perchance, you fail, your faith in your own ability, self worth and esteem might plummet drastically. Maybe the white rabbit will lead you astray… how do you know if you should trust it? What if it leads you down a dead-end rabbit hole and you fall on your ass? You might experience embarrassment, ridicule, and possibly even depression. Is it really worth it?
It takes courage to follow your dreams because there is risk of failure and disappointment. Failure, however, shouldn’t be something to fear. A great attitude towards failure is to wear any past failures as if it were a badge of honor. You don’t have to be embarrassed by your failures. Failing at something means that you’ve been through a lot, gained new experiences and perspectives, learned and grown, and most importantly, you’ve survived.
It’s been said that the pathway to success is paved with failure, and as such, even though failure may seem to take you even further from your dream, often the opposite itself is true.
So, back to the question, “Is it really worth it”? What do you think? Imagine yourself pursuing your dream-job, living the life of your dreams, and the impact that has on the world and those around you. What does it look like? More importantly, how does it make you feel?
If you feel excited, happy and joyful and can’t think of anything else you’d rather be doing with your life, then you know: This is the path for you, and this is the path you must follow. Become the white rabbit and forge a path — a journey — of your own creation. Perhaps others will follow you.
Taking the red pill isn’t always easy. But no matter the resistance you may face, you must exercise courage and tread your path with a confident strength.
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” ~ Calvin Coolidge
The above quote is one of my favorites. It has a wonderful message we should always keep in mind while on our creative journey reaching for the stars. Persistence is going to act as your main fuel to make your dreams and passions a full-time reality. Think of passion as fueling your ideas, thoughts and emotions, vs. persistence fueling your actions to make those thoughts and ideas a reality. If you apply passion without any persistence, you’re not going to get anywhere. The more you persist, the closer you will be to the stars.
Through persistence, your level of proficiency at manifesting your passion and creating something tangible that you can share with your audience and the world will increase. Of course it stands to reason that in the beginning while taking your first steps along your creative journey you won’t be very proficient in your field, and so it will take time to get where you want to be. But that’s okay!
Don’t expect to become a sought-after expert as soon as you start. That’s like expecting to be able to pass your twelfth grade exams and graduate high school shortly after beginning kindergarten. Unless you happen to be some sort of brilliant genius, chances are pretty high that that’s not going to happen. It’s also akin to wanting to complete your journey after you’ve barely started. Maybe you could do that… if you invent transporters. 😉
If you have an innate talent and ability in your field of passion, it might take you less time to build proficiency than someone who is starting from zero, but even if you’re someone starting from zero, don’t let that fact hold you back from pursuing your dreams if you know it’s what you really want to do. Besides, even the above quote recognizes that persistence outweighs talent. Accept where you currently are on the map and then journey onwards, persisting one step and a time.
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t instantly become an over-night success. If you’re capable, committing to longer travel days during your creative journey will likely get you where you’re going a lot faster than someone meandering along at a slower pace. But ultimately, you alone will know what your (current) limits are and will need to pace yourself accordingly. Yet, in order to grow, you’ll want to push yourself outside your comfort zone by striving to persist for longer periods of time than what you’re normally comfortable with. Before you know it, you’ll be able to travel along your creative journey for longer periods of time, enabling you to get where you’re going at a much faster rate!
When you first commit to the decision of transforming your passion into a full time career, things may seem to be going really slowly as you’re starting to overcome the resistance of your current surroundings. If you’re reaching for the stars, you’ll need to overcome the pull of gravity that’s keeping you where you are. But again: persist, persist, persist!
As you push through any resistance that’s acting against you, you’ll grow stronger and stronger. With each passing day, you’ll gain strength, and with each passing day, you’ll be moving away further and further from your initial destination.
If you’re aiming for the stars, you’ll have to push through gravity that’s holding you back. But as you get stronger you will be able to overcome that opposing force. Soon you’ll realize that the further you get from your initial destination, the resisting force opposing your actions will become weaker and weaker. Through persistence you’ll be able to eventually escape gravity’s pull on you, and from there, it’s all smooth sailing!
It will take some experimentation, trial and error to figure out the best way for you to persist through the opposing forces that seem to keep you where you are before you can be among the stars, living your dream and passion as a full-time career.
For example, I’ve been working as an independent theatre artist since 2003. And even though where I am today is a completely new territory compared to where I first started over seven years ago, I’d say I still have quite a ways to go to reach my full potential. I’m reaching for the stars, but gravity is most definitely still working against me. I’d have to say that I haven’t quite built up enough strength yet to escape the pull of gravity that’s keeping me here on earth.
I believe one of the main reasons as to why I’m still “stuck on Earth” is because, up until present, I’ve been pursuing my passions on a part-time basis by default, as I haven’t been throwing myself into my passion on a full-time basis.
If you take a look at my blog as it is today, it’s pretty unlikely you’d say I’ve been making it my priority. I haven’t got too much content up as of yet, and I’ve been posting new entries on a pretty sporadic basis.
If you take a look at my theatre-career, I’ve been self-producing an average of one solo play a year. If I were committed full-time to my career as an independent theatre artist, I’d be creating or producing theatre on a regularly consistent basis, not just in the summer time, and not just for Fringe Theatre Festivals either.
Clearly, I have some more experimenting to do in order to discover a more productive way of pursuing my passions. There are tons of areas I could explore and expand. I’d like to be recognized as someone who follows their dreams on a full-time basis, not just as a part-time passion.
30-day Experimental Trial
I’m currently undergoing an experiment to figure out how and where I should focus my attention in order to give myself the needed boost to thrust my part-time passion into a full-time career. On the Monday of this week, I decided to launch off a new 30-day trial.
The initial challenge of this trial was to commit to a minimum of 4-hours a day working on some activity related to my creative passions. By “some activity related to my creative passions”, I’m included scheduling, planning, day-dreaming (i.e. visualizing), reading, blog-writing, other forms of writing, rehearsing for auditions, working on my website, etc.
However, at present, I have a lot of bad habits that currently serve to undermine my creative efforts in a very significant way. Like the gravity that keeps us where we are, bad habits will have the effect of increasing the pull that’s keeping us stuck where we are, making it much more difficult to escape and go forth in the direction of our dreams. Despite committing to 4-hours of work daily, I haven’t really gotten all that much done in these past four days.
It’s still possible to get where you’re going without first adopting new habits, but obviously a lot more energy will be spent working against the opposing forces that our bad habits have on us, and it’s going to take a lot longer, too. It only makes sense to first decrease the resistance that I have to push through, because at present my unproductive habits eat up tons of my time that could otherwise be spent creating something wonderful to share with the world.
Therefore, I’ve also decided to include in my “work time” any activity that will aim to increase my productivity and focus in general. So now, instead of focusing this trial completely on the side of my career and passions, I’m going to be extending the focus to include the development of habits that will serve to increase my productivity, which will in turn act as fuel to increase my ability to actively persist in pursing my passions and transforming my dreams into reality.
I know that I have to do this this trial and break my bad habits, because I know if I don’t my bad habits will break me.
When I first decided to commit to this 30-day challenge, I literally started to cry. I didn’t cry because I thought it would be hard. I started to cry because I knew that if I were able to succeed at this challenge, it would mean I’d finally be so much closer to making my deepest desires come true. It would mean I’d have finally achieved escape velocity. I would finally be on a resistless path to the realization of my dreams. I cried because the thought of realizing my full potential is the reason why I am here. Perhaps it is the reason why all of us are here.
Recently I’ve been wondering, do we choose our passions, or do our passions choose us? I used to think the former, but now I’m leaning towards believing the latter.
Our passion acts like a compass, pointing the way to the path of growth that will in turn lead us to a life of fulfillment. When you overcome any resistance standing in the way of reaching your dreams and press on to realize the dream itself, no doubt you will feel a sense of accomplishment, peace, happiness, fulfillment, and joy. Basking in these feelings even before you get to where you want to be will help you get to where you’re going even faster.
If you’re also wanting to turn your part-time passion into a full time career, I invite you to share your journey with me! Perhaps we can help each other by sharing our experiences. So far I’ve learned that a really helpful step you can take is learning what forces currently seem to be acting against you — bad habits, environment, people, etc. — and then doing what you can to eliminate the drag these forces have upon you.
Making the transition to creating your part time passion into your full-time career can be difficult. Making your dreams come true isn’t always going to be easy, but I can guarantee you that it will always be worth it.