When you were a teen or young adult getting advice from the wise old one in your life they forgot to tell you a few important things. You know who I am talking about the infamous “they”, your teen idols, the sexy older man/woman who lived across the street, larger than life uncle with the cool car, an aunt who was just a few years older. For the slightly younger adults, the youtube heroes just emerging as sages to the masses.
They told you to follow your dreams, you can be anything you want to be, you can make a difference. What they forgot to tell you was, sure you can do all of that, be all of that but it is going to take work and if you like to eat, money.
That’s where it gets tricky. Let me explain, grasshopper.
Let’s say you are an artist. You want to paint, sell paintings and live in a cool loft apartment. Eat at trendy restaurants hence, the money. What do you do?
You get a minimum wage job because that is all you are qualified to do. Join an artists’ group on the weekends. Maybe take some art classes or even pursue a degree. If you are lucky and the stars align you sell some paintings. You begin to build a following. If you keep your eyes on the goal. Do not get distracted by making money or falling for love. Maybe one day you will become famous.
More than likely you will get distracted. Marry the girl or guy. Have the kids and need the job to feed them, because they too like to eat. If you are lucky you will get to paint on the weekends.
Which situation is better?
If you choose to love are you a failure? If you keep your focus and make it as an artist are you successful?
Success looks different for each individual. You have to decide what it looks like for you. Do not get all starry-eyed when listening to motivational Ted Talks or collecting inspirational meme quotes.
Take it from my long list of failures (available upon request) you can be all you dream to be if you put in the work and do not lose focus. Learning how to live simply and eat on the cheap helps too.