“I’ll tell you what changed my whole life: I finally discovered that it’s all risky. The minute you got born it got risky. If you think trying is risky, wait until they hand you the bill for not trying.” – Jim Rohn
I always thought that people are never entirely bad or good, and never inherently so. I always believed that people one only one thing: to be happy. And they set out into this world with this goal in mind, doing their best to acquire that which they require in order to be happy.
Happiness is not a destination. It is, I’m afraid, a series of moments in which we feel we have everything. There’s nothing to add, nothing to remove. And we’d like to stretch each and everyone of those moments for as long as possible. Of course, a moment of happiness never lasts forever.
Ultimately, there are no happy endings in life.
And sometimes life’s a gamble.
My definition of a gamble is the following: you risk of losing something you need or care about for the promise of gaining more of what you already have or something you don’t have but need.
In other words, you have to be willing to lose in order to win.
Like I said, we all do our best. Some play by the rules, and some don’t. Some try to find shortcuts, some just want to play it safe.
I’d really like to tell you all that being an artist is easy, that it is enough to just want to become one, but I just can’t do such a thing.
When I started writing in my early teens, I was doing so because I had everything provided for by my parents. It was easy to do what I wanted, and the interesting part (and I’m truly grateful for that) is that my parents let me make my own mind about stuff ever since I was 12.
Of course, I made mistakes. But that’s what life’s all about. Making mistakes, trying to hard or not hard enough, meeting, helping, and falling in love with the wrong people.
It’s all just trial and error.
Like I was saying, I could afford to think of myself as being a writer, because I wasn’t risking anything. But when I decided to make this my job, to become a professional writer (or self-publisher), I had to take a lot of risks.
Some of you know this, some don’t, but I don’t have any other source of income. I just write and sell books. And I blog.
And you know why I did this, and why I decided to keep writing (and never give up, no matter what) ?
Because writing is the one thing I like doing most in this world. And that’s the most important thing. Because writing makes me happy. I find happiness in the stories I write, I find happiness by knowing that writing will affect others, that my writing will change things.
And if I fail?
Well, I will fail by doing something I love, which I think is the most important thing you can do in this life. I’m not saying that doing what you love most in the world is enough, that you don’t have to strive to be better, that you don’t have to fight and bleed.
You will struggle. You will fail. You will have regrets.
But that’s one fight you’ll never regret losing. Never. Because if you’re passionate about whatever it is that you do, you’ll derive a lot of pleasure out of it, without even carrying that much about money, success, and recognition.
That’s what makes writers unique. The vast majority of them don’t write for fame, glory, or money. They just write because that’s the one thing that makes them happy.
Some might see this as the most accessible form of happiness: you sit down at your desk, and voila!, you’re happy.
Maybe they’re right. Maybe not.
I do know one thing though: when you figure out what’s the one thing you want most in this world, you’ll have to take risks. And in that moment, you’ll be brave enough and smart enough to realize what is that you risk to lose, what is it that you have to gain.
But there’s one thing you should care about: the odds.
No matter the odds, you should always fight for the thing you want most, because that’s the only fight you’ll never regret losing.