“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”Steve Jobs
Charles Bukowski almost didn’t become the writer he had always dreamt of being. He worked in a post-office until his fifties, even though he tried and often failed to earn enough from his writing so he could quit his job.
Abraham Lincoln failed time and time again. He lost his bid for State Legislature when he was 23 years old. Six years later, he lost his bid to become Speaker in the Illinois House of Representatives.
In 1848, at the age of 39, Lincoln failed to become Commissioner of the General Land Office in D.C. Ten years later, he failed to become a U.S. Senator.
Colonel Harland Sanders is another famous failure. It was not until he was 65 years old, with just $105 to his name, that he set out to sell his franchise. He was rejected by 1,009 restaurants before one agreed to his business model.
If we try, we might fail. If we give it our all, we might fail.
Sometimes I do believe the universe tests our commitment, and I often find that the people who try and fail, never, ever want to try again.
So, what’s the trick?
Simple. The trick is to be.
Follow your heart and intuition. There’s a dream hidden somewhere inside a drawer of your soul you rarely open.
There’s a dream of who you want to be.
That’s all that matters.
If you want to be it, become it. Do not give a damn about your failures, for they do not define you.
Trial and error are at the foundation of everything we call life. It’s how everything around us changes, adapts, overcomes.
There’s no way to avoid this, and that’s why knowing who you want to be is so important.
If you try, you’re going to fail. If you do not try, you fail by default, and once your dream dies, you won’t have much left.
I am a writer. This is what defines me. I write stories, I write about ideas, and I share those ideas with anyone who takes the time to read them. That’s it.
Failure and rejection hurt, but they shouldn’t define you. Comparison steals your joy, but it shouldn’t make you feel like you don’t deserve your dream.
Use Your Ego to Your Advantage
The ego is often seen as an enemy. It’s not. It’s a tool you can use to your advantage.
The ego is simply the story you tell yourself about who you are, who you wish you could be, and who you’d never want to become.
The people who make their dreams come true tell themselves a story that goes like this: they are who they are, regardless of failure, setbacks, or opposition.
They are not defined by external factors. They are fueled from within, by the very definition they have chosen for themselves, and set out to find the circumstances that allow them to make that definition even more potent by making their dream come true.
The people who fail in life, however, try, again and again, to get the validation they think they need to finally be able to call themselves “writer” or “painter” or “entrepreneur.”
It doesn’t work like that.
The world changes its opinion of you the day after you do.
If I had a cent for every time someone told me I should try something else because I’m not a writer, I’d probably have a dime.
The capital T truth is this: you must first decide who you want to be. Then, and only then, do you try to make that vision come to fruition.
Otherwise, you will give up after a few failures.
“It’s not meant to be,” you’ll tell yourself and everyone who wants to listen, as if you could read your own destiny scribbled on the palm of your hand.
We make our own destiny.
We write our own story, even though we’re often fond of pretending that someone else is actually holding the pen.
We are the ones who decide what words we choose to write after “I am…”
What words do you use?