I used to think that I knew what I wanted. But, to no surprise, I was wrong. Knowing what you really want can sometimes be tricky. Sometimes, you’re never sure of what you want until you find out what you really don’t want. Take this analogy, for example (which happens to be one of my favorites) —
Someone gives you two choices and you’re not sure which one to choose, so instead you let them decide for you. Then, they decide for you and you immediately realize that you didn’t like the choice they made and you come back with a rebuttal favoring the opposing choice.
You see, sometimes, we don’t really know what we want until someone takes away our options — Until we realize that we have the power to make a choice and do have a preference.
I came out of college thinking that there was only one way to have a successful career — By having a nice, cozy desk in a nice office, getting a steady paycheck, with health and retirement benefits at my fingertips.
It wasn’t until I changed my mindset, expanded my network, and started talking to other people who had more non-traditional work lives, that I realized there were other options — That there wasn’t just one path or one version of success.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m still at my nice, cozy desk in that nice office, getting a steady paycheck with great benefits. But, I’m also simultaneously writing on the side. I’m still trying to make this whole writing thing work.
I often get pressured out of my “fantasies” or “delusions”, as some may call it, of becoming a full-time freelance Writer — And for very understandable reasons that I can’t disagree with.
My friends and family worry about the instability, the lack of income, the lack of security. And quite frankly, so do I (which is much of why I still haven’t taken that plunge).
But lately, I’ve been consuming countless articles and real life examples and stories on how people have made the transition — How they made it work and how they are still making it work.
As they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery and so, here I am doing the same.
I started fiercely, fearlessly, aggressively writing like I never wrote before. I was tireless. I wrote when I didn’t want to. I wrote when I didn’t even have a single thought in my head to spare. I wrote when I was told that I could not write. Or that I wasn’t qualified enough or didn’t have enough experience. I wrote when no one was even reading.
But, I kept writing (and I am continuing to write) because that’s how badly I want it.
The cold, hard truth on how to get shit done is that you have to be relentless.
You have to be aggressive. You have to fight for it. You have to sacrifice — Even when the majority is against you. Even when no one has your back. Even when you have no support. Even when you want to give up.
“The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do ” — Walter Bagehot
If you want something badly enough, trust me, you will make it happen. And if you aren’t trying that hard, then you don’t want it bad enough.
The question is, do you know what you want?
And if so, are you willing to do what it takes to get there?