THE PASSION TO PURSUE: WHAT IS DRIVING YOUR CAREER GOALS

Photo of Woman Painting in Brown Wooden Easel

“The will to work.”


your passion

In my life, I had plenty of things that I was good at, but not a lot of things that I was passionate about. That was until my senior year in undergraduate school when I started to write my first screenplay. For personal reasons I found that writing was a way to shift how I felt into something outside of myself. But it wasn’t until my mid 20’s when I decided to embark on a career pursuit to become a writer as a career. That quickly became filmmaking and now has opened into photography as well. I never had any interest in the arts outside of listening to music and watching television. The thought of filmmaking, becoming an author, and photography was not on my radar by a long shot.

wanting to give up

If you have never been down this road of wondering what the hell am I doing, then you are definitely not truly pursuing the dream. Meaning, no matter how much you love what you do, there is something internally telling you to run and run fast. That is not only fear talking, but it’s nature. Nature has placed that inside of man because it is what has aided in our survival as a species for so many thousands of years. And for most people, they listen to that inner voice and run to what is safe and makes sense. Then there are the people who jump out there and take the risk. They fail and they fail until they succeed. It is something that so many people admire about them; that fearlessness. But even the most fearless question their abilities at times.

getting good

Everyone is so convinced that we are these amazing creatures. We think and feel that just because we are endowed with a conscious it means something. Which is why it’s hard to be honest and admit when we are good or bad at something we love. Now, what’s interesting is that we can be better if we are honest with our current status. But so many can’t get to the point of improving because they are stuck on the fact that you criticized their work. And that criticism is needed; as long as the person giving the criticism knows what they’re talking about. There is no real way to describe it, you just know when it’s right and when it’s not. What’s sad is that not everyone gets that internal response from nature.


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KIND WORDS MET WITH REJECTION: WHY ONES’ POSITIVE MENTAL ENERGY IRRITATES OTHERS

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“Block out the hate, someone’s listening to the real words.”


When riding the subway this morning, a man was speaking what can only be described as his own words of motivation and inspiration. Now granted, we live in New York City, so when someone gets on a train and starts talking to the passengers everyone looks away. We have been trained to do so because experience in living in this city tells you that sometimes people have other motives. And those motives can put you in a sticky situation if you decided to engage with that person. But let’s take a step back for a second and assume the man had good intentions.

What is it about people that don’t want to hear the words of motivation especially when you are on your way to work in the morning. If you observe the graph below, these are the various top ten global cities with high commutes. The number represented inside the graph as the trips in billions. Can you imagine all these commutes and I wonder, how many people enjoy hearing a little bit of encouragement in the morning on their way to work.

Or maybe I’m naive to believe that people are actually going to a place where they want to work. Maybe, just maybe, the people are not happy with their overall quality of life. And if you are unhappy with your quality of life, the last thing you want to hear in the morning to work is the goodness of life.

So when you speak motivation, the good word; who are you really talking to in life? Well, I am sure there are people listening, but they remain silent. Those who take it in the most, take it and forge ahead with it.balance, business, cobblestone The ones who reject the most are always verbal. These are the people who you don’t want to share your space with because they are headed down a road of resentment and inevitably manifest itself in how they live their lives.


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ARTS OF THE HUSTLE: THE GRIND OF MAKING A LIVING FROM YOUR CRAFT

Person in Pink T Shirt Holding Brown Electric Guitar Walking on Blacktop Road during Daytime

“You might be starving, but you’re working toward something greater?”


The life of an artist is rough, but if you have something great, you have to keep going strong. But it’s tough when there are so many people, especially those in your age range, who are doing much more than you at the moment. Even though that’s not saying much, it’s still more than what you’re doing. But you can’t compare what you are doing to what they are doing. Your grind, your climb, your road to success is a lot different than them. And you have to embrace the journey along the way. Yet along that journey, there are some things you need to keep in mind as you are climbing toward your goals as an artist. You should always keep your day job in lieu of your craft, be prepared to sacrifice, learn to listen to those worth listening to, embrace the rough periods, put in the time & ready yourself, and know when you’re getting better.

The first bit of advice I have regarding keeping your day job is practical. Don’t just up and quite your job because you are pursuing your craft. I myself work two part-time jobs that subsidize my living while I pursue screenwriting/filmmaking. I have worked jobs ranging from retail to administrative, ushering concerts to small theatre roles. You take on every gig you can take in order to make room for you to stay working at your craft. Which also ties into the next bit of advice. You should also be prepared to sacrifice a lot along your journey. You will have to sit by and watch your enjoying their youth and building intimate relationships. Meanwhile, you’re building slowly while they live. And to add to it, there is no guarantee you’ll succeed. So you just grind away in pain, all the while you neglect aspects of your youth just to push forward in something you love.

And with so much sacrifice that comes with building your dream, you will have the nay-sayers. These are the people who will tell you to give up and quite. They’ll tell you to go and find something better else to do rather than build your dream. They will project their fears onto you because they see you doing something that they can’t accomplish. So to them you must not know what you’re doing. Because why would they be doing what they’re doing. In a very passive way they’re telling you not only are you no good, but you couldn’t possibly be better than them. And on top of the people rooting against you, there are the rough periods that will come along with the climb. These are the times of rough mental and economic obstacles. And what do I really mean by these rough obstacles? Well here is what I mean.

When you’re going through all these rough periods in life, it makes you realize certain aspects about yourself. You first realize how easy it truly is to live alone. You are afraid of being alone, but once you realize the people in your corner versus those that aren’t, it makes the times when you are doing well worth cutting people off. You also learn that along the way, you can live with a lot less than you thought you could at first. For me, I grew up in a poor household, so I thought the only way for me to be well off was to be very rich. Then I realized the real amount of money I would minimally need to make to live. Then pursuing my dream became much easier to fight for in life. And the reason why I have not lost hope is because I have been able to live off the bare necessities, but I also put the time into my work.

And putting the time in is very important. People talk about their craft, yet they barely work at doing what they say they want to do. You have to put yourself in position to make things happen to you. Put yourself in harms way and see what transpires out of the work. Then when you do get your big break, you have prepared yourself to jump right in. Like the old formula of life, opportunity + preparation = successful outcomes. And all of what I have said prior must be coupled together with an understanding of knowing when you’re getting better. Reach out to people and get feedback on your work. And don’t just ask friends and family; ask people with no real attachment so you know how people really feel. Family and friends will always cosign, yet the people will be honest. And in the end, put your soul into whatever it is you do. Even with no guarantee of success; know that you can fail and fall flat on your face but you do it anyways.


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VISION: WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF

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“Ever get upset because they don’t know quite like you know?”

It’s tough when you close your eyes and you see that something. That something in life that no one else sees but you. It’s tough because a vision is only seen by the person and no one else until there is an execution of the vision. Ever go to sleep and wake up with an explanation of what you dreamt about? People look you in the face and have that confused stare. In your mind you see a vivid fantasy world, but to them you just sound utterly ridiculous. So why? Why is it so hard for the people around you, or even the people you try to convince in society to invest in you and your vision?

For starters, people want to know that you are serious about your craft. The dominant society could care less because to them you’re just another young man or woman with a pipe dream. They ignore because we all know that most won’t attempt to execute the plan. It will wind-up being some distraction that allows people to continue to go through life existing. And existing is easier than executing because there is less risk of failure and heartache. Which is another reason it’s hard for people to recognize your vision. They know that most will give up and quit from the level of difficulty.

Which brings us to the next reason why it’s hard for people to see your vision. All talk and no movement. Most people talk a good game, but then it’s time to execute, its a totally different ball game. Sitting in front of people sharing all these visions is easy when you’re actually putting in the work. Talking it up is good and everything, but what about the time put into the project. That’s when the excuses start to arise. “You see, I have to work.” “I need it to be perfect.” Its like what are you waiting for, winning the lottery. Create something, anything to give people an insight into what you’re trying to do in life. But we all know in the end you were never going to do it anyways. Something like I said before, keeping you distracted from your daily existence.

But there is another side to the vision not being seen by others. There is the hate you receive because someone does not possess the talents you do. To a degree, we know some true talent when we see it. And if someone has traveled down your road and it didn’t work for them, they will give you all the reasons not to yourself. It’s almost as if they are silently saying, “I tried it, and I know I’m better than you.” “And if it didn’t work for me, I know you’re not going to perform well.” These are people who are the result of not having the it factor they thought they possessed. They thought in their minds, I know I’m great, but it didn’t quite pan out that way. So the taste of soar grapes fill the inside of their mouths just hearing you explain your vision.

This brings me to my last reason why it’s so hard for others to see your vision. Why is it so hard? Because maybe, just maybe you’re not that good at what you are doing. There was a famous quote by Helen Keller where she stated, “I would have rather to have been born blind than to have sight and lack vision. Everything in our minds sound great, but what about to the masses. I challenge you to create something. Then put it out there for the world to consume. Most people can’t deal with the rejection, requiring them to go back and get better. That’s at times what they need is to get better. But the ego gets in the way and leads to the demise of their potential growth.

In the end, we all just want someone to believe in us. Believe in whatever it is that motivates us to wake up each and every day. That thing, that burning feeling, that internal sensation that gets us going. That felling when you can see it, taste, and now all you have to do know is touch it. But that vision most often must be cultivated and grown by not just you, but people willing to invest in your ideas. My advice, start small, work it, and rework; then rework it, and rework some more. And once you’ve done that rework it some more. Because a vision, without the combination of consistency and a lack of clear goals lead to resentment. Ultimately it will manifest itself in how you see yourself and how you live your life.

DIDN’T WORK FOR ME, WHY WOULD IT WORK FOR YOU?

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“Why do people seek to destroy what they can’t do?”

I have always found it to be quite sad how people are so quick to shut down your ideas. Your visions, your dreams, your ambitions, and your goals. They seek to shoot you down because they have not managed to succeed in their visions themselves. Why is this? Why do people carry such disdain for those who have had the courage to step into the world in the face of failure? Then when you fail they love to look you in the eyes and say I told you so.

Let’s try to figure out how they have come to this mind frame themselves. We all start out in life with a vision of where we would love to be. It usually starts as a child where our imaginations runs wild. But somewhere along the way between childhood and adulthood we lose our imagination. Or maybe we don’t lose it, better yet, someone or something kills it along the way. Well, what is it that can kill our dreams.

For most people, it is those that are around them. It can be their family or their friends who kill that dream. That vision that you see, touch, taste, and smell, yet you never pursue. Well how come? Your family, mainly parents and siblings; and friends as well will tell you to go out and get a day job. Find something which will get you a check every two weeks and let that be it. Keep your head out the clouds. And then that moment you attempt and fail they can’t wait to say, see I told you.

They do this because they have had the same visions. They either didn’t achieve their dream or was too scared to step out into the world. And in some insulting way, they fill you shouldn’t be there because they failed or were too scared. The reason I say insulting is because it’s almost as if they think you are dumber than them, and no way could you out do them. But what is in the pleasure in waiting for you to fail. The pleasure comes from their lack of success in their goals.

If you succeed in what is it you are embarking on, then it makes them feel their existence is futile. You would not think that friends and family could view your life this way, but sometimes they do. Not everyone wants you to do well in life, and as bad as it may seem, it comes from the people close to you. My other reason such disdain from the ones closest to you is because they remember where you came from to where you are now. It really magnifies much of their own lives they wasted.

But why view life in that form? Why feel that your life is a waste because of someone else’s success. It’s not their success as much as it is they are the embodiment of time you spent not doing what you wanted to do. Meaning, you don’t want to pursue entrepreneurship because it could take 10 years of constant work on top of your day job. Then 10 years go by and you look back wondering why you wasted so much time being afraid. Then you see someone who did put in that 10 years and the taste of sour grapes fill your mouth.

On the other hand, your success and fearlessness will free up others to pursue their endeavors. You see, people in society don’t know you before you were you. When they hear your rise to success, their confidence in themselves increase. You will motivate people to pursue; even with failure lingering they’ll fight. The whole time they will think about your climb.

In the end, the cost of doing nothing may be higher than the cost of doing something. It’s the reason why I am pursuing my goals. My biggest fear is not failure, more so it’s getting to the end of life and reflecting. Reflecting on your life and realizing the whole time it meant nothing. That is the scariest thing about life for me. Rejection and failure is normal, but not trying should never feel normal. Because the way I see it, we work everyday doing so much we don’t like, why not try something new. Even if the success is minimal, it’s still more than you had prior to not trying at all.