The Process

“I’ve known what I wanted to be since I was five years old.”

Really?

When I was five years old I wanted to be a Jedi;

Then a firefighter,

A rock star,

An astronaut,

Batman,

A professional baseball player,

Those guys who ride bulls,

A doctor,

Sherlock Holmes,

Decades later I’m still figuring it out, and that’s ok.

There seems to be this stigma that if you are in a position right now that is not your “calling,” that some how you are failing. The trouble with such a blanket statement is that for so many people today, you have no idea what the great adventure ahead of you looks like, or where it begins. Yet somehow we’ve deemed it appropriate to judge you based on the work you choose to do, work which most likely affords you the opportunity to pursue your dreams. It’s time to understand where the real failure lies.

If where you are right now is not where you aspire to be, that’s ok. Working a job you don’t love is not failure. Giving up the pursuit of what you do love… that’s failure.

The quote from Gary Vaynerchuk is simple, yet so misunderstood:

Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, what do I want to do everyday for the rest of my life… do that.

Do you notice what that quote doesn’t say?

Quit your job

What that quote doesn’t say is that in a week’s time you will be earning a paycheck doing that one special thing. The quote doesn’t guarantee you a life devoid of unhappiness and frustration, a life most people would do everything in their power to run away from.

Embrace such a life. Realize that doing what you love will mean hours upon hours of beating on your craft until one day you reach a level where there is no one better. Realize that you may have to take a job you don’t love for season to pay for the tools you need to refine your talent. In the mean time, be the absolute best at whatever comes your way. Learn relentless work ethic, push yourself towards a standard of excellence that is uncompromising, and grow as a person from every experience.

Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, what do I want to do everyday for the rest of my life… do that.

Do that every day. Do that when no one is there to applaud your efforts, when no one is around to cheer you on. Do that when the only person there to push you onward is yourself. Do that when there is no monetary reward. Do not give up, do not quit, do not live to work for someone else’s approval. Hours, upon hours, upon hours of tireless work, of mistakes and imperfection, those are the blocks you stand on. Find satisfaction in the process, never trading your beginning for someone else’s ending. Do that until they have to notice, until your work speaks volumes for itself while you are busy still improving. It is in the process you will thrive; it is in the process you will truly live.

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