It seems like my millennial peers and I want two things: To follow our dreams, and for our dreams to earn us a living. We don't really want to work for someone else, we want creative license, and to live out our true calling.
It sounds very entrepreneurial, but it's not so much about the money.
The money is a means to and end, but it's not the big thing like it was for our yuppie counterparts in the 80's and 90's where yachts and cell phones were symbols of success. Today's symbols must be a reflection of us connecting our creativity and our ideals to our lifestyle.
We know our ideas are valuable, but where I think we come unstuck, is that to achieve our goals and success, firstly we must learn we need to put in a few hard yards.
You know those kids at school who could muck around all year and still ace their exam; we're kind of expecting to be like that! We indulge a notion that we deserve our own slice of the do it yourself dream.
Instead of getting mentored by the previous masters of our field, we prefer to learn from each other. An air of entitlement resounds, we want to bake our own cake, but to learn the recipe from a 30 second YouTube clip. Time spent honing our craft is a lost art, but one that I believe can make a comeback.
We were born creative
Last month I shared an article about how we're all made to be creative and passionate beings in some shape or form, whether that's creating an artistic masterpiece, writing a book, starting a charity, a business or completing a PhD etc. I talked about the big nasty villain called resistance and the way it suppresses us, and keeps us from living out our dreams!
My generation gets this, we just don't know how to get moving.
I ended my last article by saying simply begin! "The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying." - Steven Pressfield.
"I'll do it when inspiration strikes", said my friend about a writing project he was working on. Turns out that approach took him three years to complete as much work as it took him in just two weeks in set aside focused time.
Procrastination can quickly become a habit, and we'll put things off till the day we die. Simply put, Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."
Pick your thing
It's a tough lesson for some, but you can't actually be anything you want to be, we're limited, we're governed by the way our brain works, our DNA, our size and wit. But what's very clear to me, is that we were all made to fulfil our own personal duties that are imprinted within us when we were born. Once we have that figured out, anything else we do is just mere background noise when that purpose and calling is locked in.
Rather than let the world squeeze us into a certain mould, I think figuring out that true potential within us is the single most important thing any human can do with his or her life. We have to figure out who we already are, and then become that person.
It's the failures that lead to success.
Some have said that success is built on failure. Every successful story seems to come from some great overcoming of an obstacle. Great leaders are born out of great oppression, when they're truly tested. We need to hone our craft, and to hone means to sharpen. To sharpen means you must grind away the rough, bent and crooked edges, and you'll lose little pieces of yourself you may have once thought were important.
Failure and fault seem very similar but there's a difference; failure should never be a blame game. Like a boxer learning to avoid future punches, he knows it's impossible to avoid them completely. Rather the difference is made by training hard and learning to work on his stance, his action, his jab and combinations. You can't avoid setbacks and rouge obstacles (failure) that will come at you, but you can change your readiness to overcome them. What if you viewed failure as exploring possibilities?
A call to action
To be honed, to be put through our paces, to learn from our mistakes and to be a master of our craft means we have to be people of action.
Inspiration usually strikes for me once I've been working with my head down for at least 20 minutes. Once on a roll it's like a lightning rod is strapped to my head, ideas come from the clouds. It's in those busy times, those hectic days when my best work is done. Success seems to breed success just like laziness begets laziness (as my mum used to say). It's easy to place your dirty dishes on top of a stack of dirty dishes. It's easy to watch another episode once you've already watched four in a row.
As a Christian, Jesus says go
"Go!" is a command to action. You cannot follow Jesus and stay where you are. It's not possible. Going requires movement in the direction you are sent. Jesus tells the people he healed to go and present themselves to the priests, or go to spread the word, or to go and sin no more. He calls his disciples into going to all the world and make disciples, as he calls us to do the same. He's about action, not only ideas.
The ironic thing is that no matter what you agree or disagree with on this topic; all that really matters is what you do hereafter. It's in the doing, that these things I've found have started to make sense.
Brad Mills enjoys the outdoors and almost any sport... For a day job he's a journalist who works at the Rhema Broadcasting Group in Auckland New Zealand.
Brad Mill's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/brad-mills.html