There is only so much someone else can tell you about your vision and your dreams.
Sure, mentors and advisors who have “been there” and who have “done that” may have words of value that end up being useful, but it is only ourselves who will truly know what we want and how we want it.
The reason less go after their dreams and rather follow paths that have already been made is that society teaches us to be wary of whats different and to reject change.
And this is the same attitude a lot of us have when it comes to our talents — we suppress what isn’t the norm and highlight what’s popular.
However, in order to fulfill our true potential in life, we must double down on our individuality. When we embrace what separates us from everyone else, we can leverage it to our favor toward whatever we go after.
You can do things your way. You do not have to compromise who you are for the sake of where you want to go. You can still be you and be great.
Shawn Marion’s jump shot managed to find a home in the NBA for several seasons and it was once said that Drew Brees was too short to play the quarterback position. I’m sure they told Jimi Hendrix he was playing with the wrong hand. Yet, they all had legendary careers doing what felt best to for them.
When we embrace how we’re different and lock in at what we’re good at, not only could we can create the next wave, but we can be the next wave.
Embrace your gifts
There is an advantage to no one being anything like you. Each and every one of us is different, like snowflakes, and it’s up to us to tap into what that individuality is because it’s our competitive advantage.
Maybe it’s the samples you produce or your technique in developing film — there lies a bit of a unique methodology in all creatives.
What happens to a lot of us along the way is that we let institutions and systems tell us what we’re doing wrong, when all that matters is the work we put behind our craft.
We’ve seen these systems start to break over time due to societal advancements. Plus-sized runway and print models are now a norm. Back in the day, to be overweight and a model was farfetched as dreams came but now, in 2018, it’s just a reality as being paper thin.
That’s what happens when you double down on what makes you unique and you pursue your dreams anyway — you create an entirely new lane.
Lock in at what your good at
Ultimately what matters the most is being the best at your craft.
You can have the quirkiest personality, the most awkward looks and be the farthest away from looking the part — if you know what you’re doing you will get into any door you want.
Too often we fall victim into believing all the wrong things matter. Instead of honing in on our skills, we think the location, accolades, and attention are more important.
What’s even sadder is that when we end up failing, we blame it on what we didn’t have rather than what more we could’ve done, when the truth of the matter is that we didn’t trust what we had inside of us.
We have to trust the gifts inside of us and let it take us on whichever path it may go, regardless of how much it counters culture. When we lock in on our truths and when we master our way of showing it, there’s nothing nobody can tell us.
You are the only you
A common question I’ve heard in countless interviews over the years is, “What makes you special?”
That question has always been a swing out of the park for me and is one that I feel everyone should relish if it’s one they so happen to come across because we are the only version of ourselves on the planet. I think there is value in that. And, in a world full of bad news, it should be the factoid that we celebrate.
Betting on yourself is a cheat code in life because the moment you realize that you have a unique edge that no one else has is the moment you tap into a privilege that millions ignore every day. The privilege of being yourself and doing things your way.
If it doesn’t work the way history says it should work, make a new path. It’s when we bet on ourselves that we’re the happiest and when double down on what makes us, us, that we are living our truest calling.