While home for the holidays this year I got to talking with some friends about achieving success in a passion. Some of the issues to come up would be familiar to anyone in a similar pursuit. While there are many things one might struggle with, a common theme is doubt.
Doubt in one’s own abilities stems from both internal and external influences. As it builds, we reduce effort and investment until the things we love to do are all but surrendered.
Yet, despite this stigma, when talking about our passions, most of us still believe we have talent. For whatever reason, we justify backing down from the fight for it. Most give in with a few months at-best of consistent effort (**100% guilty of this myself in the past**). However, the, “I know I could have if not for ‘insert reason here’,” remains.
So how can we think about the grind in a better way? A way that’s also more mentally justifiable?
College as a model for how to achieve.
Anything good in the future takes investment, and the most valuable resource we can invest is our time. There is no better model for this than college.
So let’s consider a college bachelor’s degree. You invest four years and a ton of money to get the return of an income stream in a career of choice.
Again: four years and tens of thousands of dollars.
A post-college career requires that significant of an investment. As such, why should a life centered around pursuing our passions be any different? Do we really think we’re THAT talented? And if so, why doesn’t anyone who wants to become a doctor or an accountant think equally highly of them-self that they can bypass the process?
The answer is obviously social conditioning and the demands of the economic world. Don’t use those things as a crutch though to treat the pursuit of any goal differently. Fundamentally, the effort and investment required is the same.
Now maybe you start and realize it isn’t what you want. Maybe your focus changes, just like your major might if you’re in school. If this happens, so be it. But until then, you know what it takes to achieve a goal.