I am not a patient person.
Never have been and never will be. I think waiting is overrated. In my (occasionally) humble opinion, people who tell you to wait your turn are really just telling you to quiet down and mind your place.
We are living in an age where anyone can create anything, and yet from parents, friends, mentors, and school counselors we still here the same age-old refrains:
“Wait your turn.”
“Get two years under your belt and then you can do something else.”
“Pay your dues.”
“This is the path for that industry. “
That’s the one that gets me the most.
What is the path? The path is the lie that we are told. That to do X we have to do A and B first. And C. And D through W.
The path is a lie. And a lazy one at that.
There is no path to creating music. There is no path to creating art. You are the master of your own life’s work. If you want something, make it so.
The path only exists in hindsight when we look backward and all of the disparate dots line up perfectly.
When looking to the future, there is no path.
Why do we get this advice? Because it is what worked thirty years ago for the people who we look up to. It’s what worked when knowledge was scarce and companies were as loyal to their employees as their employees were to them. It’s what allowed them to slowly but surely climb the corporate latter.
But the world has changed. We have all of the knowledge and tools in the world at our fingertips. Never in the history of mankind have individuals been empowered to create and pursue what they want in life.
And yet most of us don’t take advantage of this incredible gift. The irony is that we have more power and freedom than ever before and yet we waste it. We go to school with big dreams about changing the world and then go into exactly the industries and companies that we were hoping to change.
And at some point, we get thrown headfirst into the real world.
In the real world, there is no path. At least not unless you make an artificial one for yourself.
You want to create something? Go build it.
You want to experience something? Go make it happen.
Want to live somewhere new? Buy a plane ticket.
Want to get out of a relationship? Leave.
We live inside prisons of our own creation
We are so afraid of what will happen if we color outside the lines. We are like dogs whose electric collars have been removed but who remain comfortable inside the world of their front lawn.
So what should we do instead?
Don’t take no for an answer.
Stop settling for good enough.
Fake it till you make it.
Do something you find meaningful instead of just doing what you think you are supposed to.
Ask yourself tough questions and don’t be afraid of hearing the answers.
And whatever you do, don’t listen to anyone who starts telling you about the path.
What worked for them won’t work for you. And life is too short to waste your time toiling away at something that isn’t worthwhile.
In the word’s of Andry Dufresne, “Get busy living or get busy dying.”
I for one plan on living. And I am sick of feeling like I need to apologize for that choice.