I think you're pretty crazy.
Yes, you, the person reading this article right now.
I know you've got ideas in your head. I know you've thought to yourself recently, "I really need to make a change," and yet, you've done nothing about it.
Instead, you go through the motions at work convincing yourself that life isn't so bad. At least you're getting paid, right?
But the problem is, deep down inside, you just know getting paid isn't enough. You know that life is about more than just surviving, it's about truly living. It's about setting your sights on something you want so badly and stopping at nothing to get it.
And yet, despite this knowledge, you're still allowing your dreams to slip out of reach.
Why is that?
Passion isn't enough.
The definition of insanity, as the saying goes, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Creatives must be insane.
Day in and day out, they go about their routine, telling themselves they'll eventually make time to do something that matters. But days turn into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years, until one day they wake up and realize that they're not any closer to where they want to be.
Be honest with yourself, does this sound like you?
As harsh as this post sounds, I'm actually on your side. I know you've got enough passion and spark to change the world. I believe in you.
But having passion for something is like having gasoline without a car; it won't get you anywhere. If you're frightened by the idea of living a mediocre life, you have to execute on your ideas.
Why we don't take action.
It's not laziness that's keeping you from your dreams, it's fear.
Fear is the brethren of passion. Fear is the reason your ideas disappear into the ether as quickly as they came -- because taking action on them means putting yourself on the line. It means the very real possibility of trying for something and falling on your face.
Here's how to overcome that: Stop acting like you know exactly what you're doing.
When I first started blogging, I wrote like I had everything figured out. "No one will listen to me if I don't act like I know what I'm doing," I told myself. But eventually, I got sick of pretending to be someone I wasn't. I wasn't some seasoned copywriter with a sharp business acumen; I was just a young, inexperienced postgraduate with a passion to start my own platform.
Similarly, when I was getting started with my photography business, I felt like I had to know everything there was to know about photography to be successful. It wasn't until I accepted that I was going to make a lot of mistakes that I was encouraged to get out there and experiment, learn and grow.
You're not going to get things right the first time. But guess what? That's okay. Realizing this fact doesn't just relieve you of cognitive dissonance, it makes working on your art a hell of a lot more fun too. Bring on the mistakes, I say!
The danger of being a follower
Be mindful of who you're following on social media and how their work influences you.
We all take in blog posts, pictures, and videos every single day. As a creative, use this content as fuel for your own work. Learn from influencers. Let them inspire you. But don't get caught in the trap of endlessly consuming. Remember your goal: to get out there and build your legacy.
Information overload is a real thing. It's possible to watch too many motivational videos on Youtube. All the knowledge in the world won't get you out of your cubicle; taking action on your ideas will.
Make a commitment
How long have you wanted to start that blog, or create that podcast, or do whatever it is you keep telling everyone you're eventually going to work on?
It's time to do it. You don't have to know exactly what you're doing. You don't have to do it for a living. You don't have to get paid for it. Just do it. Make time to write, to paint, to sing, to dance, to take photos, to skate, to film, to surf. If your ideas mean that much to you, you'll prioritize them over everything else.
Every day you wake up, you have the ability to choose: Will you bring yourself closer to your goal, or will today just be another version of yesterday?
I'm currently writing a short ebook that's launching in September and I want to show you exactly how I do it. It won't be perfect. I might fail. All the more reason to share the process with the world. You can follow along the journey by signing up for my email list.