Taking risks for your dreams

This all can be summed up as this being something I wish I could do, something I wish I was confident enough to do. Right now I know a few people in my life who are taking risks to chase their dreams and I applaud their bravery and wish I had enough courage to follow them.

I know for them that what they are doing is not a massive risk, it is a calculated risk, but everything is if you think about it. You take a calculated risk every time you step into a car, it’s just a risk where the pros outweigh the cons. The people I know who are striking out to pursue their dreams are talented and have put in so much work to perfect what they are doing that the odds of failure are pretty low for them.

It also depends on what you define as failure. If you look at it as making the same amount of money as you did in a comfy desk job than most likely (for the first while at least) they will be ‘failing’, but that’s not a good metric. No, I think for them failure is defined as spending another minute working on something they are not passionate about, or working on something that does nothing to further their passions.

They found a passion and committed to it, something I wish I could do. Something I lack the ability to do. I am perpetually distracted, perpetually finding new things to capture my interest, taking countless one eighty degree turns as I chase after the next bit of novelty. It leaves me in a place where I struggle to master anything, where I struggle to get good at something, let alone good enough to think of making a living off of it.

It takes a level of bravery to do that, to commit to something so completely. Especially when it comes to starting and running a business around it, especially when it comes to being the only one responsible for your success or failure. You have to commit to that one thing with all you have, there is simply no way to bounce away from it onto the next thing, you have to see the passion through to the end. That’s where I falter.

Wish I could be a hamster trainer

I’m always worried that I’ll lose interest in something. One day it can be the most consuming thing I’ve ever done, the next I can begin to dread it, and the next day I can be onto the next thing. I have a trail of half finished projects and partly developed skills to prove it. That is why I always lack the courage to commit to something as completely as it takes to make a serious go of it. I’m always worried I’ll end up trapped, I’m too scared to trust myself.

Sure there are the more mundane fears, like not making enough money to support yourself, or having to give up a passion to pay the bills, but I find myself stuck on a fear that relies totally on myself. I can’t commit to something. That is what I admire most about these people I know who are striking out on their own. In addition to the simple bravery it takes to risk your livelihood for a passion.

Which if you think about it is not really a risk, because I could end up getting fired tomorrow, that’s something totally out of my control. At least if I was working for myself I would know if things were going well, I would know if I was going to make enough money to pay rent. I would never have to worry about being fired. Maybe I’d have to worry about pissing a client off, but that would be the worst of it.

I look at what my friends and family are doing and I want to follow, I really do. It is something I’m working on. I’ve identified a few things I need to change if I’m going to ever succeed (by my own measure) at something. I need to get over this lack of ability to commit and take a risk, struggle a little, learn through doing and fight for what I want.

This list helps keep me on task

Sitting around whining about my job and how I feel trapped is doing nothing to stop being trapped. I need to start working toward living the life I want to live. I recently had the epiphany that the one thing in life that make me keep moving is creating. Creating art, creating stories or creating a mix of the two through programming. I am a creative person, this is a curse because monetizing creativity is next to impossible. It would be colossally stupid for me to quit my job and try to become a game dev, or make it as an author or filmmaker. That doesn’t mean I can’t work on these things on the side.

Maybe I’ll go back to school, maybe I’ll keep plugging away on my own, teaching myself what I can and struggling to get noticed. Maybe I’ll get over my fear and finally be able to take the plunge into living my dream full time. Until then I cheer for the people in my life who are already doing that and I hope that one day I will be able to follow.

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