I’m at a restaurant with my husband talking to the waiter that we have known for some time when we ask how he was doing. He proceeds to tell us about purchasing this expensive fish ($150) for his fish tank. He’s had this fish for about a week when he comes home and looks into the tank and can’t find his fish. Now these fish have an attribute that he knew about but didn’t think due to its size that it would try such a feat and that was leaping out of the tank. The only opening was around the tubing that goes into the tank that provides air for the fish. He said the hole was the size of a quarter around it, maybe slightly larger but not by much so he never thought about covering it because the fish was bigger than the hole.
This fish with it’s tiny brain wasn’t thinking about the consequences of doing what it loved to do so it saw the hole and kept at it until he managed to leap through the hole and out of the tank. Our poor waiter was distraught over this fish because it cost him so much money, yet the very next time we saw him he had purchased another of the same type of fish for his tank. This one a bit smaller so of course he made sure the hole was completely covered so the fish wouldn’t leap out of the tank.
I tell you this story to emphasize that there are risks with our choices in life. Some of them are good and some of them are bad based on how much risk we are actually taking. If you are someone that has a good job right now and it’s not your favorite thing to do, but it does pay the bills each month, I would not suggest quitting it to pursue a goal or dream when you could do that same goal around your job.
I’m going to use writing for an example since that is what I do. When I decided to give this dream of mine a goal and effort I realized a couple things:
1. You still need to pay the bills each month – don’t quit your job (I didn’t.)
2. I could arrange my time to allow me to write around my job
3. My family could be supportive of my efforts if I talked to them about my desire and goal
4. Writing is hard work
5. Discipline, Commitment and Structure are important
6. Scheduling a time for you on the calendar is a must
7. Writing a book takes time
8. Editors, Cover Designers, and Proofreaders add more time
9. This is harder than I thought
10. Once you complete the book–marketing, launch, publishing somehow magically take care of themselves. Wrong!
As a writer you need time you can set aside to write. It could be early morning before work and before the hustle and bustle of the family; it could be late after you put the kids down for bed a few hours. Depending on your goal of ‘when’ the book will be done determines how many words you need to write a month, a week, and a day when you sit down to write.
Everything you want in life is hard work. Just face that now and you won’t have to be amazed about it later when you feel like your mental and emotional energy is totally drained from you after writing out that scene. With anything writing a book, doing an art show, displaying your photography, recording music, it’s all going to be subject to the person reading it, looking at it or listening to it if they think it is good or not. There’s your risk. Not everyone will love what you do. The good news is they don’t have to.
Before you decide what goal you wish to pursue, you need to sit down and figure out why you are doing it and what you want it to accomplish. Each of us has unique stories to share with the world no matter the creative outlet we use to do it. You are pouring out your heart and soul when you create something and then present it to the world to view. It’s a risk and it’s a big risk that you need to decide to commit to before starting the process.
Is it worth it, absolutely, but it’s work. There will always be those that criticize your efforts, and sometimes that’s even family, but you must press on with your daily, weekly, monthly baby steps to meet that goal. That’s when taking the leap out of the tank will be worth it.
Do you know of someone trying to pursue a goal that could use some encouragement by this post? Feel free to share with them. If you started pursuing a goal of your own leave a comment of what you realized once you dived in so others can learn from your experiences too.
Have a blessed week!