Looking back through my life, I guess I have always been a doer. Sitting around doing little to nothing has pretty much always been torture to me. It would seem like I should be world-famous, but I’m not. There is nothing about my life that quakifies me to stand out from the crowd. As I’ve gained some maturity, I’ve reflected on what happened.
I think the answer may be deceptively simple. While I learned the value of hard work, spending time accomplishing things, and even learned perseverance. What I never learned was that achieving a vision requires focus. I also never learned that focus means ignoring any hint of FOMO.
The clues are finally coming together, and it’s not too late for me. Here’s what my experiences have taught me so far, and I hope you’ll find them helpful, as well.
- Choose your vision carefully. Dreams are great, but I’ve found that I generally only see the good I want, and miss the “yin and yang” that is inherent in real life. If I want to be filthy rich, then I also want to spend a lot of time worrying about my money. If I want to become incredibly famous, then I will find it hard to go anywhere and have “off” time — there’s a good chance I’ll be recognized anywhere I go, and that will cut into my opportunities to recharge by being alone. If I want to be a famous author, I’m going to have to spend a lot of time alone with my computer instead of hanging out with friends. There will be a downside to anything I pursue — the question is whether or not I really want to live with it!
- To choose is to renounce — and that’s ok! I encountered the first half of this thought in graduate school while I was learning to write music that could be played by young children. Somehow, the second part didn’t click. As I adopted the philosophy, I simply started trying to create new methods for getting more done with time that was becoming increasingly limited. I was driving myself crazy. Only later in life did I truly realize that if I am happy with my choices, it’s not so important what I have renouneced.
- Ignorning FOMO is easier said than done. The world is full of wonderful opportunities. I have found it normal to want to try them out, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. The problem is whne I stop honoring those things that bring me the most joy because I’m trying so hard to make sure that I’m having all of the experiences and doing all of things that everyone else is — just in case I miss out on something better. I will be wearing myself without feeling the joy. So, I have now adopted the principle of trying out those things that intrigue me while devoting the bigger portion of my time to the things that I consider are essential to me being me.
While I’m not perfect at it (I still spend too much time on work and not enough time creating), I now focus my vision. I still get distracted, but I draw myself back in by ranking my “new goal” against the path that has been most constant in my life. Will I ever become a household name? Maybe, but probably not. Does it matter so much anymore? Nope.
In sharpening my focus, I ended up finding me.