Tuesday, August 13, 2013
"Success doesn't happen in a day, it happens in decades."
Decades of work, marbled with moments of doubt.
At some point we have to get comfortable with planning in years and working through them. Setting not "one year" goals, but 5 year goals. Being content to work at a place and not get a promotion every 6 months. Not get stuck - but not be so concerned about "feeling stuck" just because we hate feeling still. You should leave bad jobs - ones where you're not growing or being challenged. You should leave them at the right time. But the jobs we usually want to leave the most are the ones that are growing and challenging us - just not in fun, feel good, change the world and earn fame every day ways.
We've got to work to stay on target. We'll need to readjust course at times. But we'll also have to learn to work, at one thing, for years. We'll have to find it more important than good feelings of "changing the world." Otherwise, we'll likely never have the skill set capable of turning over a rock, let along the world. The world doesn't need any more amateur world changers - it needs disciplined young adults, with fires that have burned so long that they aren't flames on wicks, but coals, steady, hot and hard to blow out.
I hate to say it, but you've got very little to give the world today. Sure, you can toss it in. Or you can try to grow it - grow that one tiny thing you were given, whatever it is, for four years in college. For 10 years after college. Grow it.
Our savings accounts don't become 10 digit numbers in college or immediately in the first few years after - why do we expect our skills are different?
Sorry to share the pep talk - I just had to give it to myself this morning. Sometimes, I come across writers who are younger than me and far more skilled. And I look at my job - where I've now been 5 months - and I panic ever so slightly. I like my job. I've worked hard to get here, and I've stayed 100's of days at other jobs after hitting what I would have sworn was my breaking point. But even here, at this job I really like, where I'm growing in all the feel-good ways I'd hoped, I still get uncomfortable thinking of being here for five more years. Even three. That means I'll be working here when I turn 30.
But then I remember the truth: I have very little to give the world today. I have a handful of skill, less than many. I tend to be impatient, with people, myself, and time. I lack love. And I'm getting more and more out of shape.
If I want to be any of the things I've felt called to in my life - I have to get comfortable with work, for years at a time. Because we aren't called because of our born-ability and wonder-like charm and skill. We're called to take a seed and grow it.