Today let’s talk about the one of the largest contributor to failure in our generation. That nagging feeling that you are meant to achieve much more than you currently are at this boring job, degree, situation etc. and that you know you are overqualified for and put just barely discernible effort in; having already proved your expertise.
You with me?
You must remember at least one movie where the star is sucked into a whole new world of limitless possibilities and true contentment. Nah? That episode where the scrawny boy or naïve little girl learns that their whole life has been a sham and through some sort of inner awakening or messianic moment the course of their lives is changed forever? That ONE shot at breaking the bank, that billion dollar idea, the prayed for epiphany of a selfish God-send and the mother of all laziness, ‘The Big Break’, better known as ‘entitlement’.
Television and society has churned out an entire generation of dreamers who do just that, dream. No action, no hard work or patience, just dreams. With attention spans like goldfish we do something perfectly for the few minutes we’re still interested before we hurriedly move on to the next ‘better’ thing with ‘richer rewards’ as we find reasons to justify our shortsightedness.
This Play Station© and Xbox© generation thinks that life throws everybody a life-line once in a while and there’s a bail out coming soon. Our sheer lack of responsibility is pungently expressed in everything we barely do.
I had an older cousin who lived by this philosophy throughout his life. The list of what Yuri had worked on was ever growing (with his achievements list being rather stagnant). Yuri sold real estate today and launched a start-up tomorrow only to sell grains the next day. Everything he did to best of his ability but never quite committed and finished anything he claimed to put his mind to. You must already be thinking of someone who is always “planning on doing ‘…’” and doesn’t accomplish anything. One day in his fifties, Yuri learnt of some land his church wanted to dispose of, his Big Break. Valued at roughly 2 million dollars, Yuri knew this was it and his mouth literally watered at the thought of how much he will be able to accomplish with the 5% commission he will receive from its sale. As life sarcasm might have it, Yuri did sell the land in a mere two months to a single buyer who was willing to pay for it all immediately. No partial payments or ‘let’s pay the deposit first’, a true life line! The call from the church that Yuri’s contact had agreed to buy the land literally popped a vein. In his brain. One night later he was rushed to hospital after severe migraines and black outs and surgery was expedited and successful. Yuri was 200,000 dollars richer already and he’d lived through a near death experience. I can only imagine what went through his mind, amid all the beeping from the machines, as he lay on that hospital bed staring up at the boringly white ceiling. Five days into his surgery, a humble little man walked into the hospital and slowly approached the nurse station where in a soft voice he asked explained that he had come to visit Yuri. Even though the nurses had been instructed to not let anybody except family see him, who were they to say no to a man of God? Only this time this was no ordinary man of the cloth, but the exact man of the cloth that had called Yuri a few days back. As fate would have it, he was let in and up the stairs he went to the room. This time the conversation had much more icing and three cherries on top. The good pastor was here to tell him that the deal had been completed and his commission had just been transferred to his account.
Stop waiting for that big break already! Life is made up of the small seemingly insignificant victories over a period of time and not winning the lottery. We build one brick at a time not a completely furnished house falling from the sky. The patience, hard work, resilience and consistence required for success is not negotiable; put in your 10,000 hours or die a lazy life (I would have said live but an unfulfilled life is worse than death).