Whenever I find myself giving an inspirational speech or explanation of my educational background, which is not too often, I always seem to bring up something that my doctor once said to me after I excitedly told her my plans for my future: “You’re going to need to find yourself a sugar daddy.”
As an English Creative Writing major with the hopes of one day becoming a screenwriter, I’ve heard it all. And, it’s nothing that I haven’t thought to myself before. I know the industry is hard to get into. I know that I will have to sacrifice a lot of things to get where I want to be. I know Los Angeles is where a lot of the jobs are. I know! I’m prepared for these scary changes because it is my dream. But unfortunately, I think a lot of us are scared to attempt the same sacrifices for our passions because others unintentionally scare us out of it or we even psych ourselves out of it.
A recent research study shows that “Only 1 in 10 Americans says they’re working their dream job. Of those surveyed, 7 in 10 don’t think they’re on track to get their dream job.” Why is this? I personally know a lot of friends whose parents refused to pay for an education they didn’t think would “provide” for their child, which is incredibly challenging and saddening.
But I am also no stranger to watching many loved ones struggle in careers they despise, and in addition to feeling sympathy for them, I feel a drive–a drive to get literally as far away as possible from that kind of life for myself. Because what is a life worth living if you are quite literally miserable? I hate to break it to you, but no money is worth wasting precious years of your youth.
I think people are also so scared of branching out and reaching for the stars because they are stuck in their comfort zone. Acknowledge this, and please run out.
A quote that I live by daily is by Bishop John A. Marshall, which reads: “If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not growing.” This has been my push for so many things: studying abroad, declaring my second major, applying for my first job … and so much more! So, write this down, hang it on your wall and read it every day. I can not express this enough.
Furthermore, I recently watched Steve Jobs’ 2008 Stanford University Commencement speech for one of my classes and at the address, Jobs shared three personal stories. The one that caught my attention most, however, was that he would start every single morning with the same question: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”
He continues by explaining a near-death experience and how this allowed him to have the courage to follow his heart and intention because those are the parts of you that already know what you want. Jobs then ends his speech by saying “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” Luckily, I’ve already had this mindset instilled in me since my first year of college, but I think it’s important for other people to hear.
Success is not achieved overnight, as shown by so many influential figures in our time. Keep working at your goals and remind yourself of the statistics from above. Do you want to spend 50 years in a job you hate just to build savings that will get you nowhere when you’re practically elderly, or do you want to spend every day indulging in your passions? The work toward building this life starts now.