Being a slacker does not count as doing your own thing.
-Daniel Hilarion Lim
This morning, besides browsing through my newly obtained AUGUSTMAN Fashion Magazine from a run pack and getting excessively distracted by the male models (which sufficiently explains why I don’t read male fashion); I chanced upon an article I’d like to share about people worrying too much before doing whatever they want. Some may disagree strongly but here’s just food for thought from my point of view.
So the article talks about how most successful people in the world from Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates to Richard Branson absolutely didn’t get to where they were worrying about what people thought or said about them. And even though they did make enemies, that didn’t stop them from achieving what they have. There are so many things we tell ourselves to hold ourselves back from doing whatever we want even for the fun of it, or just to try; because we are too afraid of stupid things that don’t matter, like failure.
Here I quote,
‘Don’t paint. You’ll only be famous after you die. Don’t sing. You’ll end up in a pub covering the Beatles and Michael Learns to Rock ballads. Why make wine when you can be working in a bank and sitting in a corner office? If we all did that, the world would be one boring place and Five Izakaya bar would be the size of a convention centre.’
We often think too much about what we do and most times we just don’t do. I think the biggest mistake is when we compare ourselves to something better and go, ‘I can’t do this as well as him/her anyway, maybe I should just not’ or ‘He/she is going to do it anyway, I don’t have to.’ But the thing is, no matter what you do, there’ll always be someone who may do it better and always someone else who may do it- and that isn’t a good reason to just sit back and relax, watch the clouds roll by and wait for things to happen. If we really all thought like that, it would take no time at all for EVERYONE to just be sitting and waiting.
Every single thing we do accumulates experience and lessons learnt, even failures and mistakes. Each time we do something, we enrich ourselves a little more and bring us closer to being the one who is ‘better’ at this and the one that people look at and go ‘he/she is good at this, he/she can do it’. I guess that’s why they say ‘With great power, comes great responsibility’. Whether we realise it or not, everyone’s good at at least one thing, and there are frightening possibilities that we bring all these talents to our grave without getting them recognised or celebrated, or worse still, going to our graves without ever realising that we had these talents in the first place.
Here’s the thing we can do for ourselves and each other: While being confident about things we do because of the knowledge that we’ve put in our best, look out for those around us and celebrate the work of those who deserve recognition, because skills one possesses easily become so mundane and meaningless we discount it completely and fall for the frightening possibility.
I guess then we can debunk Russel Bertrand’s saying that ‘One of the most painful things of our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.’ Bravely do your own thing because no one can do that for you.