You Can Succeed if You Decide Not to Fail.

Some days  follow a theme. It’s easy to overlook if you’re not invested in what’s happening now (yes, that means you have to put your phone away for a while and let your spirit wander). I recently went on a trip to Los Angeles with a friend. The trip was much needed. A chance to refresh and re-inspire. Something we heard earlier in the trip stayed with me the entire day. A permanent impression on my brain.

We were listening to an interview on the radio. The host was interviewing a man who is quite successful. The segment highlighted his early career and struggles: sleeping on couches and having no money (often we say we’re broke, but this man literally had zero dollars and owed money…yikes).

While the interview was intriguing, the most influential part for me was when the interviewer commented to interviewee that it was depressing to think of the people who struggle to achieve success and don’t make to the top. The interviewee’s response was surprising and insightful. He said, “You know, I’ve never met anyone who has decided this is what they want to do and be unsuccessful. It’s the people who have a Plan B. Those are the people that don’t make it.”

Insert jaw drop and blown mind here, please.

A man with this much influence, affluence, charm and success worked for it. Damn hard. He’s human. He persevered. He did what he needed to do, and didn’t give up. That’s commendable and respectable in my book.

Should I drop names? I guess so, even though it doesn’t really matter. The man being interviewed was Ed Sheeran. The interviewer, Howard Stern.

This resonates because everyone has a dream. I meet people every day who aspire to do other things, but working is how they survive. Saying, “Oh, I know I can do it. But it doesn’t pay the bills.” If you are willing to invest time in a thing, and you hold it dear, it is worth dedicating your life to. It’s a fact that you will be poor. You might be hungry. Yeah, it’s an inconvenience not to have Netflix or buy a coffee whenever you want but it’s always worth it. The most important thing is to find what resonates with you. What makes you feel alive? What ignites your fire? Whether it be music, art, wood crafting, sculpting, writing, building homes, anything! If you love it, do it.

Nothing satisfies your soul more than succeeding in what you love to do. Failure is going to happen. I’m 100% sure that you will fail in what you do initially. The learning curve is enormous.

I’m 100% sure we will never succeed if we do not devote 110% of ourselves to the task. Good things require sacrifice. Pain makes success all the sweeter.

I believe in you. I know you can do this thing, whatever it is you’re deciding to do. Be realistic with your plan, be thrifty, talk to people who have experience and can help you. Don’t talk yourself out of it, just reach out. It won’t hurt. And at the end of the day, at the end of your LIFE (little dramatic but I’m unashamed) wouldn’t you like to say you did everything in your power to make it happen?

I know I do.

I can’t sugar coat everything, though. There are some nasty people out there. They will criticize you and be defensive because you’re pursuing something you love. It’s not you though, its them. We’re all in this together, and the more you gain that perspective the more you’ll understand that people are really upset with themselves and at their mistakes. It’s not you. It was never you. Keep doing what you love and thicken that skin, the road ahead is tumultuous but totally worth the ride.

Okay, I’ve been pepped talked. Now what? Write your goal down. Write down all the steps needed to achieve it. Then, do everything in your power to bring those small steps to fruition.

That’s at least what I will do. Just creating a plan makes me feel one step closer. Like the man I met the following day in L.A.

He was homeless, but clean and professional. Living in and out of a shelter, on people’s couches, and also going to school.  He’s pursuing music. We shared our current life situations and our hopes for the future. We exchanged contact info and I told him to let me know if he needed anything; I’ll be his friend and support. He returned the favor with endless gratitude and the warmest smile. Then I wished him well and hit the road.

He was driven. I hope he achieves what he came to California to do: connect with people and make art. I’m happy he exists. I’ll file that meeting under: inspiration.

Me? I’m focusing my efforts on my Plan A. You know, losing sleep over it, and giving up a few things I might otherwise enjoy to pursue music. I’m rolling up my sleeves because the fruit hanging from he highest branch will taste the sweetest.

Time to toughen up and climb.


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