Sorry for my absence! If it's any consolation, I've been putting in work on some flame that I will be posting sometime this week that expands on the "to college or not to college" series. Stay tuned for that!
This post will be the start of a series of micro-posts where I share some of my favorite quotes and expand on their meanings in my life. On that note, here is today's quote:
"You can dream but don't neglect the execution" J. Cole
Ah, to be a dreamer. A gift and a curse it is. For many, dreams and fantasies are all their aspirations ever sum up to be--lost in the comfort of their fantasy, they fail to act upon their aspirations. For some, they act upon their dreams but don't see it all the way through. Then there are the few that pursue their dreams and see it all the way through. I will openly admit that the first scenario described me, especially in my high school days. While my teachers went on about whatever they talked about, my mind constantly drifted, thinking about the cool things I wanted to do when I grew up. I didn't know or even bother to think of how I would accomplish said cool things. But alas, as dawn doth bringeth the sun, so would time bringeth me wisdom... Kidding, I daydreamed even harder in college. It was not until I was applying for jobs and graduate programs that I realized I hadn't done jack diddly doo! I was too distracted by my fantasies to realize I had accomplished nothing.
So, what did I do? I went to work. This blog and my other blog (The Gist) were some of my first products. I sought to advise undergraduate students on ways to maximize their college experience and to avoid the mistakes I made. One of my earliest posts was on 5 things people in their 20's should not be doing. Really, it was a list of 5 things I was doing that I thought others should avoid. Number 2 on the list was to stop dreaming. That point was to urge the reader to act upon their dreams and fantasies and to take advantage of the freedom and opportunities their youth affords them. You can read this post here.
So, to apply this quote, ask yourself, "what is keeping me from acting on my dreams?" For me, my biggest barrier was laziness. I am lazy! Luckily, this can be overcome by simply forcing yourself to do the necessary task, setting smaller and achievable milestones, or modifying your environment to one that stimulates action (friends, removing distractions, etc.) Some people are afraid or nervous of progressing with their work because of the potential reactions by people. Like most artists, I consider myself extremely sensitive towards my work and when you produce something that is meaningful to you, you make yourself vulnerable, which in turn can prevent you from acting on that dream. This one is tougher to overcome, but the beauty of sharing something special to you and having someone else feel the energy you put into it is worth the vulnerability. Also, getting feedback from smaller groups is a good way to slowly overcome this barrier. Lastly, what if I act on my dream and it fails? To this, I say, what if you don't and you die? Another Cole line, "only thing worse than death is a regret filled coffin." As long as you try, you avoid this inevitability, and that is a win in my book.