"Success is about taking responsibility of who you are underneath."
- Alba Lorenzo
I dream of being the author of a bestseller. Someone else dreams of founding a billion dollar startup. Someone else dreams of owning a house by the beach in Monaco. And someone else dreams of traveling the world. Nothing wrong with it. A lot of people dream of similar things. But few actually go on to realise these dreams. Clearly, having a dream is not enough.
If you've watched any martial arts movie from The Karate Kid to the Kung Fu Panda series, one recurring theme is the process of self discovery that the protagonist goes through before he masters the skills of martial arts. There is no set syllabus that the protagonists go through. What they learn is their own strengths and weaknesses and discipline. The rest is what they put together on their own, because they are driven by the desire to defeat the villain.
Our dreams are like that desire. The end goal. And getting there is what needs to be internalised in everything that you do. I have been in situations before where I have had a dream but, through my actions, had treated it only as one of the options. It is easier this way. If one of them doesn't work out, you can replace that with another option and continue to spread yourself thin. And keep repeating that.
The dream needs to be the dream always.
And that means discovering your own strengths that will help you get there and weaknesses that need to be watched out for and the discipline to always keep pushing in that direction. Else, the movie about you will never get made.
The ever connectedness of the world only acts as an amplifier to the successes of others. You are constantly looking at people getting promoted, vacationing in far off countries (often with their partners), releasing new music, and so on. And it might make us think we must be some way off the mark in not doing those things. The one who quit his job to travel the world or the one who recently raised funding for his startup seem very brave and confident.
But, as Seth Godin says, bravery is overrated. It helps us to think that these people are brave and have something that we don't, because then we can console ourselves by saying we could be doing things like that as well had we been more like them.
But we are just like them.
What works for them doesn't work for us. Success is about figuring out what works for us, about taking responsibility for who we are underneath, and awakening that superhero.