When we're surrounded by so much talent, we can quickly become envious of, or even intimidated by, another's work or success. When we have so much to keep up with, when it often feels like we're commended for working ridiculously long hours and when we're (sometimes) expected to understand the ins-and-outs of every single far-reaching aspect of our work it's really easy to feel like we're very quickly losing our way and falling out of line.
So I want to start by asking you a question: what do you do? Or rather - what do you WANT to do?
If the answer is short, and you’re really happy with what you do - then brilliant. But if not, or if you feel like you have the slightest doubt in you that you’re not doing what you want to do, then I urge you to do one thing: make a change.
The key here is focus. The change that you make doesn’t have to be radical or life-changing - though it can be. What you need to understand is how to focus on what you really want to do and have the heart to take that idea forward, and be willing to take risks.
Paul Chen is quoted as saying “passion never fails” - and I think he has a point. When we are passionate about something we often - however subconsciously it may be - put more effort, love and hard work into what we do. It’s natural - you’re more likely to be enthusiastic and compelled for a good outcome when passionate about something.
Passion and risks can make for both a wonderful yet scary combination. Having passion for the work you do means you’re more likely to be willing to take risks - you love what you do and you want to see a project, or yourself, succeed. But taking risks is another matter - sometimes it’s a small risk, but sometimes it can have much larger consequences if things don’t work out.
I took one of those bigger risks myself - I went full-time freelance just over a year ago without any savings and without projects lined up. It’s definitely not been easy, in fact it’s been ridiculously hard at points - though that’s for another article. But for me, the passion I have for what I do and the connections - but way more importantly, the friendships - that I’ve made over the years have helped me find my way and take the path I have. And now? I wouldn’t change a thing for the world.
Taking risks is difficult, and more than that it’s scary. But if you get anything out of reading this, I want to encourage you to make change in your life for the better. You never know when those little changes might add up and surprise you, and make a big difference in your life.
Note: This article was originally supposed to be published in Lustra Magazine, an independent publication created by Tim Smith to discover adventurous creators in the web industry. Unfortunately, Lustra Mag wasn’t to be, so I’ve instead decided to publish the post here for you all to read.
Extra Note: This article originally appeared on my old personal blog, but I’ve decided to move it over here instead.