I’ve met a lot of people in my life who have felt somehow entitled to their dreams and ambitious because they decided to dream them. Others have felt entitled to their happiness and deserving of the ability to pursue this happiness without consequence, simply because it made them happy. An example of this would be a friend who decided photography was their passion, and decided to quit a well-paying day job to become a full-time photographer…with no clients. When the fit hit the shan, and bills became due, rather than realizing their occupation wasn’t cutting it, financially, and returning to a life where their job actually had a paying wage, they complained about the injustice of the world, the cruelty of their student loans, and how those who ‘dream big’ are only bound for failure.
I cry foul.
There is nothing in this world that entitles you to a shred of happiness, other than that which you have worked for and earned with your own hands. Simply wanting to be a good father is quite different than actually being one. A father would be considered neglectful of his children if all he did was spend time with them. While it may seem like a contradiction, there must arise a moment where even a loving father leaves his children to go provide for them.
That being said, I have often gone above and beyond the call of duty for many of those around me. Only recently, I offered a plethora of free advice to a potential client who, in turn, realized that they didn’t want to pay for my services after I gave them what took me several years to learn, free of charge. Now, I am not the type to nickel and dime clients, but something must change prior to freely offering advice that often only ends up leaving me in a financially uncomfortable position; I often give away much more than I am receiving in payment, in hopes it will help establish rapport and trust between clients. In all reality, it has sent away many more people with valuable information they didn’t have to pay for.
There have been many people who have looked at me and said “Kiddo, you’re gonna be successful.” yet these are often the very people who hinder the type of success they proclaim I will someday find. To proclaim that I will one day be successful while, in the same sentence, tell me that they are unwilling to pay for my services, is a drastic contradiction and failure to live up to the standard of living they believe I’ll somehow meet in others. It’s essentially saying “Kid, you’re gonna do great…when you meet somebody who’s not as much of a tightwad as I am.”
Nobody owes you a thing. Nobody is responsible for providing your happiness. Nobody is ever going to make your dreams come true except fro you, yourself, and you.
You have to work your way through blood, sweat, and tears in order to obtain the type of life you want to get to. Unless, of course, you don’t want much from life and are willing to stay comfortable.
If you haven’t done so, I would highly recommend watching the movie 8 mile to see a story of a true American hero who obtained his dreams. Yes, Eminem was a self-proclaimed “piece of white trash” who grew up in the slums of Detroit, but he didn’t give up on his dreams and he actually knows what it’s like to sacrifice, go hungry, and fight through opposition and adversity to obtain his dreams.