I believe that all of us want to express something: an idea, a theory, an opinion or a statement. I also believe that the majority of human beings would love to be creative in the expression of these ideas, theories and statements. Creativity permeates in everything our mind does and is challenged to do. I am certain that if given the chance, most or all of us would love a career in the creative and entertainment industry because it is there where we can express ourselves in the most creative of ways.
Thus, there are many of us who are into art, acting, music, photography, modeling, writing, designing or crafts. We enjoy doing these for many unique combinations of reasons and it would be ideal if we could do it for a living for the rest of our lives. Why do we need to go to work every day, doing something we do not really like as opposed to something that we do enjoy?
So if one has something: a talent, an innate skill, or even simply years of knowledge and experience in one of the arts of expression, it would seem to be a waste if all of a sudden, that person decides to stop dreaming and hoping altogether.
At any point in time, an individual in the creative and entertainment industry can be categorized into one of the three groups described below:
1) Those who have given up on the idea: This group may have already conceded that being say, a rock star was just their teenage dream and that their hours of singing and songwriting had its purpose. However, for it to be a career now would already be too late: now that they are married or now that they have children, etc… etc. If we are not careful, we may stay in this phase for the rest of our lives and always wonder what might have been and perhaps even become bitter because of it without even knowing why.
2) Those who are still hopeful but are not doing anything about their goals presently but would like to get back to them later on: They are doing something else now, like selling, working in a call center, or maybe even managing a manufacturing plant, however they are not setting aside time, money and effort to their goal of being able to create music or take photographs for a living. They can always go back to it later, I suppose, ‘when there’s a bit more time’. Perhaps after they get married, after the first child, after the second child, after they get promoted or after they pay their debts, whatever their unique circumstances may be.
3) Those who are willing and able to allocate time, effort and money to progress their art and talents: The people in this group are doing something with their art and talents. They still believe in the idea that they can become who they want to be — that life can be the way they once saw it, not withstanding all the years of ‘reality checks’ that ensued. They may have actually finished a painting, or have just sold one. They maybe strutting on a catwalk or maybe they are designing a client’s logo this very minute. Or perhaps, it could be something preparatory like preparing the first exhibit in their portfolio or reading a book to learn how to protect their copyright. Regardless of what the effort is, big or small, as long as they are taking active steps, a person will belong to this group.
In the first phase, we experience a very frustrating and demoralizing event in our ‘careers’. We cannot help but feel defeated when our work does not get the reaction we have hoped for or expected and perhaps we begin to believe that we are only fooling ourselves and that we should give up our foolish hopes and dreams.
However, doesn’t it turn out that eventually, you start taking action again (in the 3rd stage) after you have been brooding, perhaps even making tons of excuses for a while (in the 2nd stage)? You come to realize, time and time again, that no matter what, ‘it’ is still what you want to do regardless of what has happened in the past and what may happen or not happen in the future.
After years of experiencing this cycle, I have decided years ago that regardless of what I was doing, and regardless of whatever ‘career’ decisions I may have to make, it must be to advance or support my creative endeavors. It makes more sense because every time I have tried to suppress it, tried to ignore it and tried to pretend that the urge is not there, all I ended up doing was wasting my time. I have learnt to embrace my urge to express myself in creative ways and have accepted that it is part of me and the less time I spend defeated, the sooner I could get to work towards what really matters. Perhaps you can use something from my experience and if what you are experiencing is the same, hopefully you would not spend too much of your life thinking that your ‘passion’ is not really what you want to do. Because honestly, what would be better than doing things to make your life happen the way you dream it?
This article was written for OrangesAndLime.Com.