Times have changed. Back in the day, a college degree pretty much guaranteed you a decent job…somewhere. Not anymore. Paradoxically, the opportunity to chase a dream and create an amazing life have never been better.
Not long ago, the gatekeepers ruled everything. They decided what music should be played, what books should be written, what art should be displayed, what news should be shared, what agendas should be pushed, what business ideas were valid, and what dreams should come true. You pretty much had to wait for someone to pick you, whether it was to to attend their university, write for their publication, exhibit in their gallery, perform at their venue, or work for their company.
Some gatekeepers still exist, but they are not as powerful as they once were. You now have access to tools that would have made Edison’s head explode. Most of them, by the way, are free. Thanks to the internet — free at any library — and things like iTunes U and Khan Academy, you can learn anything you want to learn. With Skype, you can video conference with people anywhere in the world. You can use Kickstarter to raise money to fund that pet project or start a business. Tools abound that will help you start your writing career, publish your own books, record your own songs, sell your own products, and host your own concerts. The list goes on.
The question is no longer, “How can I make my dreams come true?” but rather, “When will I start?”
Even with all these amazing tools at our disposal, many people continue to wait for permission.
We wait for someone to offer us a job, reward us with a contract, or give us an opportunity.
We wait for someone to open the door for us, to give us their blessing, to tell us it’s time.
We wait for someone else to tell us we’re good enough, talented enough, or ready enough.
Meanwhile, Adultitis delights in the growing ocean of unfollowed dreams.
But real life is not a schoolyard version of dodgeball, where you wait anxiously for someone to pick you, hoping it’s sooner rather than later.
What is your big dream? You have the tools at your fingertips. You do not need permission to become a writer or a teacher or an artist or a musician or a business owner or a world changer. You are good enough, talented enough, ready enough, kind enough, and, believe it or not, brave enough to start.
With nearly a whole year ahead of us, it’s tantalizing to think of all the great things that could happen.
What are you waiting for?
[ About the Art: This art (and the post) are directly inspired by one of my heroes, the brilliant Seth Godin. The concept of "picking oneself" is deep soil for graphic interpretation. I like the idea of a box of chocolates, filled with an array of treats, each of them waiting to be picked. But all is dependent on the tastes of the person picking. One person might seek out a coconut cream first, while another might be allergic to coconut, and leave it uneaten or throw it out. The good news is that these days, the coconut cream can pick himself. P.S. My favorite part is the curly cue hair on the candy walking away. (Buy the print!) ]