You MUST believe that everything is going to be okay.

I had to get this off my chest today. I keep hearing people complain that they are failures, and that they won’t ever achieve their goals, speaking as if the universe itself conspires against them.

You have to believe in your inevitable success.

That’s not to say that you can simply laze around and eventually become an accomplished writer, entrepreneur, lawyer, etc., but assuming you actually go about doing everything you need to do, then there is nothing holding you back from success in the field of your choosing.

There are two reasons why you might disagree.

1) You think that you lack talent; that there is something innately lesser about the core of your being such that even hard work, persistence, and good practice, consistently summoned over the course of years, will not lead to success.

2) You think that life is a game of chance, and that nobody can predict how the dice will roll.

Now here’s two reasons why that’s bullshit.

1) Talent is overrated. Now I’m going to beat you over the head with a quote to emphasize my point.

“The separation of talent and skill is one of the greatest misunderstood concepts for people who are trying to excel, who have dreams, who want to do things. Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed through hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft.

I’ve never really viewed myself as particularly talented. Where I excel is ridiculous, sickening work ethic. You know, while the other guy’s sleeping, I’m working. While the other guy’s eating, I’m working.

There’s no easy way around it. No matter how talented you are, your talent is going to fail you if you’re not skilled. If you don’t study, if you don’t work really hard and dedicate yourself to being better every single day, you’ll never be able to communicate with people – with your artistry – the way that you want.

The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is: I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. You might have more talent than me; you might be smarter than me. But if we get on a treadmill together, there are two things: you’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple.”
– Will Smith

But there is something even more grotesque lurking beneath the surface denial of the overwhelming importance of skill over talent. Let’s just assume, for a moment, that the Fresh Prince is wrong. Here’s my question to you: if you think you’ll never be good enough to deserve your dreams, then why bother, well…living?

We anchor our life with aspirations, both small and big. From education, interpersonal relationships, and children, to travel, fame, money, and power – these are what lend our lives purpose. We are the descendants of hunters and gatherers. We are goal-oriented creatures. It is in our genes to endlessly seek and pursue, and ultimately, to conquer.

If you tell yourself that you can’t have these things you want, no matter what, then what is the damn point? You’ve ascribed limits to your life now. How unfortunate.

2) You can’t win a game of chance without playing.

Everything in life involves risk and chance. The key to ‘winning’ is to maximize those variables that lead to success, and to minimize those variables that lead to failure.

But it’s true that you don’t know how it’s going to play out with absolute certainty. None of us do. Still, when you fall, the most important thing is that the little voice in your head whispers, “get back up and make me fucking proud”, and not “stay down and suffer this regret for the rest of your days”.

There is a possibility that even after having given it your all and done everything you needed to, you may fail in the end. So what? Active failure is better than passive failure. The inertia of existence constantly threatens to hold us in place, when we should be pushing ever forward, seeking, pursuing – conquering.

In the end, it’s about the journey, not the destination, so it is necessary to believe, above all else, that the destination is chock full of the treasure that you seek. Otherwise, the missteps in your journey, your true journey, may collude in bringing it to a premature end.

21 responses to “You MUST believe that everything is going to be okay.

  1. theonewedonotspeakof

    I’m not much of a reader, but this caught my attention. Nicely said.

  2. Thanks that you liked my blog. I too have liked yours, and am following your blog with immediate effect.

  3. Perfect. I was thinking of something like this today, but my post went in a different direction than this. Thanks for writing this. I needed this today!

  4. This is too true. Often people are too quick to give up and I hope people reading this get that life is all a game and they should embrace it. We can’t win every time but that doesn’t mean we won’t win some of the time! Nice post!

    • Absolutely. I think that the success-oriented mindset requires a very mixed outlook on life – one that is hinged on not taking life so seriously that you don’t take risks and remain stagnant, but also taking it seriously enough that you are actually motivated to do something risky to improve it. Thanks for reading!

  5. This is an outstanding post. You’re a hell of a writer with a great message!

  6. I am standing up on my chair cheering (which isn’t easy since it office chair on wheels…)!! I agree completely and am in the throws of hard work on the craft of writing. Although I love it more than anything so the time flies!
    Excellent post! Off to tweet!

    • Awesome! I have a huge grin on my face now, haha. Thanks so much for reading, tweeting, and commenting! I’ve struggled through years of organic chemistry, 12 hour workdays, and the difficulties of law school, but nothing, really, NOTHING is even close to as difficult as the creative arts. I have a huge amount of respect for people like you. I wish you the best!

  7. Reblogged this on Life Lessons and commented:
    I love his straight forward approach! This is so true…you have to believe and then act on that belief. Do SOMETHING about your dreams and goals! Get in the game and fight for what you want! It’s time to make life happen for you 🙂

  8. Wow Great post! Life is a participatory game. You only lose if you quit. It is so true you can’t win if you don’t play!

  9. You have a very inspirational voice. I completely agree that talent is overrated in the face of whole-hearted dedication. I have to admit that, like many others, I fall prey to this self-doubt time and again, but this piece—like some of the pieces I read to soothe my senses —truly lifted me out of it.

    • Thank you for reading and commenting! I’m happy that this post was able to help you overcome that self-doubt. I definitely think talent is overrated — I suppose the problem is that we see successful individuals after they’ve already worked hard behind-the-scenes, so it appears as though they’ve only suddenly come upon success, when in reality they have put years into mastering their craft.

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