One Big, Fat Mistake To Avoid On Your Path To Awesomeness

IN: Business 101

At sometime, somewhere, somehow you’ve royally  *#%&@! up.

And at sometime, somewhere, somehow, you will royally  *#%&@! up again. Fact.

Hell, maybe just today alone you have a few doozies under your belt (especially if you’re a Pepsi drinker–that counts, you know).  Soft drinks aside, it doesn’t matter how closely you follow the rules, how many articles you’ve read online, how many fancy degrees you have, how many abbreviations follow your name, how many pats on the back you’ve received, how long your resume is, how well-traveled you are, how much money you’ve made, how many stalkers you have, which “important people” think you’re important too, or whether you’ve finally discovered the best possible way to eat a Reese’s peanut butter cup (damn you, I wanted it to be me).

The inevitable truth is that you are going to mess up.

Again.  And again. (And again.) Because we’re members of that silly race called human beings.  And none of us know everything.  (Although if you happen to have an unusually large cranium equipped with fortune-telling capabilities and you do know everything, call me so we can reproduce ASAP.)

If I were going to pose as a psychologist, which I’m not, then I might be inclined to tell you–hopefully whilst laying sideways on a brown leather couch with my head propped up by one arm, smoking a pipe and exhaling smoke rings like the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland–that making mistakes is a vital part of self-growth.  But since I’m not a psychologist, nor am I posing as one, I’m going to say this:

Mistakes suck.

I don’t like making them, and I’d like to avoid them at all costs.  Therefore, I will do everything in my power not to make them.  However, when I do, I’ll probably get pissed off.  I might piss some other people off.  But, well…okay, fine.  Because I don’t know everything.  Even though I pretend I do.  But in the meantime, if I can avoid majorly *#%&-ing up, I’m damn well going to, followed up with an emphatic, “Boo-yah.”

Now imagine: For those of us who are following a more traditional life path, many mistakes are made despite having a well-laid out, tried and true life plan.  On the other hand, those of us who have elected to pursue more non-traditional paths–be it a form of lifestyle design or other alternatives–we are, by default, prone to making far more mistakes as a product of that path’s nontraditional nature.  Nothing is tried and true.  It’s in our hands to try it and make it true.  So mistakes become much more prevalent as we forge ahead and attempt to make sense of everything.

You can imagine I’ve been pissed off a lot lately.  Someone send wine.  Lots of it.  And Lucky Charms.  Because digging the marshmallows out is therapeutic.  And while we’re at it, certificates for massages never hurt, either.

In my quest for life awesomeness, there is, however, one mistake that I’ve made in the past, and one that I think warrants a mention.  No, it has nothing to do with the yellow and black polka dot lingerie I, at one point, thought was a good idea, nor any boyfriends I’ve had named Sergio, Pepe or Rex.

Rather, it has to do with a very vital distinction that must be made continually along your own quest for life awesomeness, and that’s the subtle difference I’d like to identify as desires versus dreams.

There are many things we all desire in life.  Desires are things that would be nice. Putting up a jewelry shop on some cliff-like coast of Greece would be nice. Having a live-in housekeeper would be nice. Gorging on pizza every single day would be nice.  Having my pants fit after gorging on pizza every single day would be nice. Doing anthropological research of indigenous tribes around the world would be nice. Owning a spa would be nice. Becoming a fashion designer would be nice. Having a brand new, white Audi would be nice. Teaching primates sign language would be nice. Hell, all of these things would be nice, if not fantastic.  And that’s what makes them desires.  Especially the part about the pizza. With hot sauce. Franks, to be exact.

But despite how nice, fantastic, awesome, or mouth-watering all of these things are to me, I must be careful not to make the mistake of letting whimsical desires get in the way of my true dreams.  Because those desires are sneaky little suckers, and they have the power to derail your thought processes, even if only momentarily.  But that power is something to keep an eye on, because you don’t want to be derailed by things that would be nice. You want what will be downright freaking awesome. You want to stay focused on your dream–that is, the one unwavering desire that lies deep within you.

Don’t try to have it all–you simply can’t. Time doesn’t allow for it. But absolutely try for what it is you sincerely want to do. Having a jewelry shop on a cliff-like coast of Greece would certainly be brag-worthy, and give me plenty of excuses to wear nothing but white and eat chicken kabobs all day long, but is it what I truly want?  No. What I want is a mobile lifestyle in which I am enabled to wear white and eat chicken kabobs while exploring all sorts of different countries. (Evil laugh.)  And I’ve got to do what it takes to achieve that goal–not some whimsical desire that suddenly strikes.

I’m not a sportsy kinda gal, but let’s indulge in a baseball reference for fun, because the point is salient:  Keep your eye on the ball.

Constantly reassess what you’re spending your time on every day, and make sure that the largest percentage that you can manage is dedicated to what you really want–what you dream about–because if you don’t, that dream will just stay a dream, and never turn into a reality. And then you’ll feel like a big, giant loser–point blank.   You have all of the power to make it happen; you simply have to do just that…..make it happen.

Stop contemplating random desires.  Start concentrating on what it is you really want.  If you haven’t figured that out yet, now is the time.   It doesn’t have to be one thing, but your goals must be clear, and above all, they must make your heart race.  Whatever it is, you must be exhilarated by it.  You must truly want it.   If you’re not sure what you truly want, then start experimenting.   Dig in.  Jump in head first.  Get involved with your own interests. And do the weeding thereafter.   Then once you’ve identified something that, the idea of not having makes you weep, then run full speed after it.  No one else is going to go get it for you. It’s all on you, champ.