Where will you look to fulfill your name?
Featured Image by Henri Meilhac, via Stocksnap
What brought you here to reading this article? And was there something else you were going to click on instead? Even further, what will happen to you as a result of reading this? Nothing, most likely. You probably should have clicked on that other article. In fact, I'm not going to be mad at you if you do.
But here's the thing: you're here, right now, most likely because of your own volition. I didn't drag you here. No one did. What you learn from reading this, and every subsequent thing that happens afterwards as a result, falls much more on you than it does me.
Why is that? Because Opportunity, thy name is You.
Remind Yourself What Surprise Means
I'm writing this right now because this morning, I was interviewed for an article to be featured in Fortune Magazine. When I woke up this morning, performing my usual routine of making coffee and reading over notes before jumping into a writing session, I had no idea that was going to be happening. Then, I got a message from my editor:
Hey, a friend is looking to write up a piece about traditional vs. self-publishing and she...
Not even thirty minutes later, I'm on the phone, giving my thoughts to one of their writers. It was a great conversation on a convoluted topic. I had many thoughts.
But the interview wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been reached out to. In fact, my editor posted something on Facebook about it, and I glossed over it. Why would someone from Fortune Magazine want to talk to me? So, in my self-belittling, I continued to write until she messaged me.
I shouldn't have doubted myself. That was a mistake. Had my editor not reached out to me, I would have missed this chance. That's me being a terrible example of opportunity. I learned today not to let anything else pass just because I don't think its in the cards.
Opportunity or Fate?
Now, let's step back for a second. What if I'd never known my editor? I met her on Twitter. What if I didn't send out that one tweet that one random Friday night? What if I didn't respond to her response? What if I never followed her in the first place?
What if I was one of those people who was like, Twitter is dumb. I'd never would have met my editor.
I wouldn't have been on Twitter if I had never decided to write my first novel.
I would never have written my first novel if a TV pilot project I'd independently produced hadn't left me feeling disenchanted and disenfranchised as a filmmaker (I'm just now shaking that feeling nearly four years later).
I would have never committed to a lofty, ambitious project had I not felt such repression and angst from an unhealthy, long-term relationship.
That relationship never would have happened if I chose the other girl from that one summer.
But I made a decision. And lots of other decisions as a result. None of these things would have happened had I remained idle and waited for opportunity to knock.
All these things culminated into me realizing today that much of my successes, large and small, are a result of me making some other decision in the past. This is proof that success is not overnight. Instead, it's a pot roast that ruminates over many hours. Tens and hundreds of thousands of hours.
So What Do I Do?
I'm going to keep this article short and wrap it up quickly: whatever seeds you plant today are going to grow into something, surely, but it may not blossom the way you expect it to. Put yourself out there, take a chance, and believe that someday, it will be worth something. It's hard to make sense of it now because it's not right there in front of you.
Look at every step forward as growth, never underestimate your potential now and in the future, and remind yourself everyday that opportunity, thy name is you.