I'm pretty slow to make things happen.
I set something in my head and then it usually starts to form a year, or a few years later. Although, I think the time scales are getting faster now. I guess as you develop your ability to create things and change things around in your life, you can switch gears faster, or bring something new into your life faster.
Goals help because they give us something to aim for. When we take aim, we're able to take shots on goal. And as long as we keep taking shots on goal, it's likely that we'll make progress. To be clear, we will probably fail most of the time in the shots we take.
But if you do it enough, and over a long enough time scale, you'll probably make it, either by luck or by learning. I'm not saying that people don't have different starting points, or challenges – so my disclaimer here is that this is different for everyone.
But my point is that what we aim for really matters in life.
And if you don't have an aim at all, don't expect to get anywhere in particular, or to find yourself in a place and now you're saying why am I here?
And if that isn't hard enough, if you're not making it to where you think you want to go... maybe you don't really want it.
That can be a harsh reality for a lot of people. Maybe that dream you have, you don't really want.
Maybe you like to just keep it as a dream, because it's fun to fantasize about, and you know deep down you don't actually want that thing. That's ok.
I think the worse thing is the trick we play on ourselves where we know, deep down about our true desires, but we trick ourselves into thinking that we're putting in the work when we're not. It's not easy to be this honest with yourself. And, sometimes things can be confusing.
Should I be this? Should I want that?
Honestly, the best place to look for what you want is to start with where you currently spend your free time. It's probably a good reflection of some inkling about what you want. Your job doesn't need to fulfill every one of your needs, but, if you want something enough in a different field than you're in, this is a good place to recognize that.
I remember having a conversation with my friend Erik who left a job to freelance, and then while freelancing realized that he wanted something totally different.
It turns out, whenever Erik wasn't working, he was riding his E-bike. He would read about the environment and had an obsession with the electric revolution of transportation.
It sounds simple, but all of his time spent outside of work was on this industry. So it finally struck him, "Why don't I just find a job in this industry?"
I think this is a good example because he probably had wanted that all along – the narrative that he had instead was that he needed to be doing something else for work. He's still doing Marketing, but he was able to identify something he truly wanted and port it over to his new aim.
We fall back towards our wants like gravity.
I'm not saying all hobbies can work out as careers – but if you have the desire to work in an industry as a whole, or head in a direction – to point yourself somewhere with a new aim... there really isn't too much stopping you.
There's a quote I heard a long time ago by Jerry Seinfeld that has always stuck with me.
I believe it was Alec Baldwin who asked him:
Alec: "Who gets work in Show Business, Jerry?"
Jerry: "The people that want to be there the most."
I guess my point is, the targets we set for ourselves, we tend to reach. Given enough time and a true "wanting," we can directionally get to where we want to go.
It won't be exact, life doesn't work like that.
Not even Seinfeld thought he'd be as big as he was. But he did know he wanted to do stand up. And he writes jokes every day.
So, I'm not saying simply by setting a target you hit it right on the mark. Just that knowing what you're pointing at makes it more likely to hit it.
The Lighting Assistant, the Producer, The editor, the Sound Designer, the Show Runner...
That could be you.
If it's what you want.