So You Want To ...

By: Shelly Reuben

So you want to ...

Do you want to write a book or choreograph a ballet? Can you envision your name in lights on a marquee over a theater on Broadway? Can you hear violins floating up the scale of an etude that you want to compose? Maybe you would like to build an elegant bridge or design a mile-high skyscraper? Do you want to produce a play? Open a restaurant? Start an obedience school for recalcitrant pups?

Whatever it is, it is a dream, and it’s your dream. It is something that you passionately want, and wanting it is part of what defines you.

That is a good thing. It is what Life (with a capital “L”) is all about.

Having a roof overhead, an amply filled tummy, safety, friends, and family is nice. Very nice. But if there is something inside you that longs for sparkle, glimmer, and shine, then the four food groups are not enough. If you count yourself among those fortunate few who have a need to make something, do something … create something, then pay attention. I have some advice for you:

Do not listen to the “no-people.”

Do not listen those who will tell you what you cannot achieve.

They are the nay-sayers, and there are millions of them. They lurk in the shadows like starving lions hunting prey, and they are savagely ready to pounce upon your dreams.

The insidious thing about them is that the many disguises they assume magnify the harm that they can do. And they come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. They come packaged as parents, murmuring amicably that they only want “what is best for your happiness, dear.” They camouflage themselves as teachers, counselors, therapists, colleagues, or friends.

The only thing they hold in common is that none of them has ever achieved his or her own goals. Because of that, they will do everything in their power to make sure that you give up your goals, too.

If you succeed where they failed, your success is an affront to them.

And so, they will tell you that you aren’t good enough. They will tell you that you are too good. They will stress the odds against your being discovered, published, hired, admired, noticed, acknowledged, recognized, rewarded, or praised. They will tell you how many people fail at what you want to achieve.

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