A lot of time, we like to post articles with tips and advice on how to succeed, or at least survive, in the job search. But sometimes you don’t need concrete advice. Sometimes you need a good pep talk. And for that, we’ll turn to Andrew WK.
Yes, that Andrew WK. As it turns out, his talents reach far beyond head-banging, partying hard, and composing thrashy rock songs that are as intense as they are fun. Mr. WK is also an excellent motivational speaker… or, motivational writer, in this case.
Just look at this tasty nugget:
…Nothing can hurt more than giving up and living with the knowledge that you abandoned hope… None of the worst potential outcomes of following what you love could ever be more painful than the empty life lived by the quitter, the one who gave up and spent the rest of their life convincing themselves they had to.
Okay, I’ll be honest. This post is just much about talking to myself as it is about sharing something inspirational. I’m about to go to graduate school to focus more on my own writing. It’s something I’ve known for certain I would do for several months, and something that I’ve been thinking about for several years, but now, two days from packing up my car and driving halfway across the country, it’s finally hit me: I’m actually doing this.
In many ways, it’s not logical. I had a job that I liked in the field I wanted to be in. It was totally fine, and had I not gotten into grad school, I probably would have kept at it and been content. But you don’t dream of doing something that is just “fine.” You don’t dream of something that just makes you “content.” You dream of doing something special. You dream of doing something altogether your own. And for better or for worse, a lot of the time you dream of something impractical.
Committing to doing something impractical feels weird. Right now, I’m thinking about how I won’t have as much money coming in, and not just while in school, but after probably too. I’m taking an index of the things I like that cost money – coffee, going out for drinks, meals, music, books, etc. – and realizing that I won’t be able to enjoy them as freely as before. But that’s okay, because as Mr. WK implies, a nice espresso drink or a good sandwich can’t possibly make up for the dissatisfaction I’d feel knowing that I’m not doing what I really want to be doing in life.
Still, the practical path’s undertow is strong. It pulls us at all times. It’s pulling me now, and it also pulled me when I got my first job out of college. I felt unhappy with where I was, and I started to think about what else I could do. I thought about teaching, about working in residential life at a college, things I had enjoyed when I did them during school or in the summer. But neither was my true passion. So, I kept at it. I worked my day job and when I got home, I wrote. I built up a little list of publications that I managed to parlay into a job as a copywriter.
And honestly, I thought that was my dream for a while. I thought making a living by writing in any way would be enough to sustain me while I worked on my own stuff on the side. But it wasn’t, so I’m going a step further. And that’s another important thing to know about dreams: they change. You realize things about yourself, you realize things about the world, and your focus shifts. Because of this, it’s important to check in with yourself at every turn. You need to know the difference between finding a new set of interests and settling for something because you’re scared of being impractical.
But look, I can go on and on and on and on about this, but I won’t (not more than I already have, at least). Just read Andrew WK’s post and get inspired to get what you want.