The guest gave an example of playing a guitar. If you pick up a guitar and become good at it, that does not mean you are the next musical sensation, you might just love playing guitars.
You could possibly make the best cupcakes on a whim, but that does not mean you should start bakery business tomorrow. You are great at many things, that does not mean you should do all of them.
This is made possible by how powerful your mind is. I dare you to set your mind on one thing you want. If you focus all your energy, it can only get away from you for too long. Remember the universe; the human laws are meant to ensure balance. They are all working for your good.
I am great at many things, we all are. It took the #decade challenge in 2020 for me to reflect on a couple of them. Take away every negative thing that social media has amplified and you have a source of enrichment.
The #decade challenge had us give glory details of the past decade in the hope of inspiring someone else across the world. It is too late to think about privacy and what Amazon, Facebook and Google are doing with our information, so why stop cataloging our lives now?
My inspiration for the decade was by renowned director Ava DuVernay who details what paced success looks like with a touch of unquestionable great talent.
When I look back at my 10 years, I see a rambunctious young teen racing too fast for her own good and facing a serious case of identity crisis.
At 17 years old she walks into the Phoenix Players Theatre and tries to convince a respectable director that she’s the piece that is missing in his directorial career. She’s the talent he has been waiting for. She fails miserably but that begins a beautiful journey of dancing through different media platforms. She misses a few steps and falls face flat but still manage to make it through the decade.
Will Smith has said in interviews that a lot of his motivation comes from the fear of losing everything he has achieved so far. Kevin Hart says the same thing in his latest Netflix Docuseries. I totally understand where that fear stems from. If you grew up in a world where everybody lived off the same script, it is no surprise that any level of success would trigger intense impostor syndrome.
Where I grew up, I sheltered an inconvenience I embraced out of fear. Trauma was littered everywhere, so when I could get away, I hibernated. Being a loner also makes you the most trusted person in the hood. I was privy to so much and that kept me away from the streets, quite literally.
To date, only a handful of us made it out. There is a complacency that comes with living in the hood. The sense of community, knowing how life is going to roll out and having just enough exposure to be cool, but a strings budget to have sporadic fun.
With that chip on her shoulders it was easy to talk herself into being great at anything. She was a greenhorn actor so she worked on becoming the best production assistant. Three years later of balancing school and a part time job at Phoenix Players Theatre, a cash crunch bit and her broke antennae went up.
The next opportunity was an internship at a radio station, then a host, back to production assistant, an art director assistant, TV production and literally everything that happens on a TV set she can do.
The year 2016 kicked in and the economy packed her bags in a huff. Budget cuts led to job losses and she was not spared. An ad agency job saved the day but before she could redo her house interior décor, the company was shattered. One more try, okay a million little tries and she scored a radio job.
It has been as messy as that paragraph.
She loved all those jobs but she loved to survive too. Make it out of the hood. Pull her mother and cousins with her. Break these cycles and set up the next generation for success with a better chance at self-actualization.
Hard work is sold as the golden ticket. That has proven to not be entirely true owing to systemic classism and organized corruption. It will take a couple of posts to unpack the rot by the political class in this country.
Today, she focuses on what she can do to achieve greater success with available resources.
This part of the piece is credited to a friend who once called me in despair recently venting about how lost she felt. America moves too quickly it’s easy to disappear in the crowd. It was after a day of reflecting on the past decade that culminated in conversations with people who told her that her aspirations need to be adjusted. She did not pack her bags and leave.
She listens. Quietly but you can hear her process each word. When she speaks, I have a pen in hand because people say the best things on phone and I am trying to live with more intention.
I have had a decade of scattered opportunities and living flustered because I was working to not be broke, as opposed to gearing towards success. It’s hard to be consistent while crash dieting through opportunities.
Here is how we achieve consistency. Think with a pen in hand of everything you are good at and list them in the following categories: What I am good at and have previously monetized; skills that I am actively working on improving and things I am passionate about.
Tie this in with the milk, honey and wine concept. This I learned from one of my many former bosses.
Here’s my sample breakdown. What I am good at and have previously monetized (milk): writing, TV and radio hosting, production management and running my mother’s business.
Skills that I am actively working on improving (honey: new Media technologies, content production and teaching.
Things I am passionate about (wine): filmmaking, acting and working with charity organizations especially children.
I love tables because they make things so easy to understand. Milk is what you need for everyday living. Honey is what you are working on to add more value to your milk and wine is what needs more time because you can only allocate a limited amount of time. It all leads up to great success spread over time. We are not limited to the nine boxes. There will be unplanned opportunities that will come your way and you will be ready as a result of your relentless consistency.
With a list it is easy to focus and hence more consistent. I use the word hence a lot. Writing what you are good at gives you much needed affirmation. It feels good to know your strengths and kick impostor syndrome out and may be economy can move back in.
It is going to take more than a table to get you consistent. Hopefully this pushes you to the first step of taking your goals seriously.