When I grow up...
When I grow up, I want to be like Elon, or MLK, or Tupac, or maybe like Barack.
While hustling, you’re either building something for yourself, for someone else, for something greater than your selfish needs or escaping the realities that you’ll need to face eventually in this lifetime or the next. Still, one thing you’ll have a hard time getting away from, is who you are. In the process of making a name for yourself, you can easily lose track of what you truly want to do with the time allowed on this planet. A.K.A your master plan.
Step 1 – Comparing
Style: Ladies & Gents, what happens when you spot someone rocking nice shoes, a stylish coat or a fresh haircut? Usually, your desire of getting something similar or better kicks in. No? It doesn’t? Not even a little bit? Alright, what about when you’re going through a GQ or Cosmo magazine, you don’t feel a little bit inspired? A part of you may think “if I dress, act, walk or talk like this, I may be able to inspire people as well”, which is not far from the truth. Although, if you dig deeper, right inside your fantasies and accept yourself fully, confidence will rise and you may be able to be a trendsetter instead of a trend follower.
Material: Your buddy just got a Tesla P100D. Are you happy or are you envious? For anyone feeling the latter, I have a question: Why are you hurting yourself and feeling what you’re feeling? Remember that these “appearances of success” shouldn’t define who you are. Will you think differently of me if I use public transportation instead of driving a Mercedes? I certainly hope not considering that the frame may change but the picture will stay the same. I’ll have the same soul wanting to live the same dreams regardless of what fireworks surrounds me. Accumulation of wealth is fine but if its your main driver, you will not succeed. A moral cause will last forever, not a sports car.
Work: You’ve been working on a personal project, putting your heart and soul into it until suddenly, you hear about someone else getting recognition or funding for a similar project. Damn, what are you feeling at this moment? Envy? Jealousy? Frustration? All the above? Are you just mad at yourself for not reaching your pinnacles earlier? Don’t sweat it. Your best bet is to encourage this person and send them your blessings. You know how hard this business is so keep working, tweak your plan, re-adjust and overcome. You just got an external validation that your dream is possible. You should even put your bruised ego aside, reach out and consider a partnership. Success attracts success and positivity attracts positivity. If a partnership is not possible, use the additional fuel to better your plan and pull the trigger.
Role Models: Depending on the environment you grew up in, human beings have this tendency to compare to one another. Generally, it’s to put things in perspective and set goals for yourself; goals that needs to be accomplished inside a certain time-period. How old was Barack when he became POTUS? How did Justin Trudeau got all the way up there? How did Tupac only lived 25 years, got assassinated in 96 and new albums are still coming out today? How did MLK died at 39 and accomplished all that? How in the world Otis Redding wrote all these songs and left us at 26? The first time I listened to him, I thought he was at least 60. Anyways, I remember 4 years ago, I was studying Elon Musk’s achievements and trying to figure out his patterns to be as productive for our race as he is. Well, 4 years later, here’s my conclusion:
Step 2 – Acknowledging
The quest of finding your true identity is a constant battle: a push and pull between different opinions, scars from various life experiences and vivid dreams. A battle between what parents planted in your brain from the moment you could walk to what you’ve learned in your personal experiences. A fight between your sub-conscious and pre-existing conditions that you can barely control. I won’t even start talking about religion or what the school system does to our personal identity because that's neither here nor there: its just everywhere.
Being accepted is not always easy. Ask the so called “nerds” getting bullied by these “jocks” in high-school or the big-boned female teenager getting sprayed with advertisement on what a “hot girl” should look like. Ask the kid that grew up on a couch at his grand-parents’ place what its like to have no room and witness all his classmates have one. Ask the smallest of the bunch what he feels like when he’s always the last one getting picked in gym class. Our society keeps putting standards to stay cool and fit inside the mold but you must understand this: you don’t need to fit in and there is no mold. You still have your part to play. That's the focus here.
We’re always comparing and comparing. When I grow up, I want to be like this guy, or that guy, or maybe a mixture of this guy, that guy and that other guy. I see people playing the “what celebrity do I look like” or “which celebrity I would I be if I wouldn’t be here playing this time-wasting game”. C'mon now.
Let me tell you something, you’re not that guy like I’m not Elon. You’re not this guy like I’m not Tupac. No need to feel bad about it. That’s one thing I realized about myself: it’s during my lonely and darkest moments that I peek inside my soul and face my fears.
That's right, i sit down and I try to solve my own riddles, chat with my own demons. In other words, when I face my fears, I face myself and slowly, I’m learning to love and embrace who I am. Whoever that is with the good, the bad and the ugly. My standards are my own: a weird mix of extraordinary things I’ve witnessed, values I respect, vibes that makes me feel good and objectives that moves me forward.
When I grow up, I just want to be Lennie Moreno.