Earlier this year, I wrote a blog about hustling towards my ultimate profession, aka becoming the next great bombastic writer. I was sure all I had to do was hustle hard and my goals would start materializing. Achieving my goals would be the validation I needed to know that yes indeed the universe acknowledged and rewarded my talent, creativity and tenacity. Sadly this was not the case and a sense of dejection began to creep in.
My friend and I recently spoke about the fact that in some way, shape or form we have been pursuing our goals since high school, as new university graduates, and especially now that we have transitioned to the ‘experienced professional’ threshold. Yet the more we continue to pursue our dreams, the more daunting it seems.
Here we are in our 29th year, and most of us are still worried about landing our dream jobs, while balancing the rest of life. Some of us still live at home, and if we don’t, we’re either sharing with roommates, or sacrificing the oftentimes necessity of a car and the luxury of a social life to afford our place. Many have careers that ‘pays the bills,’ while we pursue our real interests on the side on a volunteer’s salary. The rest have careers in their fields with low wages or alternatively; they need additional schooling or decades of experience to propel them to their ideal position.
After speaking to my friend I began to wonder if maybe we were asking for too much. Maybe we were spoiled millennials who expected to achieve success overnight-when in fact success takes time. Not Hollywood time, which meant graduating at 22 and landing a great John Grisham six figure salary; but the time it takes to truly make a mark and claim success, which oftentimes does not occur in our twenties.
Recently I was reminded of this while waiting in line at a local KFC. I glanced up at a black and white photo of Colonel Sanders, with a caption underneath which read; “Colonel Sanders at one of his first promotional shoots-Age 70.” Age 70! I had no idea that a) the Colonel looked that great at 70 and b) he was still promoting his business nonetheless.
Of course I had to run a quick background check, on Colonel Sanders and was surprised to learn not only did he open his first restaurant at the age of 40, at age 65 he started the KFC franchise after his first restaurant business failed. Before starting his first restaurant he worked as a farm hand, soldier, assistant blacksmith and lawyer just to name a few of his many professions. This was just what I needed.
I realized that while I may not be where I want to be today, the only way to get there was to continue to push myself in whatever way I could. After all, no one knows when they will make their mark on the world; whether it will be 21 (Mark Zuckerberg), or 41 (Maya Angelou).
Only time will allow us to realize our full potentials. For some it will happen sooner rather than later. For the rest of us in the latter category…our time will come.