This year has been the most life-affirming, eye-widening, straight up bonkers year of all the twenty-four I’ve spent on this planet. Its been lesson after lesson. Non stop learning. This is all the result of thinking ‘Enough is enough’ in the past and throwing the towel in early, when I should’ve kept going. I left my job at the end of February without having something else to enter. A wild risk by any stretch of the imagination. But even wilder when I tell you I live in a rented property in Zone 1. Which, for those who don’t know London, makes what I did like walking into a room of alligators blindfolded with massive Flinstones-sized steaks attached to my body. I thought I’d be working again within weeks. Weeks passed, still nothing. Alright cool, maybe a month then. Might take up Kendo or some shit? A month went by, still nothing. Two months deep and the interviews started rolling in, the belief returned. ”I’ll be back in the game soon enough” I said to the mirror whilst grooming the beastly beard I had grown in the interim, smirking. Three months passed. More interviews, no offers. Then a bit more… And here we are. Time away from full-time work prompts great levels of reflection (and growth). I started asking myself ‘how?’ ‘why?’ and the conclusion I came to is that I just hadn’t developed my skill set enough to just quit a job and expect to cosily fall back into another. Only major CEO’s and the like can make such moves. In the past, I’d been too happy with the slightly above average effort I would put in. Too quick to praise myself. I’ve learnt how competitive the world really is. There’s somebody out there working harder, faster, smarter and you better believe they don’t think enough is enough. So why the fuck do you? That the droplet of effort you’ve put in is enough to bring about a monsoon? Your effort is a mere raindrop in a waterfall. If you’re anything like I am was. I’ve concluded it’s a mindset that stems from the troublesome idea of ‘having potential’. Which is code for being somebody with ability but a shit work ethic. See, those with potential, usually think they’ve blown up or have set the world alight with any little that they do.
Which is because that little bit done is more than the usual ‘nothing’ that comes to define these types of people. It’s a form of entitlement. Feeling as if you’re owed success because you have potential is stupid and will only set you up for disappointment. ‘Potential’ is an intangible, abstract idea that doesn’t exist until it’s actualised. Do not confuse potential with talent. Talent is potential once it’s actualised. Once potential meets hard work, it gives birth to a talent. The birds and the bees and all that shit. Having potential is the easy bit. But turning that potential into something tangible, something real is the hard part. That is the true test. I mean, everybody is born with great potential. But not everybody is willing to do what is necessary to see it turn from two-dimensional to three-dimensional. You can’t expect all the good things in life without putting in the hard work. It’s unrealistic, and to be honest, you don’t even want that. There would be no sense of accomplishment, no relief that the vision which has occupied your mind for so long actually looks the way you thought it would. Take a look at what you’ve achieved so far. Have a think about where you are and where want to be. Create #goals for yourself. Assess your strengths and weaknesses. And don’t sit there thinking ‘I have no weaknesses’. You aren’t Zlatan mate. Be honest with yourself and realistic in your aims. Don’t be overawed by them. Be inspired to reach them and go further than you ever thought you could. Work hard and be committed. I know I sound like I’ve been there and done it. But I’m just like you, figuring it all out. I’m finally getting there though, because I know how. It’s so simple. Never sit back and think enough is enough. Because it never is. Unless ‘enough’ is all you really want to be.
And we both know it isn’t.