At the very beginning of this year, I met a friend's parents, and they asked me what I was doing, and what were my goals and dreams. I told them that I loved writing, but I hadn't written anything in months.
"You're not suffering enough." My friend's father said. And those words stuck with me. I agreed at the moment, but I still didn't quite understand what he meant. Now I do.
I just watched the Doctor Who episode that features the famous artist Vincent Van Gogh, and the struggles he went through in his life. To be honest, I don't know much about Van Gogh, except that I've loved Starry Night since I first saw it, and my Dad and I both agree that it's one of our favorite works of art. But I had no idea what kind of life he lived, or what obstacles he went through to become the famous artist we all know today. Whenever I heard about someone who was sucessful, especially when I was a child, I assumed that they went through life creating art, writing stories and sharing works that were so amazing they were never rejected. But once I grew older, about sixteen, I no longer believed that was true. I learned about the struggles, and pain that many great novelists, artists and historical figures faced, but I had no idea they used their struggles to achieve great things.
I'm beginning to learn that our struggles, and our pain can become tools to create incredible things in our lives. Many successful people have dealt with the doubters, the critics and of course their own depression and self doubt. But, as my Dad told me, the difference between successful people and unsuccesful people is that they never gave up. No matter what, they pushed on. They wrote, painted, sung, acted, filmed and just lived following their passion and dream. They lived day to day, taking small steps to achieve greatness, and they believed that one day they would make a difference.
But that kind of mentality is not easy, and even the most famous and inspiring people have had their doubts, their slumps and their failures.
Being human is a crazy and complicated experience. One moment you're on top of the world, everything's great, then all of sudden a storm rolls in, or you slip and fall down the mountain, only to land right where you started.
When this happens, there are two ways to respond to it. You can complain, and use those events as excuses to stop moving, or you can observe the situation, and use your current situation to your advantage. Is there a branch? Do you see a better way to climb that mountain?
The truth about life is that no one really knows what they're doing. Sure they have a basic idea, but everything changes and life doesn't really have a fair system. Knowing that fact can be really scary, but it can also be comforting. Because if you're stuck currently in a situation you don't want or need, it will change.
So if you have a dream, if you have a wish, never give up! You never know how much of a difference you could make if you don't keep going, keep believing and just push through that wall or break down that boulder! This is the challenge of living life, but it's also the beauty of it. All those moments that made you happy. All the things that inspired you and motivated you to share your own gift with the world. These things matter, and they can guide you to become succesful.
You never know what path you're on, but you have a basic idea of where you want to be. That idea drives you to eventually arrive at your destination and look back with pride.
I have been suffering a lot lately, on many levels, and I have let those obstacles drag me down. But if I look at them as challenges. If I stare uncertainity in the face, who knows what I could accomplish!
It's so simple, and yet so difficult. Never give up! Keep moving forward!
"No successful person has ever known how his or her dream would happen. They simply believed that it would happen, and they did not give up until it had." - Rhonda Byrne