You have to love the act of dream chasing as much as the outcome, or you’ll be miserable.
How do I know? Because I’ve personally tried it, and I’ve seen hundreds of other people try it too.
Since the third grade, I knew I wanted to be an author. A teacher named Mrs. Harris laminated a book of my poetry, and I felt published. In that moment, I knew I wanted to publish a real book someday.
I started to fantasize about that moment the closer I got to turning it into a reality. I got a book deal based on my blog and started to march toward actually publishing a book. In my head, I began to believe that when the book was really published, that when I saw it sitting on a shelf in a bookstore, my whole life would change. On the day it released, the crust of the earth would shake with the momentum of the moment and thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people’s lives would be radically changed instanteously.
Do you know what happened on the day the book released?
On the morning of the release, I woke up and was the same exact person as I was the day before. I wasn’t taller or smarter. I had the same fears and worries, hopes and dreams.
I went to work at my day job in an IT department. I sat in traffic on the drive home. I ate dinner. I went to bed.
And I felt pretty empty about that. I had focused on the wrong thing. In my head, I thought the execution, the publication of the book, was what mattered most. I made that day, that moment, that action, that event, my true north. I thought that was what would change me. I thought the book being published was my Awesome. And then I got there and realized it wasn’t.
It was like seeing behind the curtain and realizing the great Oz was just an old man pulling some levels. And the greatest sadness is that when you do that, you miss the real joy, the joy of living out your Awesome.
If you’re going to spend 12 months writing a book, you can’t be miserable for 12 months with the hope that you’ll find your joy on the day the book releases. If you’re going to spend 5 years building a business, you can’t be miserable for 5 years with the thought that you’ll find joy on the day you sell the business.
One day of temporary happiness is not worth months, or even years, of misery. You’ve got to love the act of what you’re doing. And if you do, if you find a way to be Awesome, everything else becomes scenery.