Don't you just hate it when people say, "You know, I'm saying this to myself as much as you," because something about it sounds weird and fake and falsely candid/humble/something. I don't know what it is exactly. It just sounds DUMB. I know, really insightful thoughts there, but anyway ...
I'm saying this to myself as much as you.
If you're anything like me, you're a dreamer. Thing about being a dreamer, as you probably know, is that you dream a lot, and then you get all caught up in your dreams, and then you sort of freak out because how the heck are you supposed to make any of those things happen? And it gets paralyzing, especially when you start thinking about (a) dreams you've dreamt before that never happened; and (b) how you're never going to do anything right because all you're doing right now is sitting on your laptop drinking lukewarm coffee and BLOGGING.
You have those days, right? You're a little down and you're definitely stressed out, to the point where you just sort of give up on work around lunch even though you'd spent from 10 a.m. until about 12 noon driving around town, first to get a tire fixed then to get printer ink and pick up some crap for grad school. Which means you'd only really worked from like 9 to 10 a.m., and you maybe spent the first half-hour of that drinking coffee and reading blogs and clicking some of those really weird Yahoo! front page articles and Googling Illuminati conspiracy theories.
No? Yeah. Me neither. But I am in the middle of working on a big story for ESPN The Magazine that in some ways has been in the works for two years (and in the more immediate past, about two weeks), and I hit a wall yesterday. On top of that I'm working on some other pitches, and some other story ideas, and there's a novel I've been trying to write for like five years and so when I'm not productive I feel like a failure, because there's SO MUCH TO DO and so ... yeah.
Thing is, I'm just getting way ahead of myself. We all do that. Especially us young ones. In our twenties we finally see all the world has to offer and we finally realize hey, we can actually do whatever we want because we're GROWN-UPS NOW! and so we write out this list of dreams and goals and plans.
And then we want it to happen like, yesterday, so we can skip all the boring stuff and just get around to basking in the glory of all we've achieved.
Which is when you need someone to tell you what I'M JUST TELLING MYSELF right now, which is: Chill.
Focus on what you have now.
Get great at that, and then worry about the other stuff.
There is so friggin' much I want to do, career-wise and life-experience wise.
It's way too easy to get caught up in all that. But first, we have to take the opportunities immediately at hand, and sit down and put in the work and get as good as we possibly can at those, first.
Dreams are wonderful. Dreams push us to places we never thought we'd be. But they can only do that if we master our immediate reality first. Otherwise we get stuck.
So dream on. Make big goals and shoot for the stars and all that crap.
And when you get stressed out because they all seem so far away and so far-fetched and you feel like a tool for even thinking you're capable of any of them ... chilllllll. And then put in the work.
Believe that as long as you work as hard and as smart as you possibly can—emphasis on both there, especially the second one—you're going to be okay.
And if you're going to blog about all your crap, don't spend too much time talking about yourself. It's just annoying.