At last glance, my most recent blog post is dated January 1st. That’s nearly four months ago, and is indicative of a poor testament in resolving to update this website as frequently as possible.
That latter thought would be laughable, if my waning motivation to do, well, anything, wasn’t so alarming; it serves as a nagging reminder of the decay of my youth. You’ll have to pardon my unrelenting self-pity; I’m in a rather somber mood.
On Saturday, I attended a day-long conference at the Columbia Journalism School. The conference, dubbed “Conversations in Journalism,” featured a series of panels in which accomplished female journalists spoke of their experiences in the profession. Some talked about the changing industry, and others discussed the dangers they’d faced upon embarking on dangerous journeys for a scoop. One woman had traveled as far as Mexico without speaking a lick of Spanish, another, to the precarious forefront of Syria.
I came alone. My would-be comrade, who also happens to be a journalist, had forsaken me, but I didn’t mind because she was covering a story. That scenario lent to a piece of advice I had received from one of the many distinguished panelists from that day: to achieve success, one must be prepared to take L’s (excuse the poor attempt to portray that I’m still hip and down with the lingo).
What does it mean? No social life, no succumbing to FOMO (an ever-present feeling that is very 2016 and should go down in the DSM V), no distractions: only motivation. Their words, heavy with the weight of missed parties and wistful for long-gone memories, carried with me. I paid rapt attention and hung on to every word.
I left the room brimming with confidence, which was only fueled after wandering around the Ivy campus, though I admit feeling slightly self-conscious and out of place.
This newfound determination went on for a few days. I’ve been physically active and even got to work earlier than normal. I checked off more tasks from my to-do list than I had anticipated completing on a groggy Monday, and left work feeling accomplished.
The trick is, how does one maintain this determination?
I, among many others I am sure, can attest to the fact that succumbing to the terrors of procrastination as well as pure laziness is the downfall us all. How many times have you heard a person regale stories of wasted potential? The reason it is wasted rather than founded is the X factor here, the missing link.
Determination, destination, deliberation. Okay, I might have stolen that from Harry Potter, but its all the same anyway. Perhaps by setting realistic goals that you can achieve step by step, you will find your world turned upside down, rather than expecting a complete 180 overnight.
At 23 years old, I have failed to accomplish many goals I had hoped to achieve. On paper, I think I’m doing quite well: I have a stable career, even able to balance a second job, moved out into an apartment with my best friend, paying off my bills steadily. Things seem to be working out in life.
However, the mediocrity of it all is what keeps me up at night. Why should I settle to lead an average life? I recall reading somewhere, likely on a Reddit thread at 2 in the morning, that most people end up leading mediocre lives–complete with the 9-5 job, 2.5 kids and a picket fence, and that’s okay.
And I’m not knocking on anyones aspirations, because that is ok. But it’s not for me, because I want more.
I guess that leaves the question: how hard am I willing to work for it?