25 Sep Read this before you start your dance career. [repost]
The struggles we need to go through to reach our dreams…
Rotterdam, June 2015, I’m having diner with a friend and suddenly engage in a pretty intense conversation. She’s an artist, finishing her last year at school. One of my (annoying) natural reflexes is to ask what a person’s dream is. I guess I want to encourage everyone to follow them.. plus it gives me glimpse in somebody’s mind. My assumption was that every artists had these big dreams.. goals they want to achieve. Not her. All she wanted to do is be able to pay her rent and survive. No exibition, no working for a well known person/company, not starting her own company. None of these things matter at this moment in time. That brought me to the realization of where I stood in life and made me think about the past.
Get a job!
When I got out of school I immediately took a job (I’m ashamed to say) at Pizza Hut. That was a huge mistake and I ended up resigning after one week. In Brussels, speaking multiple languages is a must and I was lucky. French, Dutch and English.. Booyaaah. I landed the very prestigious tittle of sales person in a pretty shitty shoe store. So much for fame and class. But ,like for my friend, the goal wasn’t to reach a certain dream. Paying what I had to was enough. I did choose a specific type of job tho. Two criteria were important to me. It needed to be easy enough to not use up my brain power and give me the opportunity to keep dancing (read teaching classes). I switched from job to job multiple times: nike store, fitness clubs, …
Focus on the outcome!
It was only years later that I discovered that having a goal (dream) in life is essential. It helps you focus and enjoy life much more. Now with the experience I have gained so far (and I am still learning) a few things seem important to me.
Define what your goal is. Basically it is just this. You need to find something you are passionate (or very interested in) and good at. Both criteria are equally important. What would you be happy to get up to in the morning. Just close your eyes and imagine your older self waking up and having that feeling of fulfillment. It helps.
Come up with a bullet proof plan. Brainstorm everything you need to do to get to your dreams. Nothing is too big or off limit. This is the part were people downscale their real objectives to make them more ‘obtainable’.. Well DON’T… the goal is not to have an easy life but to have a happy one. Don’t settle for less than what truly fills you with joy.
Live and learn. Don’t forget . The journey is the reward. Enjoy every moment of it. Also the struggles. They are there to teach us something about ourselves and the world. Taking risks is often the best education you can get. Fail if needed.. It all adds up to success. I am not suggesting you should live in pain all the time. Get time off to boost your energy levels up. Learn to work more effectively so you can have time for your friends and family.
In the end
All of this to tell you that every successful person had to do some unattractive things to reach the necessary milestones in their career. Bartending, working at the supermarket are not the jobs artists dream off. That’s a fact. But if it helps you to move forward I think you should do it. Get your hands dirty once and a while. It will toughen you up.