It Doesn’t Happen Overnight

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Overnight Celebrity

The surest thing to happen overnight are murders, high speed chases, drinking and disorderly conduct or hitting the lottery. But, there’s an even higher chance you’ll get trashed before even hitting the big jackpot.

Big Confession

I have a huge confession to make and I’m want to be bold enough and honest enough to share it both here and now.

I quit if something I’m trying doesn’t happen overnight. If I don’t see results in under 24-48 hours, I tend to lose my interest, confidence and drive. Everything in me for it fades away slowly into a failures fog.

Interestingly enough, when it happens with regards to writing, ministry or cartoons, I always come back to it even when it doesn’t look good.

The Realization

Yesterday, it hit me! I was unrealistic with my thinking…that I would become something overnight.

I was expecting success to occur overnight!

My mindset was wrong!

What’s Real Success

I began to think about the many activities, hobbies and professional endeavors that took MORE than an “overnight” to become just “good” at.

Preaching took years, from 2005 to now just to be “good” and it could still be better.

Drawing took years, from 2006 to now just to be “okay” and it could STILL stand to be a lot better.

Writing took years from 2005 to now just to be “good,” and you get the picture.

I don’t consider myself to really be “successful,” but more learned and learning. I am a student of my craft and I’m fine with that. I’m also fine with being a student even if I’m ever an expert!

The Worth of Overnight Success

And I would think of it all this way…if your success was accomplished overnight, is it really worth anything?

Think about!?

When you compare someones years of blood, sweat and tears to someone else’s overnight accomplishment, does it really measure up? Absolutely not!

CJ Small, life coach, once told me that “the person who seems like the overnight success is the one whose been working at it for years.”

What Motivates You

This is something else that is problematic with me.

Motivation has to be something solid, real and foundational. If it is not, you will consider quitting. Your conviction has to be interconnected with your motivation.

 

“The Dumbest Idea Ever”

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Friday Night Reading

Tonight, I just finished reading a book called “The Dumbest Idea Ever,” a graphic novel by Jimmy Gownley. The book is a comic-book style story telling of Mr. Gownley’s life of a boy who grew into his life as a young cartoonist and the deep and impactful life lessons he learned.

This has to be one of the most inspiring graphic novels with a powerful message that I have ever read in a while.

Anyone who is called into art, illustration and cartooning and any creative work needs to get their hands on this book! Jimmy’s life as a kid resonated with my now 29 year old experience…starting off and not too sure if things will go the way I hope. And yet, there’s a deep desire and yearning to draw and to write and I don’t think I’ll be able to stop even if I wanted too.

Jimmy went through a period of deep depression and unhappiness and he went through a period of ego-driven silliness But, Jimmy came out of that like so many of us and made things right. When he leaves his little town he sees the world is much larger than what he realizes when it comes to art and talent and considers what he must do as a cartoonist.

Say Something Important

One of the take-away’s I got from the book was the moment that took place between Jimmy and his friend. He encouraged Jimmy to “say something important” in his comics.

I think this can be said for all of us and in anything we do, especially, for writers and creatives and more!

In anything we do I think we should ask the question, “what are we trying to communicate?” Are we creating what we are creating so we can tell people that “we love them” or are we trying to show someone that even though life sucks for a minute “it’s going to be okay?”

I think we should ask that question for every post we make on Facebook or for every sentence we prepare to write in the midst of our crafting of a letter, a story or a blog post.

Jimmy Gownley’s Similar Start To My Start

My mom told me that I should write about my life and my experiences…that I should blog. I too thought that was the “dumbest idea ever” deep down. No offense to my Mom of course. But, I genuinely thought to myself, why I on earth would the world want to hear about a 20-something-year old guy whose got a deep interest for storytelling, cartoons and random stuff.

Who would care!?

A few years later, I end up writing books and I rock this blog…and you, the readers, I’m humbled that you entrust your time to me and provide the mouse clicks to my blog articles.

It genuinely helps keep me going!

I felt the same way about cartoons until a few cartoonists, awesome ones, encouraged me to keep going. I almost gave up but I’m so glad that I didn’t. I got a lot more to go and much more to learn but I’m grateful for the support.

 

Show Your Work (Even To Yourself)

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Daily, I’m getting over the idea that my work is “not good enough” or not “cool” enough!

For about a week or two I have been enjoying a picture of my comic strip’s main character, Ken, hanging out on my iPhone wallpaper!

I’m proud of this drawing and I’m often reminded of how far I’ve come in my art and illustrations!

What is it that you’re hiding that you’re working on right now? Anything at all!?

Are You A Dreamer or Unrealistic

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Are you a dreamer? Or, are you unrealistic?

I suppose it is easy to determine the two, right? The truth is, it’s hard depending on where your mind and heart is.

You can dream of being an incredible creative and writer all day long but the reality of a day job and other responsibilities hit you in the face day after day!

So, what do you do? Do you wallow in self-pity and give up? I don’t think so! I think that will only make matters much, MUCH worse.

I’m learning that in order for my day-job to later transition into a dream-job…writing and creative work like cartoons and blogging…I have to take realistic steps and at the same time I have to have a reasonable dream.

I’m not dreaming these days of being a nuclear scientist like I did when I was age 8…but I can still nurture the interest I have in the subject in other ways. I’m not going to dream of being a Football player because it’s neither my calling…and frankly…I’m not in shape for it. Plus, I could care less for the sport (or most sports outside of Hockey, Skateboarding and Baseball anyway).

And yeah, I did have a dream of being a TV meteorologist, but the more I got into it and the longer I volunteered in the weather center, the older the experience got. Plus, my math stinks and I wasn’t about to go through that especially since I narrowly escaped the clutches of mathematical nonsense in high school. But, my dreams have simply changed mediums and the passion is transferred into my latest book project(s).

Unrealistic, to me, is to have a dream with no plan, no idea and no depth of how serious and how much work it will take. Unrealistic, to me, is the idea that your name will be in lights and that it will only take one step to make you world renowned. It’s like being the guy who writes that one book and expects to be a New York Times Bestseller by the end of the month. Chances are, it’s not going to happen…and you know what…that’s okay! It doesn’t have to!

Unrealistic views and expectations tend to set us up for failure. It makes us ask of ourselves what we can’t possibly expect or hope to achieve. That doesn’t mean we can’t do awesome and incredible things in our fields or professions…it just means that we have to be reasonable here about how much, how far, how deep and how long we can go.

To dream and be realistic means getting up at 5AM in the morning to do a little blogging or writing and then leaving for work not but an hour or two later. To dream and be realistic means going to school or getting more education even after sitting in a mind-numbing cubicle somewhere. To dream and be realistic means staying up a little later than usual just so you can get that extra comic strip done, that extra chapter written or that blog post posted!

Realistically, it is our “reasonable” service!