The Way: Find It or Make It

Sir Philip Sidney, one time Member of Parliament during the reign of HM Elizabeth I, once said “either I will find a way, or I will make one.” Despite his lengthy career of political missteps (including his poorly received letter to the Queen about her marriage), he coined this phrase of determination to achieve what he set out to. Had he not died of injuries sustained during the Battle of Zutphen (or to be more accurate, the gangrene he contracted due to such injuries), he likely would have gone on to do great things.

We all have the capability to do more than we believe we can. It’s true, some of us face natural limitations; you are limited by your IQ, which is demonstrably indicative of your potential for success, and in some ways, you are limited by your geography and resources. That said, if you are willing to put in the time, effort, and work necessary, you can achieve almost anything.

Warning: some of what I’m about to say is going to sound political, and if you read closely, it’s largely politically neutral.

There seems to be a culture, especially in my generation (I’m a 1980’s Millennial) due to the situation we graduated into, to take a victim mentality. To be fair, it largely isn’t our fault as a generation: we either graduated high school or college into the deepest recession since the Great Depression, then were largely blamed for a number of social problems before we even got our feet underneath us. Participation trophies, a softer manner that was still being developed to handle children as not to traumatize them through childhood (Gen Z, you are reaping the benefits of us being lab rats), and being constantly condescended to all have coalesced into this situation.

It’s easy for us to accept the situation we’re in as being institutionally problematic, or something out of our control. Some things are; many are not. If you want to get a better job, there are ways to get one. It’s going to take risk, accepting challenge, and maybe you need to take a different job to get there. You might have to relocate several times. You’ll face setbacks, pain, injury, but you keep going. Get up again tomorrow and face the challenge.

Jeffrey Gitomer, possibly the best motivational salesman I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, once said “Success doesn’t come in a day; it comes day by day.” That means you set a goal for yourself, each day, make it achievable, but have it move you in the direction of your final goal; whether it’s getting a different job, or a better one, or making fine artwork, or starting a YouTube Channel.

Christopher Odd, the first YouTuber I subscribed to and one of the two biggest inspirations to me starting my own channel, started in 2012. In 2018, he quit his job and started creating content full time. He worked six years to accomplish his goal; developed his skills by making mistakes. Then he learned from them and adjusted what he was doing to make his next attempt better. Watch some of his older videos, then watch his newer ones. They’re all good (Odd has talent as well as skill), but you’ll notice a significant difference not only in style, but in confidence as well. In fact, you can find that first video here:

So no matter what, continue striving for whatever goal you set for yourself. You may fail. You may land on your face. What matters is you continue to blaze that trail because if you fail enough, and are willing to adjust your method and try new ways to get there, you will eventually succeed.

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