‘Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.’ -Thomas Edison
I think most of us have a small, seemingly impossible dream or desire that could turn into an amazing opportunity. It could be an opportunity to make money, but more likely, it is an opportunity for happiness and fulfillment. Thomas Edison recognized that no amazing thing happens without a large amount of hard work and dedication. Human beings are lazy, and we like to complain. Perhaps it would be a valuable lesson if we could get over our fear of having less and working more – it may even lead to a more fulfilling life.
I have been experiencing this personally this summer. Right after graduation, I found myself enjoying the life of no work, all play. Part of this had to do with a sudden feeling that if I had a Master’s degree, I should not have to stoop to get a lowly summer job, especially not in a restaurant or café – ewww. As you know from my previous post, I decided to busk instead of get a job. Initially, I was terrified of the act of busking – it was something new that I had never done before. How would I know my efforts would be appreciated?
However, only 30 seconds after I opened my suitcase on the concrete floor of the subway station and hit play on my ghetto blaster, I was overcome by a feeling of belonging – singing is exactly what I was meant to do. My first time baring my soul to my public earned me a dollar a minute… more than I would ever make working in a café. My fears subsided – and now, the hard work begins. I am not required by anyone to go down into a metro station and sing, and once I am down there, I am not obligated to stay for more than 5 minutes. What I need now is discipline and determination – the attitude of a hard worker. That is the hard part.
Since graduation, I have gained so much clarity about what it really means to live a life. I can choose what I do in life – I do not have to be restricted by my degree, or my previous plans, or even money. All it takes is a teaspoon of courage, and a willingness to live with a little less for awhile, and I believe anyone can find a way to do in life what makes them feel most alive.