Only you can fully understand you.
There is simultaneous melancholy and joy in this statement.
Melancholy because you will never be entirely understood. No one will know all parts of you. Even if you try to expose someone to the various facets of your life, only you will fully experience the life you live. On that vein, expecting someone else to fully understand you is ludicrous.
But there is also great joy in knowing that you are your own. Joy in the sense that you have complete independence. You are the owner, the driver, and the purveyor of your own happiness. Hold this with a sense of pride.
Art is not meant to be filtered, unless you’re editing.
However, many people don’t get that far.
Their inner critic hinders their creativity so they don’t create at all.
When I create, I think of a quote by Ernest Hemingway.
Write drunk. Edit sober.
Tapping into your creativity is you allowing yourself to be a child again, allow yourself to play and throw colors on the canvas. Children often don’t have a filter. They are simply free to be.
Allow yourself to be that child. Worry about filtering when it’s time to clean and polish.
Ask questions. Listen. Learn. Analyze. Connect. Then ask more questions.
Do so with careful thought and humility. Know that you don’t know everything.
It’s even okay to not know what you don’t know. Just ask, absorb, and analyze until things make sense. If you ask considerately, people will be thrilled to share their knowledge.
The famous Winston Churchill once said,
Those who fail to plan plan to fail.
I take this quote to heart. When I know I have a responsibility to fill, I plan and prepare ahead of time. When I am building a running habit, I pack my workout gear the night before. The night before my first day of work, I prepared my bag with important documents and made sure I had an idea of where and when I needed to show up. When I had my salary negotiation, I wrote and practiced a script the morning of, as well as made sure I got advice from three specific people.
All these ways of preparation have set me up for success. It always me to take action and follow through when my brain gets too lazy or emotional to make a productive decision. It provides buffer time when unexpected events happen when I’m running out the door a few minutes late.
Failing to plan is planning to fail, but preparation yields success.
How do you create a fulfilling life?
By the decisions you make. Big or small. All your decisions culminate to influence the paths you take in life.
Make decisions wisely.
My decision-making process:
If it’s not a hell yes, then it’s a no. No in-between.
If you are experiencing hardships, do the harder thing: believe that life will get better. It will. Much like the economy, life is a continuous series of peaks and troughs. However, do not blindly believe in improvement. Put in the work to make it happen.
Life gets better when you get better.
When life brings you to your knees, remember where you came from. Bring it back to your roots. Remember the stories of your parents and grandparents; their trials, tribulations, and triumphs. Remember that you are the culmination of all those hardships. It is true. You are their legacy. Their stories are your stories, and you are their story. If we get up, dig deep, and push the story a little farther, there is love and sacrifice at the end of the journey.