“What would others think if I fail?”
“I don’t have enough seed money.”
The voice that speaks in all of our heads, yet sadly it is the one that most listen to. We often regard opportunity as a potential failure and we often disregard it as an opportunity for growth and happiness.
Growing up, it was often dictated to me by society that my life is pre-planned: School, university, job, marriage, have kids and pass to them the same pre-planned life. Yet, luckily to me, I was raised by two amazing creatures who often told me “your life is yours, lead it as you please.” Yet, society’s restrictive words had more impact on me than my parent’s liberating ideals.
It affected my choice of career and work. I got an education of engineering and moved on to fulfill my undeclared promise to society to uphold the system. But something was not right. It brewed inside me, that feeling that there is something totally wrong but I often kept it at bay with one of the above statements. It was my way to “settle” and conform.
In 2014, however, the unimaginable had happened. I lost my father, which in my book, was the hardest thing I could ever encounter. Two years later, I was in a terminal depression and a complete destruction of myself. Then it dawned on me. If I survived what was, to me, the impossible, then what else could be harder?
In 2016, I decided to challenge myself into a new realm of work, or for me, the creative realm. Twp years later and with genuine happiness I could tell you that I was wrong, and so are you.
Was failure a part of my equation? Yes, but it was also more valuable than any college education I ever received. Was success easy? Yes, because I wanted it. The long hours I spent pursuing my dream, the worrying nights, the small jobs that never made it on my portfolio all made it easy. Easy in the sense, that it fulfilled the following equation:
Success = preparation meets opportunity.
Yes I was broke at one point, but that only taught me how to operate creatively in the realm of no resources. It taught me how to maximize the yield of whatever little I had. It taught me that if you break a pack of cheap noodles in half you can eat for two days. It taught me that if you immediately change out of your one business suit in the car, you can save up on sending your suit to the dry cleaners after every meeting.
But most importantly, it taught me that nothing is permanent on both ends of the spectrum, be it failure and success. I could come across as just another dreamer.
I am not a dreamer, a dream by definition is “imagined reality” but if that reality is a reality, doesn’t it cease to be a dream? We come back to the same question: What are you afraid of?
Failure? It’s an opportunity to optimize your process and the best form of future proofing yourself.
Being broke? You won’t be the first person and surely not the last one. Being laughed at? Does this really matter in 2018? Does hearing the opinion of people who had no input on your failure or success really that important? Not being up to par with others? You’ll learn how to be better, if you really want it. Losing everything? You were born with nothing, so you’re pretty much going to end up being born again.
Get out, and learn how to silence fear. If you have something itching in your stomach, attend to it. Fear is our way of staying in our comfort zones. But happiness is on the other side of comfort. There’s nothing to fear…absolutely nothing.
I promise. I swear to you.
Just…try to follow your guts for once.
George Tarabay, Ex-Miserable & Failed Civil Engineer. Currently, Partner at Veer2al Inc. Production & Marketing Boutique.
Soon to be learning from another failure, and I cannot wait.
George Tarabay is a local comedian and marketing expert. For his latest updates, follow him on Instagram @GeorgeTarabay. For more comic relief, check out George on Facebook.com/Georgethecomic. Featured photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash.