I’ve always thought life should be like the movies. In high school, I imagined my own Heath Ledger (RIP) would dare to express his love for me. The more exaggerated the gesture, the better.
As a working girl in the creative field, I aimed to be Andy, the protagonist in Devil Wears Prada. That fashion montage? Killer.
Lo and behold, I got my movie scene. But not in a celebrated way. My reality came with a lot more tears than I remember Andy ever shedding, although the dialogue seemed the same. Andy (played by Anne Hathaway) is upset after a tongue lashing from her boss Miranda, the legendary editor-in-chief of a prestigious fashion magazine. Running to Nigel (played by the amazing Stanley Tucci) for a shoulder to cry on, she receives some of the wisest advice I’ve heard from the workplace:
Andy Sachs: I would just like a little credit for the fact that I’m killing myself trying.
Nigel: Andy, be serious. You are not trying. You are whining. Don’t you know that you are working at the place that published some of the greatest artists of the century? You have no idea how many legends have walked these halls. And what’s worse, you don’t care. Because this place, where so many people would die to work you only deign to work. And you want to know why she doesn’t kiss you on the forehead and give you a gold star on your homework at the end of the day. Wake up, sweetheart.
Critics give my generation a lot of heat for being the “IWWIWWWIWI” generation, or “I Want What I Want When and Where I Want It.”
“We’re Internet kids who have been spoiled by our desires being no more than a click away. We think fast, type fast, move fast, and expect everything else to happen just as fast.”
-Sophia Amuroso, #GIRLBOSS
When people like this* aren’t moved by their 9-5s because they’re not amassing enough, fast enough, they either jump to the next job; point the blame at everyone around them, or even worse, do nothing at all about their overall unhappiness. The result is a brilliant individual whose light begins to dim, stuck in a self-determined cycle of mundanity.
Where’s the glory in that — the glory which comes from an epic battle of the forces? We’re riveted by such struggles on-screen (Game of Thrones, Karate Kid, etc.). Why do we trade stretching ourselves for settling? Is our generation afraid to win it all because we’re scared to risk anything at all?
This blog post is taking a different turn from what I originally imagined, but wasted potential is a subject that lights my fingers on fire. Though I can’t say I’m immune to the pull of gravity, I’ve learned that to gain momentum, you have to take the first step. Just one step. And no one can do it for you.
Complacency kills any chance you have at greatness. Stop robbing the world, and yourself, of your dreams; your wits; your talents.
“[…]as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
-author Marianne Williamson
I’ve let gravity pull me down long enough, but I’m taking a step in the right direction. I hope you’ll join me.
Recently I polled my network of successful, driven, amazing friends across a variety of industries on their definition of success. As always, they provided quality gems, so I’m mega excited to share their words of wisdom with you (sorry Stanley Tucci, you’ve got nothin’ on my clique). Stay tuned!
*what’s the opposite of a ‘hard worker’, an ‘easy worker?’