Please keep at it, persist

Your gigantic / global dreams are valid!

And because they are so big, they won’t come together in three years, or five years, perhaps.

This is a legacy. Something much bigger than you.

I am saying this — all the while risking sounding quasi / annoyingly motivational — because I truly admire how you have been persistent amid the challenges and some triumphs. Never easy stuff to do.

Although I don’t know you, as you read this. I trust that, somehow, I will connect with you by reflecting on my experiences.

So, me, I intend to be among the best writers and speakers to ever walk the earth. Scary goal! But I am equipped / gifted enough to party around the south of France after delivering a sterling presentation in the vicinity, and then, head off to the UK and get a standing ovation in Birmingham; jet off to New York, kill it and then finish off the trip in Lagos, Nigeria.

But, as I write this, as you read this, I am in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg. A dilapidated township; perhaps I am being unreasonably harsh. Anyway, nothing seems to be coming together. Nothing seems to be moving forward. Working out.

Quite a lot of things that aren’t working out, right?

Yup!

However, the journey is its own reward. The blog posts I pour myself into are the joy. The happiness. The YouTube videos I film and publish are a manifestation of what happens when you set your mind to mastering your craft; I was terrible at speaking when I was in college and could not connect with people and could not engage in mind-boggling conversations — so, I vowed to become incredible.

Look at the world class eloquence we have today.

That is the reward.

The getting a tad better every single day is my fuel.

I have come faaar.

And I cannot abandon what I have always wanted to do because it hasn’t come together by age 25 (the instant / microwave generation is what we’ve been called by some. We are the generation that slays — whose social media connectivity, whilst being a phenomenal thing, has put enormous pressure on many to “succeed”. Often, when the pressure becomes insurmountable, we settle for a life where even being seen / thought to be succeeding is okay. We take it. Illusions of grandeur).

Okay. I am rambling on and on now. Getting carried away by emotion.

If you may allow me to make just a few last points before I close off.

Here is an interesting thought. Consider this …

Provided you continue with building and telling your life stories and those of others, just imagine how much a library of fascinating stories you will have in five years time. Let us say then that you make it big; the world now knows you and your work … won’t it be nice to have five years of work you have been doing before you made it big?

Your story, captured crisply as it unfolded, makes for a terrific and emotional narrative. A rich one, too. (Instead of having to try and remember and re-create your journey’s minute and nuanced details. It would be hard then, because you would have lost touch with that time of your life.)

Now, imagine how awesome it would have been if Tom Ford documented his journey in the fashion business. Through videos and written stories — from the day he started learning how to make a tailored suit. Or, what if we had footage of Tom commuting to work, to meetings, documenting hia store visits, during the time he catapulted Gucci into one of the most revered brands in the world. I think it would’ve been phenomenal to get inside his head during that era.

Imagine how awesome it would be if we had tons of videos, a few years of stories from Jay Z at age 17, spitting fierce rhymes. And hustling about the Brooklyn block; wearing a hooded jacket, crack in his palm, looking out for the long arm of the law. You know he’s seen it all before. Interesting times.

You also might think about how sought after videos of young Michael Jackson dancing at age seven are; how valuable videos of world football’s wizard, Lionel Messi, at age ten are. Was he as devastatingly skilful as he is now? How did he get to be the best that he is — what is the back story?

How about a few Beyoncé Knowles videos of her singing her heart out at age eleven? At a local community hall and in front of the family in the living room.

How much would those formative stories be worth then?

Let me track back. Lest I digress.

This is a long winded way of saying:

KEEP UP THE WORK YOU ARE DOING — IT IS VALUABLE!

(Documenting, building and telling stories is its own reward. Inspiring thoughtful conversations and offering great emotional experiences, you should remember, is intangible work.

And what happens with intangible work? It does not get valued the same way as pieces of work the world can see and touch. *whispers* An expensive car I own, people can see — and the girls can see it, too. But your stories? Your amazing emotional work? It is intangible and therefore, likely not to be paid attention to. And you need to make peace with that.

So much peace that you never, ever, try to lower your level of content and quality in order to appeal to (almost) everyone who comes across your work.

Most importantly. Make peace with the fact that substance and the truth and authenticity do not often trend or go viral. But eventually, the truth always wins. Eventually.

Let us be patient. We are very young. I mean, even fourty is a young age.)

Keep telling your truth through your work!