Moving Goal Posts

Article By Adam. H

Americans are brought up to believe they can be the next president of the United States. Brits are told, “It won’t happen for you.” – Ricky Gervais

This quote is taken from a Time article that Ricky Gervais penned, discussing writing for both UK and US audiences. It is a quote that Gervais has used in numerous radio and TV interviews, on podcasts and in print. Although the quote is a generalisation, it resonated with me, to the point that I have remembered it, which in my advancing years is no mean feat.

In the bleak north of England ones life goals and aspirations are discussions that are seldom had. Traditionally if you were to have these discussions, if you wanted something more to life than that of your parents you were dismissed as having ideas above your station.

I think that we have all witnessed someone in authority state to a person looking to monetize or form a career out of their talents as being delusional.

At university, one lecturer in our third year would start each lesson with, “This time next year, you’ll be in the real world, what you gonna do then?” That judgement by someone who was in the creative industry and taught at a university part time was something that used to grate on me. Though I didn’t say it at the time, I would have loved to have told him to keep his cynicism to himself.

A negative mindset is one that we can all fall into, if we let it. I can admit now at 33 years of age that I have let what people say about my creative endeavours put me off to the point of quitting projects and not even starting others.

I just wish that someone would have told me then what I know now. That goals constantly change, they constantly evolve and that if you fail at one thing, you can use the skills you have learned in your pursuit of another.

The message is if you work hard then you will achieve.

That is true, you have to work hard at whatever you do in order to be successful, nothing comes easy. However, there are plenty of instances where having the skills and working hard may not allow you to reach your goal. For example, if you wanted to join the Royal Navy, you could spend 12 months getting fit, going to night school and gaining all the desired qualifications, but if you’re colour blind the Navy would refuse you entry.

It is a harsh reality, but hard work doesn’t always produce your desired result. However, as the title of this article suggests, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pursue your dreams. Goal posts move, nothing is fixed and being prepared to work hard in order to pursue your goals is a skill in itself.

If you are reading this and you are a creative, if you are doing something that is a move away from a traditional career, I wish you all the luck in the world. I am sure if you work hard and persist you will achieve. Your goals may evolve and change along the way but you have to start. What you waiting for?

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