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  • Brooke

Can't Stop, Won't Stop... Being Better

We all have dreams and ambitions to do great things in life. Whether that is to become the next Nobel Peace Prize winner, the next Bill Gates, or the next biggest star that has ever stepped foot in Hollywood. No matter what it is, we have this innate desire to do great things!

With dreams and ambitions come zeal and urgency to make those dreams a reality. We work hard, we stay up late, we do the paperwork, we do the planning, we take vocal lessons, we volunteer extra hours, we take extra classes, etc. This type of zeal motivates us to get the work done so that we can step into our purpose in life. Yet, if we are not careful, this passion can cause us to make one major mistake; setting unrealistic goals.

Creating and establishing goals are great because they give you something to look forward to and something to work towards. However, many of us tend to set impractical goals within impossible time frames, but when we do this, we set ourselves up for disappointment that could lead us to stop dreaming.

When I started college, I knew exactly what I wanted to do in life and where I wanted to be. I was going to get my A.A. at TCC and then transfer to Johnson to get my degree in Communications/Audio Production. My career goal was to become an music producer, move to Nashville, and make music for all the world to hear. This was a solid plan because I had been planning this since I was fifteen. So, I got my A.A. and then I moved on to University, and I began to learn the tools of the trade. Here's the problem, though. I was almost done with college which meant I should have already had a place lined up to live in Nashville because I would be moving there. It was all just a matter of time... A matter of time and a piece of paper that cost $$$ all to tell me that I passed my classes.

Fast forward to the middle of the Spring Semester of 2018 and I just finished my internship. After applying to a few studios and audio jobs, nothing came back. No emails, no phone calls, no surprise visits. Just my resume staring at me as if to taunt me. I got discouraged because I had all of these plans that I made over the years and for some reason they weren't working. When that happens, you start questioning what all the work was for. Was I any good? Am I even qualified for this career path? Why isn't anyone calling me back?

As I have mentioned earlier, unrealistic goals creates the opportunity for failure to stop you from refueling the passion. When something doesn't take place when you thought it should have, or when the job you wanted was given to another person, or maybe when you didn't get the call back, you have a decision to make. Do you give up because it didn't happen the way you wanted it or do you use that situation to keep you going until the next opportunity?

After graduation I was given the opportunity to work part time at a place back home. Let me tell you first, I never wanted to come back to my hometown. All my teenage life I had dreamed of living in Nashville, not in my hometown. Yet, here I am, after living in Knoxville for three years I am suddenly back in Florida. A couple of months passed and still no offers of employment in the music business. Meanwhile, I was occupying my time with something else. I was learning about social marketing and digital design. Granted, I was unaware of what I was getting myself into because I was just filling a need, yet I was learning something that would greatly benefit me professionally and personally. Now I love what I do, and I would have never know unless I applied myself instead of sulking about where I wanted to be and why I wasn't there.

To make a long story short, very rarely do we get from Point A to Point B without any delays or detours. Life has a way of playing dodgeball with our plans and sometimes we get the short end of the stick. Yet, that doesn't mean we are failures and that our plans are worthless. This means that you just have to get back on your feet, dust yourself off, and get to running again. Do you know what causes us to become failures? Quitting. When we decide to throw everything away just because our plans didn't work out exactly how we imagined them, that is when we become failures. I'll repeat this again: You are not a failure just because you failed at something or your plan didn't pan out quite right. Take every opportunity, both in the good times and bad, to learn and grow. When you begin to see life as a learning opportunity, failure cannot knock you off your feet. Instead, failure becomes your fuel to get better and to be better.

As I conclude, below is something that I wrote earlier this year to remind myself to stay positive and to continue seeking growth in every area in my life. I hope this can help encourage you to not give up and to keep chasing after your dreams, because with hard work and determination, anything is possible!

If you want to be better, challenge yourself.

Nothing ever grows without a little pressure.

Learn - Examine - Dream - Observe - Ask

Do something that will cause you to grow and you will.