America is the land of opportunity. In fact, the pursuit of happiness is one of the founding principles of the country.
In America, you have the right to pursue your dreams no matter what life you’re born into. If you are born into poverty and your dream is to be CEO of a Fortune 500… you have a chance. The constitution doesn’t guarantee success, just the right to pursue it. If you are willing to make the right decisions and put yourself into the right spot, you might just make it.
But what if your dream is outside of the realm of your God-given talent? When I was growing up, my dream (from the time I was about 5 into adulthood) was to be a recording artist… a singer songwriter. That honestly was my one and only dream. I took steps throughout those years towards pursuing that dream. I learned piano, guitar, bass, drums, I dabbled in songwriting, I learned how to mix and master music.
Somewhere along the way, I found out that my voice was not up to the challenge. I don’t have God-given talent at singing. I can sing on key, I can sing harmonies, but my voice just isn’t a pleasing tone. At best, I could sing backup vocals for live music. No one would want me singing even backup on a recording.
Of course that realization was a hard pill to swallow. That was my dream. But there are some inputs I just can’t change. I can’t just wake up and decide I want to be a world-champion sprinter. There are genetic attributes that all of the elite sprinters in the world share. Hard work and determination can only take you so far. Ultimately you have to have the genetic material to accomplish your dreams.
It’s still possible to luck your way into success either by total dumb luck or by being so good at something else that people put up with your bad attributes. A perfect example is Michael W. Smith. He is a great songwriter and a world-class pianist. His voice totally sucks. But I still buy his albums because of his other attributes. He is an exception.
How do you know when it’s time to let go of an unrealistic dream? Should you just chug along hoping that you’ll get a lucky break. There are a million musicians out there trying to make it big, and 99% of them never will. There are people with more musical talent in their pinky than I have in total. Should I actually expect to be able to comIncredipete with them or am I being a dumb-dumb?
The old expression “You can’t put in what God left out” is a very accurate statement.
Pursue your dreams, but have the wisdom to know when you just don’t have what it takes. Chances are, you’re really good at something else.
Unless you’re George W. Bush.