Last night two of my best friends and I took a train into the world's most famous arena and saw John Mayer preform magic on 6 strings for 2 hours. It was one of the best shows I've ever been to. I've been a camp-fire level acoustic guitar player for a few years now, and to see what Mayer can do on the guitar is brain-melting stuff. It just doesn't register how a human being can make that sound with two hands and a guitar.
I think my favorite song of the night was "Who Says" - it just hit different since the show was in New York City. I also love the message of this song- more on this later.
After the show it made me think about how dedicated one has to be to their craft in order to reach that level of expertise. I've written about the 10,000 hours theory from Malcom Gladwell before, but I honestly don't even think that does justice sometimes to those people who are gifted the way John Mayer is at guitar.
It kind of dawned on me how overwhelming it can be to commit to something with that level of rigor and consistency in order to achieve that type of success and ability. In order to be at the absolute top level of your craft, it has to come at an extreme sacrifice. The countless of hours of practice, repetition, research, execution, and preparation are non-negotiable in order to arrive at the top of the mountain for your particular trade.
What I am most fascinated with aside from the time and effort it takes to get to that level of skill, is the process of finding that THING that people are so good at and more importantly, PASSIONATE about enough to devote that much time and energy to.
In my 25 years on earth, I've had plenty of dreams and passions come and go. My first dream was to be a Major League Baseball player. As much as I loved baseball, looking back on it now I did not have the talent or the devoted focus on baseball to get me much further than my high school baseball team.
Then I went to college and had aspirations to be a writer or broadcaster. Then I decided to study business. Then I decided to be a candy salesman. Then I decided to be a data analyst. Then I decided to work for an international beauty product company and sell soaps and hand creams. Then I decided to start writing a finance blog. Then I decided to study to become a Financial Advisor. Then I decided not to become a Financial Advisor. Then I decided to be a recruiter. Then I decided to get back into collecting baseball cards and making videos about it.
And I'm still figuring it out. Who Says you need to have it figured out by a specific time? Who Says you only get a certain number of tries at finding your "Thing"?
There have been a couple things that I've found to pick up quickly, and think I'm pretty good at. However only a little while later I come to realize I just wasn't passionate ENOUGH about that thing in order to stick with it and really make that my mission or purpose. And that is okay. It's all about the journey.
In the second verse of "Who Says," John Mayer writes,
"Who says I can't be free
From all of the things that I used to be
Rewrite my history
Who says I can't be free"
Just because you still may not have found out what you are meant to do yet, doesn't mean you aren't getting closer. If you have failed in your past, who cares. Who says any of that matters. Look what's in front of you, try something new that sparks your interest or passion, and give it a go.
Who says it can't lead you to where you're supposed to be?