I recently heard a performer say when asked why his dance group had chosen a particular venue for their performance, “we’re here to chase the dream, not the competition.”
At which point instead of uttering my normal monosyllabic response of amazement when someone says something I think is totally brilliant — “huh” — I responded with a stellar two-word response of wonder — “like wow.”
With me, it’s always about the little victories folks.
Anyway, it got me to thinking as weird sh*t I see or hear and Humans being Human often do get me thinking.
Are we chasing our dreams or the competition?
Chasing implies we’re already behind the curve on something or with someone and racing at top speed to catch up. The problem is if we set about trying to catch up with those who already have what we want, or are getting close to getting what they and we want, we lose sight of one significant fact.
We’re chasing the competition hoping to reach their dreams, and forgetting about our own dreams.
I know, I know. It sounds crazy. Especially when you stop to consider they may have or have had the same dream as you do. You might just be thinking about the same creative career as those who are making positive strides with their own efforts.
Yeah, you’re jonesing for what they have really bad.
But the reality of it is folks, none of us gain even the tiniest bit of traction by merely telling ourselves we want to be the next most exceptional sensation. All talk and no action makes for a terrible Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.
Okay fine. “I’ll be back.” was one of his better lines. But then he blew sh*t up didn’t he? It’s what action heroes and heroines do.
But if you don’t want to blow sh*t up then you need to do something other than just sit there thinking about wanting to chase your dream. I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying about holding sh*t in one hand and wishes in the other, right?
Oh, oh, and here’s another one. Wishing won’t make it so.
I love that one. If I had a penny for every penny I tossed into a wishing well, well, I’d have a penny or two I can tell you.
The point is, chasing the competition isn’t you being you. It’s you trying to be them. You trying to be somebody other than your own authentic self is merely you chasing the competition.
You’re trying to chase the competition that is already a few galaxies ahead of you. The competition that had already learned the hard way about what happens when they tried creating like someone else. When they tried to do something someone else’s way instead of their own way.
As Oscar Wilde said, be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
The competition already understands attempting to create like someone else is like trying to be the next Taylor Swift, or Maya Angelou, or Elmer Fudd.
One of these days, Elmer’s gonna get that waskly wabbit, and the entire world is going to pay homage. You mark my words.
The important thing to remember (aside from Elmer bagging that d*amned carrot eating rodent with long ears) is the competition has already learned to stop chasing after other competitors. Now, they’re chasing their own dreams and forgetting about all the others.
So you tell yourself all you need to do is start chasing your own dream and before you can bat one of your stellar looking eyelashes, bada bing, bada boom, Bob’s your uncle, right?
Uh, it ain’t that simple.
I wish it was, oh Lordy, do I wish it was.
But it ain’t.
Even though you’ve finally convinced yourself you’re not Elmer Fudd (Sorry, it’s a compulsion) and you’ve decided to start shooting (see what I did there, huh? I crack myself up sometimes.) your own way, you need to understand this is the start of a very long journey.
You may be on this road chasing your dreams for a very long time.
You may spend years or even a lifetime chasing your dreams. It may end up becoming years of hard realizations the culmination of your dreams is just past the stretch of your fingertips. Just so d*amn close. And yet that couple of inches at times seems as broad as an oil tanker and just as long.
Most times, the work you do chasing your dreams will seem impossibly tricky and frustrating. But there will be some beautiful moments as well. Moments where your entire soul is filled with unbridled happiness. Moments where you feel invincible and incredibly proud of what you’ve created.
And on the flip side, you’ll experience moments where you just wanna be done chasing this dream of yours. Those moments when your dream has chewed you up and spit you out.
What’s important, what’s really important to remember is nobody, not a single dream chaser or competitor in this world can beat your dreams but you. You’re the only one who can accomplish your dreams. And conversely, if you let them, you’re the only one who can be beaten down by the arduous task of chasing your dreams.
You are the master and mistress of your own destiny, your own dreams, and nobody can chase them, and no one can beat them better than you can. Yes, maybe the competition does this thing you want to do better than you at the moment, but that’s because they’ve learned to chase their own dreams and not someone else’s remember?
So put those waskly wabbits (so sorry folks, dreams) in the sight of your cross-hairs and keep them there for as long as it takes to catch and beat your dreams.
What will eventually get you where you want is learning to chase your dreams and not the competition.
Thank You So Much For Reading
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