We all have a unique mindset and distinctive outlook on life. It’s what builds our character, forges our attitude, and drives our behavior.
It’s what makes us, us.
It’s honestly one of the most beautiful things about this life — in all of its glory, shame, and obscurity. It gives us the strength we need when waking up each morning, and peace of mind when falling asleep each night.
Some of us have the ‘right’ mindset, others have the wrong ‘outlook.’ Some of us have a ‘good’ attitude while others have ‘bad’ behavior. But it’s not about being right or wrong, it’s not about being good or bad — it’s about being better. Every single fucking day. To the point it never stops.
It’s about making an honest effort to learn a little more about yourself — and your surroundings — than you knew yesterday. It’s about finding your passion, your staple, that thing that only you can provide this planet with.
It’s about being you.
Unfortunately, most people don’t chase after what they truly want in life.
Some people aren’t chasing the right thing, some people don’t know how to chase, some people aren’t ready to chase, and some people are just too lazy to chase.
Dude, I used to be all four.
My entire life I knew I loved to write. I started writing for fun in the 7th grade and it quickly grew into a daily necessity. I remember the first poetry contest I won in 2009 — I was so fucking proud of myself.
It was one of the few things I absolutely loved doing, and the only thing I couldn’t get enough of. Yet, once I graduated high school, what did I pursue? What did I chase?
Architecture. Not writing, but architecture.
When I realized designing homes wasn’t what I wanted in life (which didn’t take long), I started to build them — which was, interesting… Then I moved over to retail for a few years, housekeeping, managing a gym, I mean the list goes on.
Of course, the one thing not on that list?
I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t think I was ready to pursue a writing career. At times I was just flat-out lazy. Ultimately, I was chasing everything except the one thing I was supposed to be chasing.
People don’t chase after what they want in life, but they love to settle for the next best thing.
Why is that?
I know I can’t speak for everyone, but for me it was my mindset — my outlook. I always viewed being a writer as a dream of mine, but I never made it a goal and therefore had no real reason to chase it. As long as it stayed a dream, that’s all it was ever going to be.
I knew how to dream, but boy did I fail at setting goals (the right ones, at least).
I never dreamed about managing the backroom of Bath & Body Works, but it quickly became a goal of mine once they hired me as a seasonal stock associate. Eventually, they gave me that promotion I had worked so hard for.
I never dreamed about working in the fitness industry, but the moment I was hired as a part-time housekeeper at David Barton Gym, I made it a goal to one day be named General Manager. After two and a half years, that happened.
I always dreamed about making a career out of writing, but I never made it a goal. As a result, I had never really accomplished much with my writing until 2019.
Somewhere along the way, I started to observe, and I started to learn. I had a realization that came to me in a rather funny way. I’m going to share it with you because it made me laugh, but it’s also true.
I started to think about this young kid named Mason Ramsey. Some of you know him as Lil’ Hank Williams, others know him as the kid that started yodeling in the middle of a WalMart for no goddamn reason. For those who don’t know Mason Ramsey, you probably have a lot of questions.
People still yodel? Why a WalMart? What’s so special about this kid?
With me, it was the simplicity of it all. It was funny, it was pure, it was random, hell it even sounded pretty damn good — good enough that if you google the word ‘Yodeling,” Mason Ramsey comes up as an artist (along with Jimmie Rodgers, Wylie Gustafson, and Hank Williams himself).
It also went a little deeper than that, for me at least. This was nothing more than a kid with a talent. A strange talent, but a talent nonetheless. He didn’t know if anyone would enjoy his talent, and he sure as hell didn’t care where he got to display it. He just wanted to share it.
And that’s exactly what he did.
He stood in the middle of a damn WalMart and started yodeling Hank Williams’ “Lovesick Blues.” It took Ramsey just a few days to garner over 25 million views on the internet.
Since I’m someone that loves to find the moral of the story, that’s what I did with this one. I realized it doesn’t fucking matter what your talent is, it doesn’t matter how or where you display it, and it doesn’t matter who’s watching. Showcase it, display it, be proud of it.
Mason Ramsey once said, “If there was a zombie apocalypse, I would use my yodeling to kill every single one of them.” You need to have that type of pride, hunger, and confidence in your talent.
After all, it’s your talent.
It’s what makes you, you.
And if you need to stand in the middle of a WalMart to show it, then stand in the middle of a fucking WalMart — and show it.
In September of 2019, I left my job as a General Manager and decided to bet on myself. I finally built up the courage to pursue my writing full-time. It didn’t take long for me to realize this was a move I should’ve made 8 years ago.
And I couldn’t help but think about all the people who are probably in the same position I was.
If you have a dream, that’s fine. It’s actually great, fantastic. Dreams are good. Dreams are beautiful and I’m all for it, but don’t stop there. That’s not the end of the road.
Dreams don’t come true. They do, however, spark that little fire inside of you that gives you the power, the strength, and the wherewithal to eventually turn that dream into a goal. Then, and only then, will that dream turn reality.
Keep dreaming, but only if you’re prepared to chase. And if you don’t know what to chase, just start yodeling in the middle of a fucking WalMart — you’ll figure it out.
We’re human, we always do.