On Building Dreams

I wrote a post (a newsletter, actually) a few years ago that argued that the best investment that you could ever make was simple, almost effortless:

Investing in yourself is never a bad idea and always creates the highest value and generates the best long-term return on investment.

via Your Best Investment Ever

And I believe it even more than I did then, three years ago. In fact, there’s nothing that I’m more certain about when it comes to personal (and professional) growth than the singular, repetitive, continual (and boring) daily deposit in the body of your art.

I use the word art intentionally because the difference between serious ROI in your personal development and growth vs. so-so mediocre results is where you make those deposits.

You see, there’s a huge delta between work and art. Work is just, well, work—sometimes, it is your work and you’ve been fortunate enough to find that discrete alignment, but, more often than not, it’s… … not.

How do you know if you’re intentionally building your craft? How does one tell if they are making deposits in the right type of work? How can we be certain that our time is being spent in the right direction?

Ooph. I’m not entirely sure either.

What I can say is this: You’re either “in control” or you’re not. And, to put it very bluntly: You’re either building someone else's dream or you're building your own.


For me, this boiled down to two very important ideas: Discretion and agency. I didn’t want anything extravagant—I just wanted to be able to control my time in the way that I saw fit—I wanted to know that my time was being spent in the ways that I really wanted to spend it.

When you don’t have it you feel it, every single moment of every single day; at least that’s how I felt. It’s like that itch that you can’t quite reach in that deep crevasse between your shoulder blades.

I hated that.

Now, I have much more of all of those things and I’m simply a happier person. My family can tell. My friends too. They just know that I’m in a better place. Thank God because when I’m going insane it means, objectively-so, that I’m not in a good place. It’s ugly. Gross. And sad.

We have entered into a season where so many folks are forced to encounter their life decisions in a way that’s uncomfortable and scary.

As people lose jobs and as the economic instability grows around us, we will all begin to ask one of the most important professional questions that we can ask ourselves:

Is this what I’m supposed to be doing (professionally) with my life right now?

This is, obviously, a really good thing. Uncomfortable, of course, but anything worth doing is necessarily so.

[If you’d ever like to chat or have an email convo about this stuff I’d love that! Besides, I’m a “pro” when it comes to job and career change! It’s kind of my thing.]