We all have a lurking dragon to slay.
There’s always THAT project we’re imagining – for some of us it’s in the constant forefront of our thinking, or for some of us, its a concept that we only visit whenever we allow ourselves to daydream a bit.
We can’t seem to let go of this project because it tugs at our souls, it captures our imagination. It’s a project which we envision would involve our unique giftedness – we KNOW we have a shot at making it work.
It could be starting a new line of work, putting up a startup, trying out some freelancing, pursuing a new hobby, organising a charity, letting people know more about a cause, or going back to teaching. It looks different for each of us.
It’s easy to see ourselves as the hero of this story. The thought of this challenge fills us with a sense of adventure, meaning, and excitement. The possibility of success makes us just giddy.
But make no mistake. This is a dragon.
We are FILLED with fear facing it. Anxiety. We get paralysed. We push it back. To tomorrow. Next week. Next year. When we’re ready.
There is a price we pay for though when we keep on pushing it back.
My dragon is writing.
The last time I wrote in this blog was on January of 2017 – I did 3 posts that January. Prior to that 3-post streak, my last post was in 2015.
From my very first post in November of 2011 to December of 2014, I managed to publish nearly 300 posts.
I remember vividly how I felt writing those posts. Time would just WHIZ by. I would love solving the puzzle of how to make the posts feel more balanced, or finding just the right word to use, or the joy of just finding the exact metaphor to use. I was alive.
Then I just….stopped.
You know all the reasons. I had to work. I had to spend more time with my family. There were a zillion other things to do.
I tried a few times to revive it, but ultimately, I just stopped altogether.
Then something weird happened…I avoided writing.
When someone would ask, “Hey Peter when would you start writing again,” I’d get all flustered and irritated, and would try to change the subject entirely. At some point, I became allergic to ANY writing task. When someone would ask me if I wanted to write some copy for work, I’d suggest someone else.
In retrospect, I guess I didn’t want ANYTHING to remind me that I was doing my soul quite a disservice. I didn’t want to feel that lack, that gap between doing what I KNEW was soul-filling and my current state. I didn’t want anyone waving it in front of my face.
Then, self-doubt started to creep in. Old fears. Could I still write? Will I still be relevant? Will I have enough to say to sustain a writing cadence? Will people care?
This pushback went on. And on. And on.
I knew I had to face my dragon sooner or later though. I didn’t want to regret never coming back to it.
So I threw out all my self-delay tactics: the need to have a reserve number of posts already written before relaunching, the need to have a “grand launch” of sorts, the need to redesign and perfect the site, the need to have a foolproof plan on how to do this on top of all the other things I have to do. Just do it.
So here we are.
I don’t know how it will go this time round. I don’t know how this adventure ends, nor where it will take me. I don’t know if I’ll be relevant. I don’t know if people will care.
I just know I NEED to do this.
So here we are. I’m dancing with my dragon again. I feel alive and terrified at the same time.
There isn’t a better time for dragon-slaying as now
Yep, I can still remember the pre-internet world. To reach an audience, you needed exclusive and/or expensive access to print, TV, or radio. To find the best jobs, you needed to rub elbows with industry hotshots, or go through a good headhunter. I remember going to the photobooth to buy dozens of 2 x 2 pictures to staple them on the dozens of paper resumes I printed out. To find a job OUTSIDE the country was basically unheard of.
Now, literally everything is within fingertip reach. Job platforms have THOUSANDS of available jobs, both here in abroad. You can work for a Silicon Valley firm while working in the comforts of your Manila home through a platform like Upwork. You can learn virtually anything in Youtube. If you create something unique and interesting later and post it in social media, it can go viral and you can reach millions in a few hours. We can SEE people who have taken advantage of this digital revolution and followed their dreams.
Yet, our dragon battle remains unfought. Accessibility isn’t the problem. I think it actually just serves as a medium which makes our dragons seem bigger and our frustrations more profound. I can choose do this anytime. Yet I choose not to.
It’s time for us to rise up from this stupor. God gave us those desires and longings for a reason. It’s part of our purpose. The world will be better if we scratch the itch. We can run from it, hide from it, pretend it doesn’t exist, but it will ultimately bubble up to the surface and leave us feeling restless and in crises (scheduled sometimes either mid or quarterly!).
Throw out those excuses. Carve out that time. Do that NEXT thing. You can do it!
Rise and slay.