Your Mom Says You Can Sing, But I’d Ask Someone Else

We’ve been served many thousands of examples of delusion on reality television these past few years.

There were and are still plenty of examples of sad delusion on these shows. Many people who are reality actors are either so desperate for a fraction of a second’s attention they are willing to abandon every shred of shame to get a moment of camera time, or they harbor a fantasy they really can win this next season of  “The Voice”.

People clowning on auditions are one thing. They aren’t hurting anyone. It’s the people who really believe they have a talent, but don’t, that are sad to witness.

Light at the end of the tunnel

It’s important to get a good grip on what your true strengths and skills are, so you cut down the time it takes to pursue the next big job. I feel for artists – the sculptors and painters and mixed media geniuses. These people have chosen to express themselves in a line of work few parents would ever stand up and cheer for. Same for singers and athletes. There are 300 million Americans. 400 of them play NBA basketball. It’s not exactly a slam dunk to declare this your career choice. It’s not safe. It’s not cautious. A parent’s pained reaction is expected.

I always get the same answer from huge numbers of my students. I ask them what kind of multiplatform content creator they want to be. Sports or music is the universal answer. I understand this response – it’s what they know, now.

The truth is, most will do something far different when they enter the world of work.

Maybe you have your eyes set on being a CEO, or a regional vice president of sales. You may indeed get that managerial job, and you might be one of those of soul-crushing managers who are hated by their employees. Running a company takes a lot more than smarts – it takes a unique ability to understand people and their motivations.

The very first thing I ask of my private clients and students is for them to tell me who they are. It’s a difficult question to answer. Many people float through their whole lives not knowing.  But if you can truly get to know yourself, delusion will be replaced by confidence.

I would never tell someone not to pursue a dream. Many millions are doing work they love, and barely surviving. Many more millions are doing work they loathe, and are rolling in cash. Who’s got it better? That’s for you to decide.

It’s great to go for the dream. Someone will be a reporter on the red carpet. Someone is going to produce the next great hip-hop anthem. Someone is going to make an NBA squad next year.  Those who ignore the naysayers and push ahead with quiet confidence, comfortable in their own skin, tend to get what they want (or gain valuable takeaways from a fail).

Ask people in your network about your dreams. Stay away from family opinions. They love you too much to tell you the truth. Ask someone who merely likes you. There’s where the truth shows up.

The better you know you, the higher your chance of achievement will be.

Go for it.

Picture of John ScottJohn Scott is an instructor, online coordinator, and career services manager for the School of Communications and Media Technologies, Academy of Art University San Francisco. 









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