Nixing the Power of My NaysayersFeb 01, 2021
Please welcome my guest, Luc H. Fyre, writing on a topic hidden at the core of Lucky Learning. Luc H. Fyre is a pseudonym. Luc wanted to write anonymously because he feels his message is more important than getting attention for his words.
AS CHILDREN, we're encouraged to play pretend—believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy—and nobody bats an eyelid when we proclaim with gusto that we’re going to “dig for dinosaur bones” when we grow up.
At some point, there's a shift. We suddenly find ourselves too busy with some B.S. called homework that takes up entirely too much time. Santa and the Tooth Fairy are just our parents giving us gifts under a tree and money under a pillow. And, by then, becoming a paleontologist is just a childhood fantasy.
What is it that stops us from dreaming and believing in ourselves?
There are a load of culprits—everything from an embittered teacher that snuffed out a unique style to the mockery that comes with peer pressure. It all builds up.
Eventually we absorb the sludge slung by these naysayers and we start believing their lies. And we let those false distortions hold us back.
Take me, for example. I used to work a boring career in the legal sector, grinding away at the business of criminal defense. It was a nice cushy gig with nice cushy benefits. I could well afford the fancy Armani suits, and even a chateau in the countryside, but I paid the price in 80-hour workweeks.
Even though everything on the outside spelled success, I was unhappy and completely unfulfilled. I had a desire to play music, namely jazz, and working this insane schedule as an attorney didn’t allow me the time or energy to stop and take a breath, much less learn to play an instrument.
The breaking point came when I missed an arraignment. I completely overlooked putting it on my calendar. Not only did my client fire me for my incompetence, but it was like having a bucket of ice water poured right onto my head.
It was the jarring wake-up call I needed to end the madness and stop chasing something that was making my soul rot.
After finishing up the cases I still had left, I decided to do something wholly different, with much fewer hours, so that I could fulfill my true potential. I called up a friend who happened to run a pizza shop and asked him if he might need someone to make and deliver pizzas for him.
“Are you kidding me? Why would a J.D. like you want to do something like that?”
I wasn’t shy about letting him know what I needed.
“I want to become a jazz musician,” I told him. “Working 80 hours as an attorney advocating for the rights of others while letting my own needs go by the wayside isn’t getting me there. In fact, I’m sure I’ve shaved a decade off of my life each year I’ve done this crap. So, forty hours, a living wage, and I’ll give you my all in those forty hours. Anything outside of my set schedule needs to go to someone else.”
Being an old friend, he laughed and said, “Okay, if you’re crazy enough to try your hand at becoming a jazz musician, I’m not going to stop you. But I’m willing to bet that you’re going to be here in five years, still making and delivering pizzas.”
That old friend, Charlie, wasn’t the only naysayer I ran into. He was just one of the “gentler” ones. At least he didn’t try to guilt me into going back to my work as an attorney. Nope, Mom tried that old trick but I stood firm. I told her that if she wanted me to give her those grandchildren she kept hinting about, well then, she’d better not make me go back to a career I suspected would send me into cardiac arrest.
My former partner at the law firm would call me up from time to time and ask, “So Luc, how’s that busking going?”
I admit that, some days, the discouraging comments, sarcastic jabs, and chuckles from my nearest and dearest made me question the sanity of my decision. But every time I thought about going back to practicing law, I felt my stomach lurch, my mouth grow as dry as the Sahara, my palms begin to sweat, and an impending sense of doom as anxiety set in.
Each time someone tried to cut me down, I remembered what had led me to quit. Those feelings of having my spirit and creativity stifled were more than I could bear, far worse than any niggling feelings of doubt that the words of these naysayers could evoke.
To make a long story short, I worked as a pizza deliveryman for four and a half years while I learned to play the bass guitar. I found a few friends who were as willing to pour every ounce of passion, hard work, and determination into this as I was, and I built up enough of a local presence to have gigs scheduled regularly enough to earn a decent income.
I live in a studio apartment now, go kayaking if I want to enjoy the sea from a boat, and have changed out those name-brand suits for khakis. I am much happier than I ever was when I could have almost anything money could buy.
It’s so easy to live comfortably, to stay in that safe place where the only decisions you make are ultimately inconsequential ones: such as whether to have a morning latte or an espresso, whether to check Facebook or Instagram during your lunch hour, or whether to wear grey or black to work. Those decisions aren’t the ones that will feed your soul and alter the course of your life in a way that will take it from so-so to soul-smackingly satisfying!
The people living from their hearts aren’t the ones passively sitting on the sidelines taking pictures and scrolling through their social media feeds, while thinking, “I wish I could do that.” They're the folks who are too busy making every moment count to even have a social media account.
When the naysayers ask, “What makes you think that could ever happen?” they fire back with, “What makes you think it couldn’t?”
They may feel just as much fear as the next guy, but they're still willing to take risks, think outside of the box, and forge their own path.
If you’re still here reading this, I encourage you to revisit what you’ve been wanting to do for a while now that hasn’t yet come to pass. When reasons such as “not enough time,” “too impractical,” or “I'm not as qualified as those people in the Dare to Dream videos” start to creep in, remember this:
Your time is finite.
Make every moment count.
Live with passion and purpose.
Take bold risks, because you never know when this chapter in your existence will come to a close.
Most important of all, don’t be your own naysayer. There are plenty of people who will happily rain on your parade. Be like the Sun: bold, unapologetic, and a light that doesn’t stop shining even when the clouds try to block it out.
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WITH THE EXCEPTION of a period of madness, when he thought happiness was tied to the size of his investment portfolio, Luc H. Fyre has spent his life turning his dreams into realities. Consequently, he has ridden a mule down into the Grand Canyon, learned to speak Klingon, and plays jazz full time. When not at the mercy of his wildly adventurous soul, he enjoys biking and reading science fiction.