Thought Catalog

Why You Shouldn’t Strive To Be An Overnight Success

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Javier Calvo

The internet is absolutely littered with mumblings of new startups, breakthrough artists, best selling authors.

But where did they begin?

When you come across a quick read bio on a well-known person in a particular field, a few key pieces of information will pop up.

-name, age, current location

-most notable works

-current projects

As a young person, up and coming adult, wanna-be-responsible, can someone tell me how exactly looking at all the instant-gratification stories are supposed to motivate me to work harder?

Don’t get me wrong, all people young and old alike would benefit from striving to expand. It’s the pieces in between that are missing. I don’t want to hear about how you became a bestseller overnight; I want to know what you did to get there.

Words don’t do diddly squat if they are from a place of preaching as opposed to guidance or tangible strategy. I need to understand the mundane and unglamorous aspects that contribute to success, otherwise, all I will get out of this conversation is “me. me. me. me. me”.

Okay? I’m glad you gambled and prospered, but, instead, enlighten me. How am I supposed to identify with an overnight singing sensation, a closet poet gone viral, an award-winning artist, a prodigy scientist, a fashion mogul, an internet celebrity?

Can you understand that there is a difference between applicable advice and unsolicited banter about topics unrelated to my life whatsoever?

These stories will always be compelling, educational, and interesting to learn about. But we shouldn’t throw all our eggs in one basket under the misguided guise of the 1% who happen to make it.

Because let’s face it, more likely than not, you and I are the other 99%. And what the fuck is wrong with that? We keep the world turning with our efforts. Small daily efforts push us forward, not the incredible bounds and leaps of today’s most wealthy “leaders”.

The problem is not with success itself, it’s the lack of prosperity that occurs after you hit the jackpot. There commonly is a lack of connection between the cause and effect that leaves many younger people discouraged as opposed to engaged.

More often than not, I find that successful people forget that their contributions go far beyond what they have accomplished. Instead of their knowledge being treated as information investment for the future, their expertise instead becomes a permanent reserve to constantly pull from and spit back out when it benefits them. Awestruck, yes. Inspired, no.

I don’t know about you, but I refuse to be the person who skipped steps. Who got praise practically immediately with little to no true background or foundation. The work we do today is simultaneously an investment in our ability and an exercise in hindsight.

No one can continue to prosper if they become disillusioned by the security of success to the point where everything behind you is unrecognizable. It’s about time we stop subscribing to these pseudo-motivational stories and tune into the real heroes. The boring, the unrecognized, the common civilians. Stories of everyday life are where the real magic happens.

Strangers meeting for the first time, ideas being formed, solidifying friendships, knowledge accumulating, performing labors of intellect, and love. We, the toilers of these United States. Whose work goes silently appreciated. Whose stories live onward into every today of tomorrow. One of whom I will never stop identifying myself as. TC mark

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