“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players”. The words quoted far and wide from As You Like It, perhaps the most well-known monologue by William Shakespeare, holds a new and somewhat warped meaning in our time where reality shows seem to be more than a pastime and have come to inexplicably pace some of our actualities. So, before we get too far gone in the desperation of housewives or the drama that both love and Hip Hop have to offer, I ask you – who is scripting your reality series? And, are you merely a player? Hopefully, you’ve answered the first question with an assertive, “I am”, but I know that less than half of you will be telling the whole truth. Many of us are simply bystanders in the happenings of our own realities or, merely players, because we haven’t taken the necessary measures to make sure we remain in control of the show. As long as we are living, the show does in fact go on but that truth does not promise our participation to the degree needed to make sure we remain in the writer’s chair.
There are stages to scripting your show. Chances are, you’ve already been making your mark but, without some deliberate planning, your starring role could easily acquiesce to another’s performance (or input). Let me make it even plainer – there isn’t a day that goes by where outside influences do not threaten to derail each one of us from our dreams. It’s being present and having a plan that is the most effective defense from the world’s detractors that will keep us steadfast on the path to success. And there lies the first and most important step – you must start with a dream. And once you truly connect with that dream, protect it at all cost. There is the self-doubt that creeps in like a scurvy bandit trying to steal away from your self-worth, the associates, friends and family who are scared to dream their own dreams so attempt to dismantle yours, the awesome professional opportunities that are not in tune with your vision that threaten to distract you with contentment and countless other perils that can impede your virtuous journey. You must remind yourself to continue to dream. Remember what it is in detail about your dream that makes your skin glow and heart rate quicken. Not only continue to conjure visions of what life would be like when you reach your ultimate goal but be present in the current pursuit. Think of your average day prior to identifying your dream. Odds are you don’t want to go back there so allow yourself to be present while chasing your passion and learn to appreciate the process. I guarantee when you’re a multi-millionaire and writing your memoir, right after you give me a gracious shout out (by name)…*ahem… in the introduction, the process and all its bumps in the road will be some of the sweetest memories your mogul-mind will evoke and will surely make for a bestselling biography.
At some point, you have to begin working on making your dreams a reality. I suggest not waiting too long before getting to work. Remember the self-doubt we acknowledged? The longer you wait, the more fertile it becomes for doubt to plant its ugly seed in your conscious. The work can start with a laptop (or pen and pad for you purists), beverage of choice (I prefer a nice red wine) and dedicated time in your schedule for drafting the plan. Be sure not to place false limitations on your vision. If you can see it, you can achieve it – cliché be damned. To date, there hasn’t been a passion I’ve pursued in life that didn’t become a tangible reality, in time. The moment you place limitations on your vision, you stifle your success so always dream big and prepare for prosperity.
The other thing I wanted to be sure to note was mentioned a bit earlier but is deserving of reprise – be mindful of who you invite to your show. When we’re passionate about something, our natural desire is to share it with those closest to us – ideally in the figurative sense but, depending upon the level of excitement, sometimes the literal will do just fine. Friend, brother, sister, mother, spouse – screen your guests wisely before extending the invitation – particularly when your dream is still in its infancy and most delicate stage. The cynicism of others can render an infertile mind ideal for cultivating doubt. Now, before you go giving your mother the side-eye, know that not all pessimists are intentionally malicious. There are many who are programmed to think small or are simply willing to lead a conventional life – nothing wrong with the latter but it often makes them incapable of entertaining the big ideas of others. Also, be sure not to confuse doom and gloom for constructive criticism. The constructive feedback is exactly what you want but when the dream is fresh, we tend to be most defensive and can easily misinterpret valuable feedback for skepticism. Reacting irrationally could result in pushing away a valuable comrade so refine those discernment skills – they will be invaluable.
So, dream, protect the dream, make a plan and choose your guest stars judiciously. When you’re finally ready to introduce your dream to the world, you’ll be in control and peak shape for success… and no well-to-do housewife or retired video model suddenly seeking a career as an opera singer will ever be able to compete with your reality show.