I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Find a Mitch

Sometimes dreams die of natural causes.

The 30-year-old minor league baseball player has a sudden realization that he’s never going to get the call to the big leagues, so he finds a job as a scout or a coach, or he joins the business world. 

The singer who gained a local following, but was passed over by every record label understands deep in her gut that her big break is never going to happen – with her finances dwindling and her opportunities drying up, she finds a way to stay in the industry by teaching or in some other way.

The man who opened his own auto repair shop during a down economy finds financial stability early on since people tend to hold on to their cars longer when money is tight and therefore need to have them repaired more often. But when the economy improves and they trade them in for new ones, his business takes a huge hit and he has to close his doors.

Sometimes we kill our own dreams.

I’m reading a novel called Unconventional by J.J. Hebert. It’s about a writer named James Frost who spends his free time working on his novel and the rest of his time as a janitor in a school. He battles the notion that he is not good enough to be published. Nearly everybody around him tells him so. His dad is doubtful too, but his doubt is rooted in his own regret. Early in the novel, James notes this about his dad:
He was a talented baseball player, an all-star in each league in which he participated. He could have gone somewhere with baseball, maybe the big leagues, but he quit. He withdrew because he didn’t believe he was good enough. Every time he watches baseball, I see pain etched in his face, the anguish of an abandoned dream. He’ll never get his prime baseball-playing years back. One can’t reverse time.
James’ dad found it easier to walk away than to find out he really wasn’t good enough.

Understanding the difference between a dream that is on the verge of dying of natural causes versus a dream that somebody is about to abandon prematurely can be tricky.

Be careful who you talk to about your dreams.

Some people just aren’t risk takers, so they impose their mindset on people who are willing to take a risk to chase a dream, but their doubtful tone causes more damage than they realize.

Some people failed in pursuit of their dream because they just didn’t have the talent or finances and they are bitter to the point of not wanting anybody else to succeed.

And some people just abandoned their dream prematurely rather than hearing they are not good enough and they think you should too.

If your dream has died of natural causes, take some time to mourn and then find a way to morph your old dream into a new one. But if you are on the verge of killing your dream, you need to find a Mitch.

Mitch is a friend of James. He invents sporting equipment and sees his profession as similar to what James does as a writer. Here’s a conversation Mitch has with James in a restaurant:
“Being different all the time,” James says. “It’s like an automatic strike against me. I feel so alone sometimes.”

He nods, understanding. “The greatest and most inspiring achievements are not produced by those who conform to society’s idea of normal, but by those who courageously adopt the unconventional.”
If you can’t find a Mitch, become a Mitch. It may come full circle.


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