Today is my 50th birthday. There, I said it. I’m full of energy but I’m not 18 any more. I don’t feel old. I’m still a big kid at heart, and am not slowing down mentally, but speeding up (I hope!) Physically, I’m still doing pretty good and haven’t strayed too far from my ideal weight, though I have less hair on my head than I’d like (as you can see in my age progression samples – even less currently as I shaved off the goatee).
Meh, there’s more to a man than the number of hairs on his head. I’m happily married and love my wife more today than the day we married. I am a father of two wonderful young men, am surrounded by those who love me, am working on some very cool projects and the future looks bright!
I’m passionate, driven, stable and raring to go. But I have fewer years to go than I’d like to have. Sadly, I started getting uber serious about my goals only later in life. Even so, I promised myself I’d have my first book out on the market by my 45th birthday, but some serious curve balls were thrown my way and I got hit by at least one of them. Like many of you, the economy kicked me in the stomach and I’m still recovering. It really threw my publishing timeline out the window, then ran down 17 flights of stairs so it could stomp on it some more. But despite my circumstances, I have peace and remain hopeful for the days ahead. I’ve been working my tail off and good things are coming!
Life is a roller coaster. Count on it. Plan for it, get over it, and keep moving forward! Every valley is an opportunity for personal growth and prepares you to soar higher than ever before. I didn’t get the book out when I wanted, but I do have one coming out at the end of the year! And along the way, I also got into acting, wrote, produced and directed a pile of plays and skits, even acting in some of them halfway around the world, did some public speaking, got into the missions field feeding the poor, doing construction work, and had the honor of being used by God to do some amazing things in lands I never thought I’d visit, and none of that was part of the original plan, so I’m by no means complaining!
I’ve never been lazy and have accomplished a lot of cool little things, but some of my lifelong dreams have yet to come to pass. I’m sure you can relate to some degree. I wasn’t sitting around watching TV all day or playing video games and it wasn’t a lack of passion on my part either. I have boundless passion, enthusiasm, drive, vision, a diverse set of talents and know others who can fill in the gaps to pull off my dreams, and I have a God and family and friends that love me so much and wants to help see my dreams come true!
I live a very full, balanced life. I am not so obsessed with meeting my goals that I am neglecting my family, my God, my bills, etc…, but something has to give. So, I don’t stay up till all hours working on the game design, the setting material or writing a novel. I still have to do grocery shopping, go to the dentist, do some freelancing to pay the bills, etc. It’s not all about me and I don’t have time to do everything nor do I have the talent to do everything. I don’t think any of us were ever meant to.
As many of you know, I’m a firm believer in surrounding myself with people of passion and of like mind, of building teams to make cool things happen. But at the end of my life, I don’t want to look back and see that I accomplished my dreams by neglecting my responsibilities as a husband and father, servant, etc. If I sacrifice those I love in order to selfishly pursue my own dreams, that’s a pretty shallow victory and I would be a shallow, miserable person for doing so.
We all have dreams and while we pursue our own, we owe it to the people around us to save some time to invest in their dreams too. We need to care enough — to love enough, or the race isn’t worth it. It’s never too late to stop, change directions and become passionate not just about what you are doing, but what others are doing too! And do what you need to do. Don’t be satisfied with mediocrity just to get published. Don’t half-ass your dream. Do it right or find something else to do.
Sorry, I’m rushing this blog post. I know, I just said not to half-ass your dream. This blog post isn’t my dream (fortunately), and while I’m all about being professional, frankly I really wanted to post this on my birthday, and with my plate filled high, the editing is not what it should be. And I barely touched on Cosmothea or the Cosmoverse to boot. Well,
So, if Passion isn’t enough, what is? There’s a lot of things that you can do, including realizing that if you are living a balanced life and doing your best, letting God do his job and only tackling your own (which includes looking after the needs of others and loving the people around you), you’ve already won, you are already successful! In fact, you are likely already happier than succeeding in your dreams would ever make you! Choose to be content in all things. It really is a choice!
Ok, but what about the dreams part? I haven’t forgotten… as for what is enough to accomplish your dreams, when passion just doesn’t cut it (and it won’t), while there’s no magic formula, doing the things I’ve posted in these 2 parts will get you well on your way to success. The rest is just smoke and mirrors!
Er, I mean, the truth is, if you are already doing all the things I mentioned in these 2 blog entries and still aren’t seeing your dream come true, it could be that a) the timing isn’t right yet – have some patience, b) you could be sabotaging it unconsciously by an unhealthy lifestyle habit or other likely fixable personal issue and should pray and/or seek advice (hey, none of us are perfect. As for advice, I’m neither a doctor, pastor, lawyer or accountant, but I’m all ears), c) you just might need to do some more market research, planning, brainstorming, get feedback on your project, and make some little adjustments and/or d) God just has something even bigger and better planned for you!
I’m going to get off the soapbox here and change gears with my next blog post. So, if you are tired of hearing all this yacking about life, no worries! I’ll be changing format with the next post and will delve more into QT games and our upcoming products with shorter blog posts since I’m getting too busy (rather than posting longer ones, less often). If you have something in particular (QT Games or life-related) that you would like me to address, please post in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do! But a month blew by since my last post, so I didn’t want to put this off one off any longer. Thanks for understanding about the lack of decent editing in light of my heavy schedule (shorter posts should help in that regards as well)! Let’s make it an awesome week, folks!
[Editor’s note: If you got this blog post via email, there were some formatting issues that I managed to resolve too late for you to get them in your email likely – WordPress was acting way funky on paragraphs! And more importantly, I extended the post and wrapped up the topic! Check out the last few paragraphs above! Thanks!!!]