My favorite line from our Finding Your Path event in December (see video above) was from Carlos Serrano, owner of Empanada Guy food trucks and restaurant. I’m paraphrasing: You can’t play hokey pokey with your dreams. If you find something you want to do, you can’t be like, “Put your left foot in, take your left foot out.” You have to jump into the circle with both feet.
You get out what you put in; you reap what you sow. These are cliches, but often the most profound truths of life are hidden behind cliches.
Passions are overblown. The idea that you have to find your ONE LIFE PURPOSE by the time you’re 18 or else something is wrong with you is harmful to young people. It leads to over scheduling of activities, too much stress about college and majors and a sense of despair for people still figuring out life. It’s very healthy to explore and dabble to find out what you like.
What I value most about Carlos’ idea is that once you have found something that you want in your life (a job, a relationship, writing a book, making an album, starting a business or nonprofit) committing to it fully—jumping into the circle with both feet—is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. You blow past limits you thought you had. You tap into your creativity and you can’t help but learn all sorts of new things. Whether you’re successful or not, you will almost certainly be a better person for having tried.
The young people we work with dabble a lot, as they should. We don’t push massive commitment because it has to come from inside them. If they find something we take them seriously and encourage them to jump in—and so many of them have in film, fitness, piano, math, writing, working, taking college classes and much more.
There is no guarantee you will succeed, but you’re almost guaranteed to fall short if you aren’t fully committed.
If you need a hokey pokey refresher, here you go: