“Everybody wants the good life but not everyone is willing to persevere to get it.” — Ted lopez
Patients and perseverance, the double threat. These two words have been on my mind recently because I have started to see their role play out in my life over the recent months.
Last year saw me take a giant leap of faith in terms of my career. I made the decision to leave my full-time job in order to dedicate all my waking hours to my business ambitions. I also decided to start doing dreadlocks again (for the second time in my life). Except this time I was planning on going longer than 4 weeks before giving up. To be honest, I was not nearly prepared for this struggle when I attempted it the first time around, hashtag IWasNeverReady. I liked the idea, but I couldn’t handle the implementation.
Dreadlocks are not easy man, you need to go to the salon every few weeks, sleep with a weird head wrap thingy each night, always shower with a shower cap, stay away from large bodies of water, keep your head moist, yet dry at the same time and be ready to accept the fact that people will either think that you smoke weed or sell it. It’s chaos. And worst of all, when you start off with short hair like I did, your dreads look like creepy little worm things up until they get to a respectable length. You really have to be committed to this journey, this hustle is not for the feint of heart. So gentlemen, next time your mother/sister/girlfriend/wife/side-chick comes home with a brand new hairstyle, you best tell her she looks good, cause this hair game is not a joke
Business is not easy either, you need confidently face uncertainty, take a large number of risks, continuously put yourself out there, set yourself goals and literally work your ass off to achieve them, regardless of what people think or say. For one to survive mentally, especially in the beginning, you need to be very logical, yet very irrational at the same time. It’s an interesting, contradictory, yet necessary combination.
It been a tough journey hair wise and a challenging journey business wise, but here we are half a year later, still going strong. Have I had my doubts… no, not really. I am at the stage of my life where I know exactly who I want to be and where I want to go.
Patience and perseverance have played a large role in getting to where I am and through this journey I have learned the following:
1. You need to know what you want — or at the very least what you don’t want.
This is the foundation, if you don’t know where you are going, all roads will get you there. You don’t always need to know exactly what you want down to the last detail, but you should have a vague idea and the least you should know is what you don’t want. So that you don’t waste your time running in the wrong direction.
2. You need to believe in yourself.
People tend to wait for the approval of those around them, before they are confident in their own choices, they keep on looking for validation and confirmation from others in order to move forward with their own decisions. At some point you need to realize that this is your life and no one will live it for you. You are the one that will live with your decisions after they are made, so you should be responsible for making them. You need to believe that you are moving in the ‘right’ direction and you need to trust your instincts and your gut feelings.
3. Understand that it will get rough and uncomfortable at some point.
Look things will not always work out as planned. In fact, they usually never work out as planned. Plans are our attempt of seeking comfort and certainty in the uncertain future. But when you get thrown with a curve ball, you got to adapt. Sometimes you need to embrace that IFU (I Fucked Up) feeling that often comes when you make significant changes to your life. And of course, the inevitable ETIFU (Everyone Thinks I Fucked Up) feeling that comes when everyone else becomes aware of what you are doing. Trust me, it’s not easy, but hey, no risk no reward folks.
4. There will be haters, doubters, and non-believers
Look there will always be haters, doubters and non-believers, whatever you do, wherever you go and whoever you are. But if you have the first three points on lock, then these nay-sayers should not affect you at all. This is where a strong support structure comes into play. I personally know that I have family that will back me up, whatever the case. They are prepared to accept and support me regardless of what I am doing. Over the past 6 years (since I moved to Cape Town) on separate occasions I have gone back home either
- Vegetarian. OR
- Pseudo-Buddhist. OR
- Gluten free OR
- Pseudo Hare-Krishna OR
- Jobless OR
- Dreadlocked OR
- Self-employed AND
- The list goes on…
Obviously, they will interrogate my decisions, in order to understand my reasoning (if any) but they will never shun me, doubt me or disown me. They may not always fully agree with my choices in life and when that’s the case they will always offer constructive criticism and guidance going forward. I am convinced, however, that they do believe that I believe that I know what I am doing and they have always been quick to give me the support that I need. This makes the journey a whole easier because I know that there are people that will be quick to catch me when I fall.
Patience and perseverance are necessary in order to be the person that you want to be and to ensure that you live the life that you desire
We just need to remember that (most of the time) nothing worthwhile comes easy.