July 1st, 2017

Approval is a Waste of Time

byMich Manaras

I usually start off my blog posts with a little bit of exposition to get the reader inside my head but I’ll get straight to the point on this one; I’m done justifying myself.

I’ve always had big ideas, and as a kid that was perfectly fine, but as soon as I became an adult, it seems like any ounce of imagination, creativity or out of the box thinking was a serious problem.

Every idea I’d ever come up with, no matter how logically sound (in my eyes), had to be justified with a step-by-step, minute-for-minute roadmap more robust than Google’s artificial intelligence blueprint; a plan so thorough it would actually require a time machine to travel to the future, because that would be the only way to document every single, sub-atomic step required.

And by some miracle if I happened to convince whoever I was trying to convince, they seemed to immediately forget any of what I just said, like a goldfish, and I’d have to repeat myself every time I saw them. No matter how much math or logic backed up my “imaginative” ideas it just never seemed to be enough.

Whether it was an idea to improve something at work or my plans of pursuing a career in the arts I would just get so discouraged. Like the bright-eyed kid I used to be, I brought the same enthusiasm when an idea would spark, just to be met with a brick wall.

“It’ll never work”, “that’s a nice hobby”, “how you gonna monetize?”

I must’ve heard those three sentences about 14,685 times and they really did slow me down to the point of almost quitting, many times.

Until I asked myself the question: “Why am I trying to earn their approval, who are they and why do I owe them that?”

The people who required the justification weren’t pursuing their dreams, they hadn’t shifted or evolved from the road they embarked on in their early adult lives. They were all experts at things they didn’t do.

If a new idea could potentially impact their world, they’d rather demand for levels of proof so impossible to acquire, it would guarantee nothing would ever change.

If it involved something completely independent of themselves, like someone else’s pursuit of a dream, they’d apply logic as to why it could never be accomplished. The truth is, it was logic based on why they could never do it; not me.

That’s when I realized these people didn’t mean any harm, they were just in their own world, and I was in mine. And seeking their approval was a complete waste of my time, and theirs.

All the time I wasted trying to convince everyone around me how I was going to do things could’ve been spent actually doing things! Only when I realized this fundamental property of accomplishment did I truly start to move.

Co-workers, friends and family members, if they didn’t get what I was trying to do it was no longer my problem. I’ll just do my own thing, work like a dog and make things happen for myself while they sit there and tell everybody around them not to do things.

I ignored the noise and pushed forward, I actually pushed so hard at work it was almost too much, and I had to step back (that’s another story!), but it led me here! When I realized I couldn’t push for evolution without the whole team behind me, then I’d have to find a team who could; myself.

I started writing, recording and learning about how to get my stuff out there. I could go as hard as I wanted, whenever I wanted, no convincing or reiteration required; true freedom.

The path I’ve chosen can only be justified by myself; all it requires is the belief and the confidence I can do it. A dream isn’t something that can be scheduled and forecasted like a business plan, (honestly I’ve made business plans, and any banker will tell you they’re a fairytale anyway) it’s a path where the only thing clear is the direction. It’s an adventure and can lead anywhere, and as long as I love it, learn every day and apply it, I know I’ll make it work.

My dream is to create something meaningful people can connect with, I’m only just getting started but I know it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life.