Do you know what social media cliche I hate the most? Humble bragging about ‘exciting emails‘.
Hands up. We’re all guilty of it. It’s not that I’m not happy for people, it’s just that I worry how quick we are to celebrate things before they come to fruition.
Does this feel familiar? The instant feeling of joy when you think about something, only for it to fall through, get pushed under the rug or simply not turn out as you initially expected.
There’s much to be said about speaking things into existence and setting intentions out loud, but patting yourself on the back for receiving the smallest hint of an opportunity is a dangerous game to play. Let me explain…
You’re missing the bigger picture
A couple of months back I attended a job fair at a local university, to help with the hunt for a new intern at work. I was amazed at how talented and headstrong the students were, all totally capable of holding their own in the industry. However, one thing I didn’t anticipate was how one track minded people could be.
A handful of these students had all applied for the same internship at another company. There was only one place available, but all of them were very confident they were getting the spot. Ok, confidence is fine. What I didn’t expect to hear was ‘Well maybe I can call you in a few months when I’ve found out if I’ve got the placement?‘ No. That’s not how it works. You can’t put all your eggs in one basket and the company I’m working for isn’t going to wait around for someone we haven’t even interviewed yet.
Some of the people I met seemed so one track minded on what they thought was going to happen, that they failed to create themselves a back up plan. There was a number of companies there that day, the students weren’t going to get a better chance to introduce themselves and secure an internship.
However, they didn’t see it like this because they were too busy focusing on the main opportunity they were chasing.
Opportunity Vs Execution
When we get an opportunity it’s easy to think ‘Oh my gosh, this is my moment‘ but in actual fact, it’s the execution that counts. It’s really important to stay grounded to ensure you give this chance your all. An opportunity or new idea is only that until you bring it to life and you can only do this if you focus on the end goal, instead of celebrating at the starting line.
I think that some people assume ‘it’s meant to be’ as soon as they receive a hint of hope. I’m sorry to be the party pooper but I honestly believe this leads to bigger disappointment.
Not every opportunity needs a yes. Not every opportunity needs your time. Not every opportunity will work out.
Call me cynical. I probably am. But I’ve been in this place far too many times and I’ve watched far too many people build their hopes up too soon.
‘Who are you to tell people when they can be happy?’
Alright, calm down pal. That’s not what this is about. Getting excited is fine, but staying grounded is also equally as important.
There’s a tone we take when we’re talking about the possibilities, especially on social media. Sometimes it’s not always sheer enthusiasm. It’s self-indulgence. A lot of the time, we’re just trying to keep up. We talk about the projects we’re working on, the people we’ve met, the events we’ve attended; just so we have something to talk about.
This isn’t me being judgemental. Heck, I’m guilty of it too. But it’s going to do us harm in the long run. If we’re wasting our hopes on ‘exciting emails’ only to be ghosted days later, we’re slowly going to chip away at our own happiness. Our feed will be a series of ‘coming soon’ and our friends will start to doubt new projects after seeing old ones fade away.
When a new opportunity or idea comes your way, make moves not statements. I’m not saying you can’t celebrate your own progress. What I’m saying is it’s time to be selective about what you attach your joy to.