You Can’t Just Have the Wins

You’ve got to take the losses and downsides too

Tim Denning
Oct 17 · 5 min read
Image Credit: anthonyhearsey.com

“I want what you have” was the subject line of an email I got last week. The first thought that entered my mind was, “Be careful what you wish for.”

Each of us has a hero, an idol or someone we look up to. The mistake we make is craving and fetishizing our hero’s wins or achievements. We think to ourselves that we want exactly what they want.

It’s taken me a while to realize that this ideal is not always one worth entertaining.


One of my heroes is a popular online personality. To keep the focus on the right topic, I’m not going to mention his name because it really doesn’t matter. The important part is that I have followed his work for many years and this year got to meet him in person.

The hours I spent wanting his life as a young man in my 20’s, and reading about everything he did led me to imagine his life in a certain way. What changed it all was when I met him and saw how he spent time with his fans.

Watching his life from about three LeBron sized steps away changed my thoughts and my need to “have what he had.”

His online footprint showed him winning, celebrating, meeting influential people and writing best-selling books. In real-life, he desperately wanted to be with his wife and kids and walk back to his hotel without a crowd of people wanting a photo with him.

The stark contrast between who I saw on the internet and the person right in front of me was one of those moments that slowed down time.

I wanted what he had, and then shortly after, wanted nothing to do with what he had. The thought of never being able to walk down the street, having every move be judged and critiqued, and never seeing my family because of the endless traveling circus that this way of life demands, became a nightmare and no longer a dream with white clouds and sandcastles located in Santa Monica, LA.

If you want what someone else has, you’ve got to take their losses, struggles and the downsides

Death threats

This is something I have never experienced before and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Yet it’s been part of the process of becoming a writer.

The trolls

Eventually, the trolls stopped and they received enough backlash to make them go away. But the mental toll it took was extraordinary.

Doubts

These are all the thoughts that float around in my head on a daily basis and on some days, those thoughts win and the creative process is stopped. Such is life.

Insecurities

It sounds like a walk in the park. Try losing your job, living a lie, and then admitting it in front of your former boss and all your new work colleagues.

It’s incredibly hard to do and not something that comes easy to any of us even if your father was Rocky and your mother was Wonder Woman.

A thriving social life replaced by work

While I don’t track the exact number of hours, it would easily be two full days of writing a week plus several hours before and after work hours. This means that the idea of a thriving social life with friends is severely limited because I just don’t have the time.

With every opportunity to choose work, comes a matching sacrifice.

A disease of the mind

This was my existence for so many years and it comes with the achievements.


Summary

I fell for this trap too until the experience this year with my online hero.

It’s okay to dream; just make sure you are willing to contemplate all the upsides, downsides and potential losses that come with that dream.


The Post-Grad Survival Guide

We're confused twenty-somethings. We dish on our post-grad blues, successes, failures, and everyday life right here. Featuring topics related to work, relationships, travel, finances, and so much more.

Thanks to Dan Moore

Tim Denning

Written by

Viral Blogger - Inspiring the world through Personal Development and Entrepreneurship. www.timdenning.net

The Post-Grad Survival Guide

We're confused twenty-somethings. We dish on our post-grad blues, successes, failures, and everyday life right here. Featuring topics related to work, relationships, travel, finances, and so much more.

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