Today I received an interesting question, about the difference between being Delusional vs having Perseverance. How do you know when you need perseverance, or if you are being delusional? If you prefer a video format, see the video below.
Back to the question at hand…
You don’t want to be delusional, but you do want perseverance. How do you make sure you have the latter, but not the former? In a way, this also relates to the idea of imposter syndrome… where your delusion is that you don’t recognize how good you already are.
First, lets better define our terms.
Delusional is where you have false or unrealistic beliefs or opinions. Or, you maintain false beliefs even when confronted with facts.
Perseverance is where you have steady persistence in a course of action, purpose, etc., despite any potential difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
Hopefully you can see the problem here… If you are an artist, you could think you can be a professional, or perhaps think you already are, and that could be a delusion. On the other hand, you could be an artist who is facing discouragement, but you actually can become a professional and you need to keep pushing forward… to persevere. Somehow, you have to navigate a path without being delusional.
So here’s a few thoughts. Take it with a grain of salt, I’m just an artist that loves self-improvement and I take what lessons I can from the bible as well.
First, lets discuss risk.
What happens if you are delusional about your art goal (or other dream)? Well, you might fail. Do you want to know how to fail 100%? All you have to do is not attempt anything at all. With this in mind, it’s better to try.
What’s the potential pay off?
Well, if you are chasing something you truly love… you will have spent your life chasing something enjoyable and meaningful. Even if you fail at your ultimate end goal, you still chased something worth pursuing. Hopefully, you had fun doing it. That’s pretty good, and better than choosing to do nothing and guaranteeing your failure. And in the base case scenario, you will succeed. Perhaps more than you ever thought possible. You could shake the foundations of the world itself with the impact you bring.
Nothing in life is guaranteed.
And few things in life will come without adversity. So make sure to choose an activity or pursuit that you do love. That will help you when the adversity comes. You’ll find it easier to push ahead, to find ways around or through an obstacle. I’ve run into the opposite of this, where I was chasing the wrong goal. I had originally made my business for website design and graphic design, and got to a point where I had to hire freelance to handle the amount of work I had. It was then I realized that I truly made a mistake… this was not what I wanted to do. So, I worked my way out of that industry and went back to my real passion, which is artwork.
The interesting thing about perseverance is that you have to have a believe that you can achieve and overcome the obstacles in your way to achieve. But you also have this belief even if you are delusional.
It might feel like you are walking a razor’s edge. It reminds me of the famous saying, that there’s a fine line between insanity and genius.
And so it is with delusion and perseverance. You walk a narrow path, but it’s a path worth taking. Anything else is to guarantee failure. We are meant to strive, and to overcome.
Personally, I feel that any little thing that I can stack in my corner gives me that little bit more to help lead to success. I like to focus on what I can actually control, and leave the rest to God.
What kind of things can you control that will give you a better chance (even if it’s only a little)?
1) Be optimistic. Yes, persevere despite the risk of being delusional.
2) Realize that there WILL be obstacles. There WILL be challenges that you must overcome. The world does not owe you anything, it is on you to achieve.
3) Believe that you CAN achieve.
4) Pick something you really care about, as this will help you persevere.
5) Stay humble. Be HONEST with yourself, to accurately identify what you need to work on. Persevere despite the obstacles. When you have a failure, find what you need to fix next time… and don’t stop.
6) Make your goal a habit, do it all the time.
7) Do not tie your self worth to your work.
8) Learn from your elders (those who are farther ahead than you)
9) Work hard, and smart, but enjoy the process
10) Trust that, regardless of where you end up, it’ll be better than if you did nothing.
11) Control what you can, and leave the rest to God.
There can be no guarantee of success. But we all have an equal opportunity to make the attempt. We all stand at the base of the mountain, but not all make it to the top. You cannot force equal outcome, to guarantee that all will succeed. But you can control you, and the effort you put into it. That’s entirely within your control. So focus on that, and keep the faith.
And remember to help others along the way.
If you liked this, please share this with someone who needs to hear this message.
Also, I’d love to hear from you. Did I miss anything? Have you struggled with navigating the path between delusion and perseverance? Please comment below.
And with that, take care and God bless!