In it, she links to an essay by a football player who has persisted and who made the NFL despite obstacles, including being considered “too short.”
My comment was this:
I’ve seen people take these stories in two different ways. Some people think, “Hey, this person tried and tried and never gave up and eventually got where they wanted to go. So, if I do all that, I’ll get the same result.”
Well, no. Probably not. These stories become news because they are the exception. And a lot of other people, the ones who didn’t get there, they probably wanted it just as much.
But here’s the lesson I do take from that, and I think it’s a really important one.
What do you want your life to be like? There’s the “you’ll regret it if you don’t try” thing, but this is bigger than that. Do you want to play the odds, assume you won’t succeed, and sit on the sofa watching cat videos your whole life?
I was a professional musician, and the bands I was in really gave everything we had to make the big time. Short story: we didn’t make it.
I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.
I think quitting on a dream can be a very positive thing (if you do it for the right reasons, of course). As I describe in one of my comments on Kristan’s post, Henry James and George Bernard Shaw had dreams of becoming, respectively, a playwright and a novelist, and English literature is a whole lot richer because they gave up on those dreams and became, respectively, a novelist and a playwright.
And I wouldn’t have half as much fun writing these last couple of decades if I was still trying to be a musician at the same time.
Or, to take it away from the realm of art and sports, getting out of a bad marriage can be a very positive change in a person’s life, but it does inevitably involve giving up on a dream.