What’s up, Arrowheads? So, my boyfriend likes to think he’s a philosopher of some sort, and often gives my sister and me advice when we’re anxious (which is 98.5% of the time). A few months back, we were all talking about how a certain country singer, who was popular in the 90s, has recently belly-flopped into the country-pop side of what used to be country music. Like usual, Josh goes on this hilarious rant, and ends it by saying, “Don’t try to be hip, be you!” It got a lot of laughs from my sister and me, but here’s the thing… Philosopher Josh has a point…
Don’t Go Turbo
The funny thing about our society today is that it tells us to stand out and be “our own person”, but only if we go about “beating our own path” in the way they feel is appropriate. Like with the country singer: although he has maintained his status as a country superstar for the past few decades, he felt the need to follow the crowd into the country-pop market to “expand his horizons”. That’s all good and well, but if it’s all for the sake of popularity, and not because you’re 100% invested in this new endeavor, it’s going to come across as unnatural. And indeed, his country-pop songs do. Personally, I liked him a lot better when he was himself, instead of, as Wreck-It Ralph puts it, “going Turbo” and abandoning his roots.
And then I thought about it… while “beating our own path”, we often take rest stops, check out what other people are doing, and decide to “go Turbo”. We get so caught up in what other people are doing, what the popular route is, that we get side-tracked and run off chasing the heels of those who have beat their own path and shared their secrets with the general population instead of claiming our own. And then we wonder why there’s so much foot traffic on the path to achieving our goals… because it’s not your path, honey. It’s theirs.
It’s fine to collect general inspiration from others, but if you truly want to accomplish your goals–the goals that are specific to your hopes and dreams–you’re going to have to tailor those tips you garner from others to fit your goals. Not every plan is going to work for you. You’re going to have to pick and choose, experiment and fail, pick yourself up time and time again, and beat your own path to accomplish your goals.
Now, how do we do such a thing?
Don’t Try to Be Hip
First things first: figure out who you are. Who did God make you to be? What specific hopes and dreams did He give you? What makes you different from any other person on the same general journey as you, whether it be pursuing music, an author career, etc.?
Once you figure out the answers to those questions, you’ve got to own it. You want to experiment in a type of music that your friends aren’t fans of? Pursue it. You want to write books that challenge the way people think? Pursue it. Don’t let the fear of judgment overshadow your desire to step out and pursue the desires God has laid on your heart. Who cares if your dream isn’t popular? That’s how indie media came to be. In case you didn’t know, “indie” is just short for “independent”. Now, if we’re going to claim that title, let’s be independent. Even if you’re pursuing traditional means of accomplishing your goals, try to be “indie” in your route. Be independent. Don’t start the journey because everyone else is doing it, or because it has proved to be successful for a lot of people. You’re not a lot of people. Find your own route, and…
God did not handcraft you for you to be just like everyone else. God did not handcraft you and give you specific desires and dreams for you to put those aside and attempt to mimic the path to success that others take. God handcrafted you and gave you those dreams because He has a specific purpose for you. Yeah, you read that right. He has a specific purpose for you, and a specific plan for you. That does not involve chasing fame or fortune by accomplishing items on a “get rich quick” list. It does, however, involve putting in your own efforts, consulting Him for guidance, and relentlessly pursuing the individual path He has laid out for you.
God didn’t make you to be Beyonce. He made you to be you.
God didn’t make you to be J.K. Rowling. He made you to be you.
God didn’t make you to be Billy Graham. He made you to be you.
Let’s stop comparing ourselves to people who’ve accomplished their dreams.
Let’s stop mimicking the “successful” and start pulling our own weight.
Let’s not be afraid of what others will think and relentlessly pursue the dreams God has laid on our hearts.
“Don’t try to be hip, be you.”Josh, 2018
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
So, have you been “hip” lately, or have you stayed true to yourself? I’m as guilty as anyone for scoping out the hip author trends to sell more books, but I’m slowly learning this is going to be a personal journey, not one I can find a quick-fix to on some YouTube video.
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.