Whenever I try to watch a video on YouTube these days, there are ads that start up before the video. The ads I have been getting are for master class teachers giving their online classes. These are famous, successful people who start an online class about their expertise. Great film directors, screenplay writers, movie producers, poets, novelists. They are invariably creative folks who tell stories to express their genius.
Anyway, I usually do watch those ads to the end, although I can’t afford to order the classes. Just recently, a screen writer finished his ad by saying, “To write, you have to be ready to be bad. Otherwise, you’ll never write anything good.” I get what he means. You have to be ready to start out missing the mark and making something awful, if you want to grow. That’s the only way to get to doing something really well.
A few years ago, I saw a professional YouTuber describing how he got started. He said he just started producing the videos he felt a passion for. As he looked back, he could see how bad the first videos were. The sound and video quality, his speaking hesitancies, the lack of good flow. No one was watching the videos at all, the channel was basically dead. But he said he just kept doing the videos because he just had a passion for doing them. He genuinely loved to do them and get better and better at them. And bit by bit he did get better and better, and then all of sudden, the channel took off. Now he’s famous, and a lot of people are interested in his videos. His point was, whatever you’re trying to do, you have to start out bad to eventually become good. And to make it through that, you have to have the passion that carries you through the tough times. The passion that keeps you doing what you do when no one is watching.
If I were to ask a group of people in Ecuador here if they want to learn English, everyone would say yes. Absolutely everyone. But I know what they really mean. They mean, I would like to already know English. Everyone would like to speak another language. Very few actually people want to learn another language. And the reason is because we don’t want to start out bad. We have something inside of us as adults that doesn’t want to start out bad at what we’re trying to do. And the only way that anyone keeps going in English, or any other initiative for that matter, is when there’s a passion deep enough to carry them through being bad at what they’re doing. How do you know if you have that passion?
It’s when you’ll keep doing it even when nobody is watching.
What do you like to do when nobody else is watching?
What is your passion?
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” (Jn 1:48)