Choosing Yourself

We spend most of our days waiting for someone else to choose us.

  • We raise our hand and wait patiently for the teacher to call us.
  • We apply to schools and wait to see which one wants us.
  • We apply for credit so we can buy things we can’t afford without it.
  • We send our manuscripts from one agent or editor to another, waiting for the one who will choose it for publication.
  • We go to one audition after another, waiting for the casting director who will choose us for the role.
  • We go to open mic night and karaoke night, waiting for the big agent to come and choose us.

What if we lived in a world where we didn’t have to wait for someone to choose us? What if the only person who had to choose was the one who bought our product?

What if we lived in a world where we didn’t need the gatekeepers to tell our potential customers whether our work was worth buying?

Here’s the secret: we do live in that world.

Thanks to the Internet, thanks to Amazon and YouTube, thanks to Scrivener and hi-res camera phones and high-quality microphones that plug right into your USB port, we can produce high-quality work right from our homes. And thanks to sites like Fiverr and Elance, we can get affordable help for the work we don’t know how to do. And we can offer our work to as many people as we can reach from our connected laptops–which is to say, most of them.

If we can create work that’s as good as the gatekeepers allow, if we can get it out there in front of as many potential buyers, what’s left for them to do? Why are we still waiting for them to choose us?

Choosing ourselves might be riskier, it might be harder, it might take longer. Maybe. Even that’s no longer given.

But if we can reduce the levels of decision between us and our dreams from three or four to one, isn’t it worth a shot?

All it takes is the courage to choose ourselves.

I've been a soldier, a dreamer, a working stiff, a leader. A husband, father, example (good and otherwise), and now a survivor. I write about courage, because courage is what enables us to accomplish the impossible. If you draw breath, I love you. If you love in whatever way seems best to you and want others to love in whatever way seems best to them, I am your ally. If you believe someone is less than you because they do not love the way you do, I oppose you. If you see someone as a threat to be abused or destroyed merely because they do not look like you, or love like you, or worship like you, I am your enemy. I am a joyful and courageous man. And I stand with you who love.