Fooling Yourself

So many people are delusional about how smart, sexy, good looking, interesting, talented, etc. they really are. Just watch any number of preposterous contestants on American Idol who are genuinely shocked and dismayed after the judges have told them they don’t have what it takes.

Gene Simmons has this way of disarming people by saying their name and complimenting them with, “you are a powerful and attractive man/woman.” He understands the innate feeling of being told you are worthy. Of course, he tells himself this all the time. His self-worth doesn’t come from the outside, it comes from the inside. He is supremely confident in his abilities. He thinks himself a powerful and attractive man which helps sell the “Gene Simmons persona.” He has failed innumerable times, but he continues to move forward and, obviously, found a great deal of success.

The crazy thing is trying to decide if you are simply self-confident in your own abilities to do something or delusional. Many successful people say they had no idea what the odds were against them. They simply moved forward toward their goal. Success is perseverance – keep knocking on the door… keep sending proposals, taking auditions, writing spec scripts or composing music. You never know.

The bottom line is not fooling yourself. Are you talented? Can you move large numbers of people with your words, your songs, your paintings or some other creative endeavor? Do you know what you are good at?

I’m about as creative as I make up my mind to be. Ideas are a dime a dozen. It’s how one uses the spark of creativity which makes all the difference. I have read any number of books, screenplays, magazines and said I could do better, but I would never lie to myself and say I’m going to be the next J. K. Rowling or Alan Moore. Don’t be ridiculous. I want to be the next me.

Having a great logline for a book or movie proposal is important, but it’s the hard work in actually finishing the novel or the screenplay that separates the wannabe from the doer. I’m a wannabe guitar player. However, I’m a doer when it comes to writing. I’ve already written award winning copy, been published in several magazines, put together my own comic book and hopefully my own collection of essays and short stories later this year.

Mr. Simmons has also said, “Life is too short to have anything but delusional notions about yourself.” I’m not particularly good at fooling myself, but I am confident in what I do. I love writing and I’m pretty good at it. When you do something you love, it isn’t work. It’s play. It’s fun.

Find what you love. Do what you love. It’s the best advice I could ever give.