Have you ever had a vision of the future? Has something ever been so engrained in your heart that you had no choice but to see it come to pass? Was it overwhelming? Did you ever wonder how to make it a reality? Where to begin?
Since 2006 I've had the dream of starting a travelling theatre. Considering this vision hasn't left my heart in five years, I think it's safe to say I'm commited to the idea. Of course over thim this vision has evolved, coming presently to include so much more creative outlets than just theatre, as I struggle with determining how such an organization will look. My other struggle: How will it start?
Well I doubt I've found my answer yet, but it seems that I've been presented with a few interesting opportunities - or challenges - as I like to view them. God has heard my prayer, and has thrown me in the direction of his choosing. Unfortunately for me, this direction involves skills and talents of which I am not used to stretching. Possibly, at the current outlook, and it may be too early to tell, I might become a musician for the upcoming Gateway College band. I will audition for piano and drums, both I have dabbled in but are far from my forte. I will also audition as a singer, which I have trained in since at least fourth grade, but this does not worry me as much as the other two. Again it is too early to say definitely, but I am preparing myself none-the-less. To make matters even more interesting - I've signed up for four art classes this next semester, another one of my many endeavors, but still one that remains a rarely used hobby. I am barely adequate in all these areas.
Yet I've expressed interest in doing them, have I not? At times I've always assumed they would be a part of my life, even a part of my vision, but those assumptions were accompanied with the idea that I wouldn't need them until the appointed time - when the vision was ready to come to fruition. "No," God is telling me, "That's not how it works."
You see instead of continued work on the talents I'm already pursuing with a passion, God is giving me a chance to develop the skills of mine that have been asleep, dormant, or otherwise neglected. He knows that I've always wanted to pursue these things, among others, except I have long ago given up on these possible exploits; choosing instead to leave them to people much more talented than me - like my brother, the guitarist, for instance. He knows that if I'm going to stretch my creative mind in all areas of my interest, then it is time for me to put in the work towards those which I am weakest. He's telling me to start here. I need to prove that I can put in the time. I need to stop being lazy. I need to grow or the vision will never come true.
Where are the areas that you are weakest? What skills of yours have you been neglecting? What talents of yours need stretching? Need improvement?
In the creative world we tend to wear many hats. Though each of us can find a niche, or a focus, that doesn't mean it is all we are capable of; that it is all God has gifted us with. As creatives we are called to express the unexpressable through art, and art has many mediums - some better suited for the task than others. If we leave on one hat for too long, or wear only a couple the majority of the time and leave the others on the hook, we may never be proficient enough to implement our ideas to other mediums. Unless we are capable of stretching all areas available to us, we may let some rather good ideas go to waste elsewhere, or otherwise not used at all. There is, of course, the option of surrounding ourselves with other creatives that have chosen your less pursued focuses, but this is a rarity and is not always available to most of us. So maybe it's time to pinpoint a weakness in one of your abilities, and to take steps to progress within them.
Find the areas of interest that you've shown promise, but have otherwise neglected. I'm not talking about the things that you've never cared about or, for lack of better terms, completely sucked at, but those that you know you have the capabilities of pulling off. Stick to your specialties, your career path, or whatever is included in your vision. If you are still unsure, follow your heart, and if it is pleasurable, I'm sure you are on the right track.
This may not apply only to creatives.
If you are a cook wanting to start a restaurant, but know nothing about business, then maybe you could take a class.
If you are a nurse who dreams of going overseas, but doesn't know another language, then perhaps you could enter a program.
If you are an engineer with a vision of creating a new jet to allow us to enter space casually, but knows nothing about avionics, or space, well then maybe you could get a book or two. (and tell me when you have a prototype.)
Ok. Maybe that last one isn't so likely. But I hope I'm communicating myself well enough. If you have a vision that requires you to know a little more about the areas in which you are weak, then before you can pursue anything you should probably start there. Think about it. Pray about it. What talents of yours are still asleep? What hats do you own are collecting dust? I challenge you to develop these, and see what doors and opportunities open themselves up to you and your future.
As for me, it is imperitive to my vision that I be able to call myself a musician, among other things. Music has been such an integral part to my past, present, and future that I could never imagine leaving it alone. It has weighed on my heart to write songs and to discover new ways of creating music, but as a singer alone it has proven difficult to explore such possibilities. So my weakness, as well as the areas of which I've shown a little talent, in drumming and piano I want to start developing now. Even if I should not find myself doing these in the band I want to pursue them further. I will put in the work and the time. I want to become more than adequate in these and as an artist. I will stretch these to a capacity that will allow them to be used once my vision is ready to come to pass.
God willing, there will be more weaknesses that show themselves before that time.
Mattias is an actor, writer, filmmaker, and editor currently living in Los Angeles, CA. He often writes about his observations about life, the human condition, spirituality, and relationships. He also enjoys writing about movies, pop culture, formula one, and current events. Often these writings are 'initial thoughts' and un-edited, as authentic as possible, and should be considered opinions. If you're interested in commenting on his work, or continuing the conversation, you should consider following him on Twitter or share an article on social media, where he would love to engage even further. Consider subscribing via RSS for more.