There is no ‘I can’t’, only ‘I won’t’

There is no shame in not being able to do something because we haven’t learned how to yet. We all have different strokes, different perspectives, different things we enjoy, and our skills reflect our diversity as human beings. Health conditions exempt (and there are people with health conditions who are exempt from the exemption!), there is really never anything we can’t do. If something is out of our reach, it’s simply because we’re not interested in pursuing it strongly enough.

Take painting. Most people we know of will say “I could never do this!” when viewing a beautiful work of art. I wholeheartedly disagree. There is no ‘natural born talent or gift’, there is only an interest in painting that develops into the desire to do it. And then you do it. Those who create masterpieces went through a grueling process of trying to paint, making mistakes, learning from these mistakes and trying again, over and over until they felt exhausted, until they were drained, and they kept on going no matter how hard it got because they were passionate about it and really wanted to achieve their goals. They went through all the ugly phases that come with learning how to create beautiful paintings. They got disappointed in their efforts, but instead of calling it quits, they tried again. And again. And again. Until one day they were finally able to create something that pleased them. And they never stop trying to get better, always eager to learn new things, always eager to push beyond their comfort zones and explore the world in ways they never thought possible before.

When I hear someone complain about “I wish I could do that but I’m just not lucky enough to be creative”, I get angry. You want the pay-off without putting in effort? That’s never happening. Stop blaming ‘a lack of creativity’, stop wallowing in self-pity, and either get off your ass and put in the effort or stop complaining for attention. There is no such thing as lack of creativity. You’re not born with it, you train yourself. You grow up in school with countless of crafting classes. You have the internet at your disposal, the biggest, most universally accessible knowledgebase in all of human history and you sit there complaining you can’t do something. There are millions of resources online, available and for free, to draw your inspiration from. You want to create original characters? Here you go.

I’m not lucky for the skills I have. I worked my butt off for every single one of them. I didn’t just know how to knit a sweater because I sat there going “I wish I could do that, I guess I just don’t have the talent for it”. I spent nearly 3 years knitting almost every day, spending countless upon countless hours researching how to get the desired fabric, learning how to read patterns, learning how to adjust patterns, putting months into projects only to start all over again because I made a mistake.

This process is the same for every skill out there. You go through a lot of shit, frustrations, research, practice and need a consistent level of passion, motivation and discipline to get good at anything – you’ve got to be willing to put up with all the bad stuff that comes with it. It is not handed to you on a silver platter pain free. I’ve never played a guitar in my life, and I don’t even know if I’m musically inclined for instruments. I could play the guitar if I really applied myself, but you know what? I probably never will. I’m not interested in playing the guitar and going through the grueling process that will lead to the reward of being good at playing the guitar. I’m not motivated, I’m not passionate about it, and therefore I don’t have the discipline to sit through it.

And that’s okay.

What’s not okay is to complain about not being able to play the guitar when I’m not willing to practice 2-4 hours a day, get a teacher, learn how to read music sheets and build up callouses on my initially blistered and bleeding fingertips.


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