Recently, we watched the social media celebration of ‘First Headshot Day.’
Mildly entertained at first by yet another ‘made up’ holiday, I soon became deeply interested. Seeing mega stars back when the only stars were the ones in their eyes spoke volumes. There’d been a moment in time they were unknown, with only their dream of a career. We hear stories of living in cars, nearly giving up, and scraping by. Today, some of these stories are hard to believe, as we are so familiar with the faces that seemed to spring to superstardom out of nowhere.
The concept of gaining success “out of nowhere” can be touchy when in reality there have been sleepless nights and exceptionally hard work. The best way I can think of to describe it is with the concept of the seed.
When we observe rows of beautiful blossoms in the spring, we’re preoccupied with the present beauty and fragrance. To experience the beauty, we may visit gardens and admire landscapes without ever discussing the origin of each plant. Who, in the face of exquisite beauty, tries to imagine what the bloom looked like as a seed? The same is true for some of our icons. Sometimes younger admirers believe the person rose to fame in a short period of time. Truth is, they weren’t around to witness some of the earlier work.
Like a budding career that takes time to cultivate, much of seed development happens in obscurity. Dirt becomes mud when watered and, alas, few even notice the initial breakthrough. Surely “mega stars” in every arena can tell of times where they waded in mud, wondering if they’d ever see the light of a new day; one where the dream finally turned a profit.
In the movie “Pursuit of Happyness,” Will Smith’s character tells his son something important about the path to accomplishment. He says,
“Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you got to protect it.“
When a seed’s in the ground surrounded by dirt, it’s protected and waiting for the right conditions to help it display its potential. In other words, for a seed to grow, more than potential is necessary. Seeds require an ideal climate, and to be submerged in the right environment with the right amount of water.
Can you see this truth as it relates to the desires of your heart? There’s a climate required for what’s inside you to grow. Don’t despise the cover that obscurity offers. Under the dirt, the seed is hidden away from light that could scorch it before it’s strong enough to withstand the shine. Same with us. We need a mixture of shine and the right amount of refreshing to keep our dreams alive, but not drown our inner drive.
If you’re facing something akin to discouragement as you wait for potential to blossom into a form others can acknowledge and celebrate, don’t lose heart. Be sure to get a photo of your “today.” Caption it and make a mental note of the hunger you feel waiting for the next dose of sunshine. Allow the comments to serve as your refreshing, but don’t shy away from the dirt covering you prior to your breakthrough.
Use the dirt of your past to nurture your future by allowing your roots to grow deep and strong. Without deep roots, shine can jeopardize your longevity. You didn’t wait this long to bloom too early and die off! We’ve all seen it happen. There’s wisdom in staying covered until you’re ready. Permit the covering, refreshing, and shine to do the work of uncovering your potential.
And when you blossom – because you WILL blossom – pull out that old photo and remember when.