Redirect Your Path

Diana Writes
4 min readMar 30, 2021

Often people blame their lack of success on the system. They can’t bear the thought that their hard work goes unnoticed. That their effort doesn’t deserve a raise, a college acceptance letter, or any reward for that matter. They complain about the “unfair” system. While they may be right, instead of aimlessly accepting results from a system you deem unfair there is always another option.

In Getting picked (need to vs. want to), Seth Godin superbly states, “…the artist has the obligation to seek a different path, one that isn’t dependent on a system that doesn’t deserve him.” If you are not receiving the results from the hard work you put in, there are two routes you can take; work harder, or find another system. This is easier said than done. It’s hard to accept your fate and move on after putting blood, sweat, and tears into a goal with no reward.

According to Insider, J.K. Rowling’s original synopsis of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was rejected twelve times by different publishers before its acceptance–courtesy of Bloomsbury. J.K. Rowling sought out twelve different paths before she was rewarded. All these publishing companies robbed themselves of a $25 billion dollar franchise because they didn’t believe in J.K. Rowling vision. Rowling didn’t let others determine her work’s worth, she sought out a different path until she achieved success.

In the Time’s, How Spider-Man Was Born, Stan Lee was told by his publisher that his pitch on Spiderman “was going to be a disaster.” Lee’s publisher criticizes Spiderman, insinuating that a hero can’t be based on spiders because humans don’t like them. A teenager’s role serves as a sidekick–not a hero. Additionally, superhero’s weren’t supposed to have problems. All these characteristics that captured the hearts of Spider-Man fans across the globe, were diminished by one person. Lee was left with two options. He could believe his publisher and create a new super hero, or stand by his work and seek a different path. Spoiler alert, he sought a different path. Stan Lee snuck in a drawing of his character Spider-Man in the Amazing Fantasy issue. After big sales, Lee’s publisher came back. Together they pitched the series. It is instances as such, that demonstrate the artist’s obligation to seek a different path when conflict strikes.

This idea of finding another path in a system that doesn’t deserve all that you have to offer, gave me a bittersweet sentiment. I felt hopeful, and determined that there are better things out there, yet defeated that I let myself go down this path for so long. I’ve spent my entire high school career on a dance team that’s brought me alot of happiness but has also inflicted stress and disappointment along the way. I put my passion and hardwork into the hands of one person who didn’t deserve it.

Reflecting back on Godin’s quote, I realized that you don’t have to leave the system where you feel unappreciated. Your approach, or the path you take in that system can be redirected. I spent so much time on the dance team trying to please just one person, to the point where I felt burnt out and defeated. My original path relied on the acceptance and approval of one person. I completely disregarded the idea that I could reward myself. Now, my path is directed to improving my own ability for myself. At the end of the day if you apply yourself and stand by your work, with no regard to the effects of rejection, you will succeed.

Before Revision:

Often people blame their lack of success on the system their in. They can’t bear the thought that their hard work goes unnoticed. That their effort doesn’t deserve a raise, a college acceptance letter, or any reward for that matter. They complain about the “unfair” system. While they may be right, instead of aimlessly accepting results from a system you deem unfair there is always another option.

In Getting picked (need to vs. want to), Seth Godin superbly states, “…the artist has the obligation to seek a different path, one that isn’t dependent on a system that doesn’t deserve him.” If you are not receiving the results from the hard work you put in, there are two routes you can take; work harder, or find another system. This is easier said than done. It’s hard to accept your fate and move on after putting blood, sweat, and tears into a goal with no reward.

This idea of seeking a different path when the system that you take part in doesn’t deserve all that you have to offer gave me a bittersweet feeling. I felt hopeful, and determined that there are better things out there, yet defeated that I let myself go down this path for so long. It’s difficult to admit, but I’ve spent my entire high school career on a dance team that’s brought me alot of happiness but has also inflicted stress and disappointment along the way. I put my passion and hard work into the hands of one person who didn’t deserve it. I wish I could romanticise this moment and say that I quit and found other ways to fulfill this passion of mine. That when I saw my dedication and hard work wasn’t appreciated, I simply left.

Reflecting back on Godin’s quote, I realized that you don’t have to leave the system where you feel unappreciated. Your approach, or the path you take in that system can be redirected. I spent so much time on the dance team trying to please just one person, to the point where I felt burnt out and defeated. My original path relied on the acceptance and approval of one person. I completely disregarded the idea that I could reward myself. Now my path is directed to improving my own ability for myself. At the end of the day if you apply yourself for individual growth and appreciation, it does not matter how someone else may reward you.

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