A couple days ago:
I was on YouTube watching the inspiring story of Eric the Eel. A guy from a country called Equatorial Guinea. Which I’d never heard of before.
And in his country, everyone loves football.
But hardly anyone cares about swimming.
The only place he could find a swimming pool was at a nearby hotel.
He was obsessed with swimming.
So everyday he’d go to this hotel swimming pool to train. And train. And train.
He didn’t have a coach.
And I don’t think he even had access to the internet.
So basically he was self-taught.
But eventually he managed to join the Olympics in 2000. Because of a lucky draw among countries. And he participated in the 100m.
When he reached the stadium:
His eyes popped out of his face.
Because it was the first time he’d ever seen such a gigantic swimming pool. It was literally multiple times the hotel swimming pool he’d been practicing in.
But some coaches took notice of him during warm up.
They saw he didn’t have solid basics.
And gave him some pointers.
When it came time to compete though, something shocking happened. All his opponents dove into the pool before the starting gun.
And were disqualified.
So he ended up winning the heat.
Even before he started swimming.
He still had to swim though. And complete his laps. Because that’s how it works. But he ended up completing the heat with the slowest time in Olympic history.
The most heart-warming part:
People in the audience kept cheering him on! Screaming encouragement. And during interviews after his win, reporters doggedly asked him about his background.
His story stunned everyone speechless.
He became a celebrity overnight.
And several companies came forward to sponsor him.
(Which he turned down of course. Because he wanted to focus on swimming.)
It just goes to show that most people focus on the wrong things. They think that… I have to swim the fastest lap… or I have to create the most perfect art… or I can’t let people see my work if it isn’t the absolute best…
… else people will laugh at me, mock me, scorn me, etc.
People often respect hard work, passion, and perseverance, a lot more than they do perfection.
And as my mentors often tell me:
“The story behind your art is more important than the art itself.”
Got laughed at because of your art?
Didn’t get as hot a response as you thought you would?
Got your ear cut off in a fit of rage while you were creating?
Keep creating, keep enjoying.
Because one day, you’ll be able to tell the story of how you kept at it, persevered in spite of all odds just because you were creating art you loved, and you’ll see how much people respect that…
You can do it!
And if you need some pointers getting started, let me help by pointing you in this direction here:
Aurelia “Land Lubber” Nobleia