Last weekend, I found @3thingsbook by Brian Espiritu on Instagram. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a collection of daily reminders that highlight the important things in life that people forget about – like being polite to servers, offering your seat to the elderly, laughing often and crying honestly.

Ultimately, @3thingsbook has become my handy pocketbook to remind myself what’s important in life and how I should treat other people when I’m too wrapped up in my own shit to be considerate of the people around me. That’s why I’m writing about one thing in particular that hit me in the gut because it’s so damn good: Stop waiting for someone to find you.

To begin, I’d like to point the finger at Kate Moss. She started it. The miraculous model discovery in the JFK airport that changed her life and the entire world. Since then, we’ve all become infatuated with the idea that a special someone with special privilege is going to “discover” us for our insanely crazy talent that nobody else has.

We’re waiting around for someone else to see our potential because we’re too lazy to make our own moves. The biggest and most obvious problem is that our future is handed over to the possibility of being granted an opportunity by a complete stranger. You see where I’m going with this?

Let me put it this way: this imaginary stranger is never going to approach you. While you’re busy waiting around for someone else to see how incredibly talented you are, there are a million other capable people who are working harder than you to get to where they want to be without hopelessly depending on some made-up person to offer a helping hand. That’s not to say it isn’t possible or won’t happen, but don’t count on it happening to get you through the difficult struggles in life. Nobody is going to find you and give you a big break unless you work for it the old-fashioned way.  

We’ve become trapped in this lazy epidemic, relying on others to grant us money, new jobs or a place in the world that will validate us as VIP influencers. Ultimately, it’s worth learning the hard way that you’re never going to get anywhere if you don’t at least try and fail a few times. I’ll admit, I’ve fallen for this Kate Moss scenario a few times. I’m still waiting for someone to offer me a job in London as an art director. Will this ever happen? NO. Not unless I get my act together and start working towards it. I need to become qualified and gain experience in entry-level positions for ten years before someone would even consider such a thing.

The whole business of waiting around for someone to see my true worth has made me a little irritable. Why should I wait for someone else to “discover” me when I can do the hard work for myself? You see, nothing in this world comes easy, and if it does, it’s probably not worth it to begin with. Taking ownership of my own future success takes time, energy and a lot of effort that is sometimes wasted on unresponsive people. But that’s okay. Getting rejected and ignored is important; it’s made me stronger, wiser and more grateful for the opportunities that present themselves. In real life, nobody is looking for you because everybody is too busy looking after themselves. Taking the easy route or relying on chance will only get you so far.

Whether it’s career-related or romantic, everybody wants to take the easiest, fastest, most convenient route to get the person or thing they want. They want to be “made” overnight, discovered, grow a following and accomplish everything they’ve ever wanted within a year. Suddenly, they’re married, own a loft, have a dog and go on vacation every day. These stories are more common than you think now that we have Instagram. Even if it’s not common or based in reality, the impact of these “made overnight” types are showing us that success can happen to anybody who has an expensive camera and too much time on their hands.

While Instagram continues to persuade people that someone else is going to discover us and pay us big bucks for being hot, unique and incredibly talented, we’re starting to forget about the actual work that’s involved and the credentials that are required to move up in the world. Stop waiting around and start learning how to take the necessary steps to get to where you want to be. Don’t skip ahead, demand things that aren’t earned and expect one million dollars an hour for being underqualified and entitled. It’s a shame, and the truth is that miraculous opportunities are earned by dedication, persistence, patience and a willingness to learn. Life is too short to wait around for someone to find you.

Follow 3Things Book on IG.