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It’s OK Not to Dream Big.

Do your goals and ambition control you?

They don’t “control” me, though “control” is a funny word.

My ambitions guide me, and they shape me as I realize them. But they in no way prevent me from enjoying the moment, whichever one that is.

Like any other generation that looks smugly down on the one slightly younger, I routinely roll my eyes at kids and young adults I see on Instagram, Vine and Twitter. The frivolous entitlement, fixation on pop culture (that yes, I share with them) and obsession with selfie-fueled narcissism all make me cringe when I loop that Vine.

But then I am met with the “other” kids who are in a totally different state of mind from their counterparts. These are the selfie kids who just finished school and want to seek wisdom for what they should do next. I love to relate to them because one of my most vivid memories encompasses my first summer after college.

And how absolutely terrified I was.

Life starts with big dreams we haven’t thought through. Life continues on after you’ve realized your dreams will actually take a lot of work (that you may not be willing to do).

My dreams have always been based on values I have. Not fame, and definitely not my career. My dreams aren’t “big” in the conventional sense. I never told myself that someday I’ll change the world. I never promised my family and friends that one day I’ll be the best writer with the best writing job. Mostly because that will never happen.

Instead, I crafted my dreams around what I cherish. My spiritual life. Writing. Changing the worlds of people I love.

I accomplished some of those dreams, and some unexpected things have happened as a result of that.

They didn’t happen because I forced them too. I started a blog because I love to write, not because I wanted to be the next “whoever.” I simply wrote about the things I love and let myself grow.

You’re probably in the same boat, whether you’re a blogger, journalist or just someone with a cool story to tell. Don’t worry about who’s going to read your thoughts. Get over the fact that you probably won’t accomplish every single desire your happiness-starved heart demands of you.

Your passion is way more fulfilling than happiness, after all.

So it is OK to dream big. But it’s also OK to simplify. And it’s way better to dream “well.” You’ll have an easier time weeding out the ones that aren’t worth having.

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Why You Need To Work.

Work isn’t a four letter word. Sure, it has four distinct letters, but it’s anything but crass in the world of constant sales, marketing, prestige and (you guessed it) money.

People want work from you. More honestly, you expect work from everyone else. From the moment you step on a sidewalk or start using a public road to the instant you click on a webpage that manages to load, you expect all of the pieces to fall into place for you.

In a way, this a fantastic thing to appreciate – a world where we can expect instant gratification from so many facets of life.

Yet we hate to work. That is obvious. Slogans like “Work Smarter, not Harder” are sadly famous for motivating us to take shortcuts over doing things the right way.

Don’t get me wrong; using a hammer to build a house is better than your thumbs. That is an example of working hard and smart.

What I mean is that you can’t build meaningful things without work.

work

Too often, good folks will email me asking for shortcuts. They want my help to find tips and tricks to bypassing the work that is necessary for them to gain credibility in their given field.

It’s alright to ask, but before you do, can you honestly say that your work is good enough to show up on Wall Street Journal or The New Yorker?

But that’s what we (myself included) want. Shortcuts to success. We think we deserve it because we have nominal talent that has been validated by a handful of barely impressive people.

Real work doesn’t look like that. It looks like a construction project. We’re consistently building something that we are hoping will resemble a complete, finished product. We’ll make mistakes along the way. The house we’re building may have to be a duplex, and that extra bathroom may take up too much square footage.

Most times, however, the house we’re building can turn into a mansion.

When I started building jonnegroni(dot)com, I imagined it as a comfy apartment that would be big enough for me and some good friends. Thanks to some impressive readers and a weird attitude my parents brought me up with, it turned into something bigger and better.

I’m a believer that no vision is big enough, and if your goal is to build something larger than life, I’m the last person to discourage you. Just know that a big vision requires blueprints, strong hands, and maybe even a team.

Thanks for reading! You can subscribe to this blog by email via the prompt on the sidebar. Otherwise, be sure to stay connected with me on Twitter (@JonNegroni). I’ll follow you back if you say something witty and awesome.

The 10 Websites That Utterly Inspire Me

What makes a website inspiring? Is it the way it’s laid out? Is it how the site allows you to interact with it and gain value from it? Is it simply based on colors and codes that you find tasteful?Websites that Inspire

Go on…The 10 Websites That Utterly Inspire Me

My Name Is Jon, and I Attack the Internet With Words

My name is Jon and I attack the Internet with wordsAn unfortunate side effect of writing multiple blog posts a day is that you lose track of where your portfolio is going.

I chose that word because it can mean a lot of things; for example: You lose track of what kinds of articles you “should” be writing. You also forget to promote and share posts with your friends and followers because hey, who wants to be annoying?

Go on…My Name Is Jon, and I Attack the Internet With Words

Why Draftin.com Will Make Your Writing Better (Proven by Math)

draftFor the past few months, I’ve been experimenting with an up-and-coming writing platform called Draft.

It’s a nifty application that you can use on your desktop to compose anything from blog articles to technical copy. And guess what? It has made my writing tangibly better. I even have evidence.

Go on…Why Draftin.com Will Make Your Writing Better (Proven by Math)

The Writing Tip They Didn’t Teach You In School

writing tip

My education was full of “Aha!” moments that helped me acquire the skills necessary to eventually become a decent writer.

“Your essay needs more examples.”

“Aha!”

This is how it typically went. Question: what sets you on the path of success to writing? Your answer is probably one of four:

Go on…The Writing Tip They Didn’t Teach You In School

Why We Should Write Letters Again (Please)

letters

Over the weekend, I put together an article for the Thriveworks Blog under that same title (I added the “please” just for you guys) and stressed the importance of maintaining a culture of meaningful letter-writing.

The reason I write with such haste is simple: Digital communication, with all of its bells and whistles, has a major flaw. Yes, we can send thousands of texts to numerous people and have inboxes with thousands of emails, but in 100 years, what record of your existence will remain?

Go on…Why We Should Write Letters Again (Please)

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