Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

I AM a writer; therefore, I WRITE! 

BUT…I do not write because I can. I write because I am compelled to write. The essence of my being encompasses the art and science of writing. I go to bed thinking about writing and I wake up with writing on my mind. And the market has given me sufficient validation to continue writing. I am a writer!

I am also a licensed helicopter pilot and used to love flying cross country with fellow aviators. I am a former bassist and have played for and with a number of gospel and pop artists, including: VaShawn Mitchell, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Jonathan Nelson, Anita Wilson, Michelle Prather, Kenn Orr, and others.

New Orleans musician, Dr. Hezekiah Brinson, introduced me to gospel music. And while living in New Orleans, I had the opportunity to learn from and play with legendary New Orleans jazz pianist/organist Rickie Monie. I also had the awesome privilege of playing with Grammy-nominated producer, engineer and multi-instrumentalist Kelvin Wooten for a few years.

If you want to enjoy unprecedented and sustained levels of success, then it requires that you stay in your lane.

But here is where the difference between what I AM—a writer—and what I can do, lies. I played the bass for many years, but I do not consider myself to be a bonafide musician. The same principle applies to being an aviator—I have my helicopter pilot’s license, but I do not consider myself to be a true aviator. 

I do not go to bed thinking about flying or playing music. I did those things because I had the aptitude and ability to. In fact, if I never fly or play music again, I would be just fine. I would miss doing those things for five minutes, and move on. But I cannot be separated from writing, for it is the air I breathe—it is my way of being.

Now, here’s the point. If you want to enjoy unprecedented and sustained levels of success, then it requires that you stay in your lane. How do you know when to stay in your lane? When the show can go on without you, that’s how. This is not to say that a person who is great at his or her craft cannot be replaced. What I am proposing is when a person who loves, and has mastered his or her craft, finds him or herself removed from that craft, his or her absence will leave an undeniable void that would be extremely difficult to fill. 

Just because you have the ability to do something does not mean that you should be doing it. It dawned on me some years ago that the time I spent practicing in the studio for an upcoming gig was time away from my first love—writing. Every hour I spent in the air was time I could have traveled to distant worlds using my imagination and committing those ideas and characters to paper.

There are many people in the blogging industry who should not be here, and it is not because they are not good writers, it is because their talent and skill are best deployed on a craft—a passion—that would bring them greater personal joy and freedom.

The key to winning is to learn what excites you and gets you going. Study what gets your juices flowing. Learn what you cannot live without, and commit to it—whatever it is. Know what you are really good at and do that. And once you have learned what you are good at and have an unshakeable commitment to that craft, then make it your life’s work and mission.

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47 thoughts on “Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

      1. Good question. When I am ‘creating’, I am happy. When I write, it’s to understand – myself and others. Understanding brings out my compassion. Is this worth something to others? I think so. Thank you for the question.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. This is very useful for people who may be good at many things, are made to feel by others that they ‘ought’ to pursue each one of them, and end up feeling dissatisfied or ‘hollow’ inside. Just because you ‘can’ doesn’t mean you ‘have to’. Really drill down to what motivates YOU, what you can commit time and energy to, and what makes a difference. Hey! What a combination! Thanks!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. This is me. So many people expect me to do everything and do it well, because i can. And they come to me with all their problems for solutions. I’m glad to help but sometimes i just want to be about me & figure out what i NEED and WANT & it is difficult with the pressure to keep the i’m good & know what i’m doing status.
      I made a 2017 goal to focus more on me. 😌

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree with Josiah – good for you! Take your time and listen to your gut feeling. When you become sensitive to that, it can sometimes be the little voice that tells you what out of the range of things you can do you really WANT to do, and that might be what you NEED to do as well! Thanks Josiah for giving us the opportunity to start this conversation by writing you blog post!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Exactly what i am doing & why his post resonsted so much with what i have been telling myself lately. I give my all for everyone but not enough to myself. So i’m learning how to be there for me and give to myself what i need & also deserve ☺️

        Liked by 2 people

  2. This is an awesome post! I realized some time ago that I can become good at anything I choose to do or am required to do. Now the choice is about what can I not stop doing? …and yes lately I have been wanting a separate parallel life for writing …and then I realized it is taking over my life anyway …I will let life do the choosing of the doing 🙂

    Even as a parent I have looked for the sparkle in their eyes, after returning from any activity. If there is tiredness then time to take a break and see if you miss that activity. To me boredom is more valuable than being tired at an activity, even though you keep the ability to be good at it.

    Liked by 1 person

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