We deserve nothing in this world. Let go of the whole idea that you "deserve" or "don't deserve" the fulfillment of your dreams. Whether you get it or not depends upon luck and what you do, not what you deserve. There is no cosmic Santa Claus doling out blessings and curses to the passive Nice and Naughty lists. You can be as nice and naughty as you like while you decide each day whether to keep working toward your goals or give up. And remember, changing your strategy isn't quitting; staying the course when it isn't working is a sneaky form of giving up on yourself under the guise of hustling. To win at life, as far as I can tell, you must be both humble in your identity and confident in your abilities to learn and adapt. You must love yourself so deeply from the inside out that you can laugh off your bogus ego, release your baggage, strip down to your truth, and get light and free. What a joy it is to finally accomplish that, no matter what achievements you win on the outside.
If you can stop taking yourself so seriously but never stop taking your work and your truth seriously, there is no limit to what you can do. Temper your dreams with realism, and temper your realism with humor, or else you'll get stuck in either delusions or despair.
Many years ago, my NaNoWriMo partner and I laughed together at this Stewie and Brian moment, joking, "Behold our future." (See the comments below, ha!) And you know what, it did take both of us several years to complete and publish our debut novels*--after spending years writing a few failed, unfinished, or completed but shelved novels). *Ummm mine is done but not even released yet--I am still strategizing on the details of publication as I doomscroll the news about global paper shortages and other book production supply chain disasters. Whee!
But yeah, Stewie, I do have all of those things ready to release as soon as I take care of some logistical matters. Neener neener.
The point is, to accomplish any difficult, long-term goal, we all need a little Stewie joke here and there to keep us humble (because it's so embarrassing to be one of those common ass people who talks a big game and then doesn't follow through), and we need the ability to laugh at the situation, no matter how naked and ridiculous it makes us feel. The ability to laugh off your bogus ego is a superpower and a blessing. It sucks the sting out of failure and sets us up for gratitude when things finally do come together for us.
Jean Michelle Miernik is the author of Leirah and the Wild Man: A Tale of Obsession and Survival at the Edges of the Byzantine World, available through your local bookstore on October 23, 2021 and in ebook formats on November 11, 2021.