I’ve seen Hamilton. Twice.
There, I said it.
You probably don’t need me to tell you what a captivating show it is (even from my steeply-priced seats in the rear mezzanine), so I won’t. Instead, I’m sharing with you how this smash hip-hopera played a role in shaping my emerging outlook on life.
As a college student preparing to take on the world, I identified with Alexander Hamilton’s intense desire to write, create, and pursue change with an enviable, relentless fervor. Because of my big dreams and burning ambitions, I put considerable pressure (maybe too much pressure) on myself to never settle for less than my best and ensure that every second of my day counts. I believe this drive is something that has been so fundamental to my success as both a student and a person, and it was launched to another level because of what I learned from A. Ham. So, with a little help from
my friends Lin-Manuel Miranda, I’m revealing to you my biggest takeaways from Hamilton.
I am the one thing in life I can control
You can’t control whether a flood will destroy your entire town tomorrow night. You can’t control what other people think of you. But you, and you alone, can control your actions. No one will give you permission to chase your dreams. So don’t bother sitting around and waiting for it. The world will not cater to your whim. The only way to achieve your dreams is to do something about it. And if you’re not pursuing your goals, one reason may be because you’re holding yourself back.
What are you waiting for? What do you stall for?
If you are holding yourself back, why? Do you think you’re not good enough? Are you afraid of failure? Are you scared of what people might think of you? Figure out what it is that’s stopping you and fix it. If you really want to succeed, you should want it enough to challenge yourself and take a risk, dare to make a leap that could change your life.
The plan is to fan this spark into a flame
Ignite your ideas. Put them out into the world. But don’t stop at that—turn them into something bigger than yourself and let them burn like wildfire. Keep persevering with a fiery determination to do more, to do something greater than you could have ever imagined. Let yourself dream of the impossible, then go out and do it. If you don’t, no one else will.
You get love for it, you get hate for it, you get nothing if you wait for it
Don’t agonize over how people will react when you take charge of you life. As much as there will always be people who will try to tear you down and prevent you from fulfilling your dreams, there will be more people who will love and support your work. You’d be surprised what people (even strangers) will do to help if you only ask. But you don’t get a win unless you play in the game, because if you don’t put yourself out there, if you don’t ask, the answer will always be no and you’ll never realize your full potential.
I am inimitable, I am an original
You are good enough. Don’t shy away from that person inside you bursting with dreams. Don’t try to act the way you think your friends, classmates, or co-workers want you to act, because it doesn’t matter. Just be you. As soon as you drop the aspect of performance from your personality, your newfound authenticity will bring you so much inner joy. No one wants a friend group full of carbon copies, so figure out who you are and wholly and fully be that person. If the people you’re surrounded by don’t like who you are when you’re being yourself, find new people. Because the right people will love you for who you are and not what they want you to be. I know it seems like I’m spewing clichés, but this is one of those things I had to hear at the right time to finally, truly understand it.
I’m past patiently waitin’, I’m passionately smashin’ every expectation
Don’t waste your life waiting for the “perfect” moment to take action, because you’ll keep making excuses about why the time isn’t right and end up throwing away your shot. Take the expectations your peers have of you, and surpass them. But that will never happen if you’re constantly worried about looking foolish. So, stop waiting. There’s a million things you haven’t done—go out there and do them all.
What’s your biggest lesson from Hamilton? Let me know in the comments below!
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All lyrics in this post belong to Lin-Manuel Miranda and other respective owners.