Finding the "Thing"

Everyday I wake up with a certain ease and maybe even joy because I still have that hope that I will be able to turn around my life and build something from everything I've learned. But everyday I wrack my brain for what I should be doing to find my success. I feel like the current trajectory is a dead end and I must adapt, but to what?

I've always struggled with how to make money perhaps because it was never my goal to make money, I thankfully never had to worry about it until I became much older. There's an inherent professionalism in chasing money and having the fruits of your labor earn money but I never prioritized that kind of thinking because I wanted to pursue my ideas, I wanted to learn by doing.

I realize much of my life is based on an old lie that I attribute to my perception of education when I was in elementary, junior, and high school. That lie is if you simply work hard, you will succeed. I'm sure my parents said something similar as well, my dad built a successful business into a chain of businesses coming here from India and starting out here not even speaking the language. My dad had the right focus or luck or both to align his talents into a tangible success.

I've always been a literal person, so when someone says work hard and you'll succeed, I take it to mean as long as I'm working hard, the success will come. But this isn't actually true, is it? If you worked as a painter and all you did was literally paint, you probably would not find monetary success if no one ever knew of your art. It's a great feeling to say that monetary success isn't everything but it powers our literal lives so monetary success is everything we need to live in our current society.

So that brings me back to how I adapt. But it's really how do I find success for the first time and adapt from this long slog that hasn't really worked. I know that I am smarter than this, I know that I have the capacity to make this work but I haven't yet. I can't breakthrough and realize where my efforts make a difference for myself and others. I watch and beat myself up over successful YouTubers, I struggle with how I harness that in my own way, how can I get people to care about the work that I put my life into on any scale?

Why do I feel like after ten years I barely even have the support of people I've worked with over the years?  It feels like high school and college has followed me and I continue to exist in obscurity despite my efforts but now the popularity matters, it's the basis for success in this industry.

I can only surmise that I'm the problem but I don't know how. I've watched colleagues give up and I've watched colleagues succeed, I don't want to give up but I feel like I'm just bloodying my finger nails against a brick wall. I feel like I'm not worthy of the success still after all this time I've put in and I've continued to remain ignorant on how to become worthy.

I've never really seen a light or a guiding hand, I've just kind of always remained adrift doing my own thing and blissfully unaware of the end result of my aimless trajectory. For me I had an aim, I wanted to work hard at film and acting with the goal of finding relative success. Maybe I found that relative success of my aimless pursuits but I thought, at the very least, there'd be a signpost, a mentor, someone who'd find me and not allow me to sail off the edge of the world.

I wonder what can I give back but is it just a fool's errand because it too is for the expressed goal of building myself, being more recognized. I don't know how to break away from the idea that I need something to come out of everything single thing that I do. I feel I've wasted time, I've been chasing this for a decade or more in some capacity or another so how can I not focus on what I can do to turn this ship around.

I repeatedly just conclude that I've just done my life wrong and I'm just along for a shitty ride.