Raise your hand if you have a question.
Raise your hand if you have an answer.
Raise your hand to volunteer.
Raise your hand to ask permission.
To go to the bathroom
To speak your mind
To make your voice heard
Raise your hand, and wait to be given permission.
While this is a wonderful way to keep the classroom orderly, it's a terrible way to prepare children for a real world where permission is rarely given, only taken.
Every artist faces this struggle.
Every dancer is raising his hand, waiting for permission from a dance company to call himself a professional.
Every writer is raising her hand, waiting for permission from a publishing company to call herself an author.
Even entrepreneurs are raising their hands, waiting for permission from customers, consultants, or venture capitalists to call themselves a "real company".
Well since we're all waiting, allow me to give you permission by telling you that you don't need anyone's permission.
You're an artist when you start making art.
You're a dancer when you choose to dance.
You're a writer when you write.
And you're a "real company" when you start calling yourself one. The only person's permission you need is your own. This sounds scary to most of us because we know that we're just flying by the seat of our pants, relying on the little technique we have and making the rest up as we go along. Well guess what, so was your second grade teacher her first couple years on the job.
Don't wait for anyone else's permission. Put your hand down. Instead of fruitlessly hanging it in the air all day, use it the make something amazing.
Give yourself a gift today. Permission.