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The Ocean Taught Me to Use What I Have

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Have you ever heard of a type of fish called the cavefish? They are small in size, pink in color, live in caves at the bottom of the ocean, and oh yeah, they have no sense of sight! Their ancestors were normal fish with eyes, but somewhere along the evolution of the cavefish, their visual organs disappeared. Despite this, these fish are excellent navigators. In fact, when they travel in groups, they don't even bump into each other.

After reading about the cavefish, I researched even more about them and found that there were countless fish that are able to feed and reproduce just fine without vision. It is possible for them to hunt and survive because they use what they have -- their sense of taste, touch and smell -- to their advantage.

And this is just one example. No one organism in the world has everything. Seahorses are horrible swimmers. Added to that they don't have any defense mechanism, yet they aren't miserable about it. Instead of focusing on what they don't have, they use their remarkable camouflaging technique to their advantage. Don't think that their swimming disability is bad for the seahorse; instead, think about it this way: While fish who are better at swimming swim away from their predators, the seahorse is able to hide from their predator in plain sight.

There's a saying that goes, "No one has everything but everyone has something." My interpretation of this saying is this: Everyone has something to start with, and because everyone has something we ought to be grateful for what we have, no matter how little we think it is. The truth is, nothing is too small to lead us to greatness. And I believe that the best way to show appreciation for what you have is to make the most of it. Seahorses aren't able to out swim predators, but they use what they have to stay alive.

A lot of us don't realize that the ocean, which covers 95 percent of our planet, is made up of tiny drops of water. It all started with something small. Every day several people get million-dollar ideas, yet very few align those ideas with action. They wait for the perfect moment, for everything to be "in place." Sadly, the perfect moment is an illusion, and no one will ever be able to start with everything they want. As a result those people with million-dollar ideas wait forever.

When we start with passion and with a clear understanding of what we have and where we need to go, what we lack is not important. We can achieve whatever we want, but only if we start to move toward that goal. Waiting for what doesn't exist will not help us get what we want. What will bring us closer is our appreciation of what we already have.

If you have an idea for the next bestseller, start to write! Don't wait for a better plot to come along or for your network to expand or for an agent's approval. Write, start with that story idea that you have, and do the same if you have a multi-million dollar idea. Why would you possibly want to stall it?

It's amazing how these little creatures, the cavefish and the seahorse, can teach us such a powerful lesson. It is important to forget what you lack and find a way for you to use what you have. What I've come to realize is, as long as you are passionate about what you do, the things you'll need will show up eventually. When the things you want don't show up, it simply means that you don't need them. Go out there and be the best you can be, with the things you have.