I'm okay with admitting I'm an Instagram creep.
I checked my phone today, and I found out I use 17 percent of my phone battery on the app.
I won't lie and say I was entirely happy with that finding.
Yet, 15 minutes later, I was on the app again to see if anything new had been posted.
As much as I love following my friends, the posts I look for are from my Instagram crushes. These are the people whose lifestyles entice me, confuse me and make me just so incredibly jealous.
I feel a separation from them, not just due to my lack of following, but because my life seemed incomparable.
They jet-set around the world, eat fancy lunches and go to "invitation only" events.
I travel maybe a few times a year and make my own meals. The only invitations I get are from friends to get "buy one, get one" beers at the pub down the street.
For a while, my Instagram crushes tantalized me with the beauty of their lives.
I actually became frustrated that I was working at a meaningless job just to make ends meet, while they were actually living the life of my dreams.
Then, it clicked.
They weren't born into Instagram fame and stardom.
Their successful business launches, based off their accounts, didn't happen overnight. They had a dream, a motivation and an idea, and they stuck to it.
Nobody handed them an account with millions of followers and said, "Here, have a blast!"
They created it for themselves. This taught me my first lesson.
1. Work damn hard for what you want.
It's so easy to see people who are really succeeding at their careers and focus entirely on the positive aspects. We see the first class flights, the fancy lunches and the pictures from the invite-only event.
We never see the late-night hours of preparation, the failed attempts and the business deals gone awry.
We find them when they're 600,000 followers in, and we never get to see the trial and error it took to reach that number.
There is so much more that goes into their posts than we even realize. These people are working damn hard.
It's because of this that they're having incredible opportunities and such powerful platforms.
When I realized this, I suddenly looked around at actors, actresses, models and anyone in the public eye. I realized they didn't become successful overnight.
They did it through work, work and more work.
There is no separation between us and them.
We are all equally capable because we are all given the same number of minutes in a day to bring ourselves closer to our goals.
2. Take risks.
When an opportunity arises — usually as a result of a slew of hard work — take it.
You could either choose to play it safe and try to just get a regular job with steady pay, or you could go against the grain and follow a path that has truly just been created.
Instagram hasn't been around for very long, and people trusted their instincts and allowed themselves to take the risk of creating careers off of it.
They are doing well for themselves because they chose to continue working hard and taking a chance that something amazing could come of it.
3. Your dreams are possible.
They are tangible. They can happen.
There is no separation between me and my Instagram crushes besides their uncanny ability to find the perfect lighting for a picture.
They worked hard and took the necessary risks anybody in a successful career has taken.
Whether the end goal is Instagram fame or owning a business, it all comes from the same space.
Everyone has a career dream, and everyone has the same capability of reaching it.
So, instead of looking at my Instagram crushes as lucky people who hit the jackpot, I've chosen to use them as daily motivation.
I can achieve everything I want when I focus and work hard toward my dreams.