I heard or read this story somewhere, but can't remember the source. For that reason, my re-telling may be a bit fuzzy, but the point stands. If you know where it's from, send me a note

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A group of art school students walk into the first day of class for the semester and take a seat. It's a senior acting class.

The professor enters the room. She tells everyone to introduce themselves and briefly state why they're here.

I'm John. I'm an aspiring actor.

Hi, my name is Amy. I want to be an actor after school.

The introductions continue around the room, all variations of the same sentences. Until it gets to the last student...

My name is Rachel. I'm an actor and I'm here to get better.

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Aspire, by definition, means you want to achieve something. There are no tests you have to take to become a photographer or actor. Maybe you aspire to have your photography published in National Geographic. Maybe you aspire to win an Oscar.

That's not to say anyone with a camera is a photographer, or anyone who steps in front of a camera is an actor. It takes passion, dedication, and intelligence to become good at anything.

It's also entirely possible that you're a bad filmmaker, or a student filmmaker, but you should never call yourself an aspiring filmmaker. If you want to make films, go make one. You'll get better by taking action.

This isn't like becoming a doctor. With that, you actually have to reach a certain level of schooling and pass rigorous testing before you can label yourself as "Dr."

Aspire to achieve a goal, not to be something.