The past few weeks have been crazy. Days starting anywhere between 5:00- 6:30am and filled with meetings, redesigns and strategy sessions. Rounded out with a conference that required preparation for a presentation and a panel moderation, and just when it seems like there’s a moment to breathe there is even more on the to-do list to be done. So much to do, so little time and even less time to hear oneself think.
In the midst of this, one thought has persisted with me. Intentional action. The ability to merge discipline with passion and forward motion. The drive to never give in regardless of the pain or heartache. The will to succeed above all odds.
It seemed as if every conversation I had, this theme would be present. It was as if everyone unanimously got tired of being counted out, pushed aside or used and drew the line in the sand when it came to the outlook they had on the future.
If one listened quietly enough, the chants of a crowd in full support of those willing to keep pushing forward and upward could be heard.
Push against the fear
Often, I’m asked how I found the time to write a book, or where I find the time to volunteer while being a business owner. Usually my response is something along the lines of not quite being sure, that all I really remember is really wanting to write a book and stumbled into participating in a nanowrimo one year.
The part I rarely share is how I couldn’t bring myself to publishing it out of fear. I didn’t feel important enough to publish a book and I didn’t think anyone would read it.
After much internal debate and immense help with editing from a cousin of mine, I published my first book on my twenty-sixth birthday and went skydiving a couple days later.
Looking back I’m glad I took that risk, I learned what worked and what didn’t. I came away with an experience that I can share with my daughter someday versus looking back and asking what if.
Sometimes when we fear things it’s a sign for us to push forward and aim upward even more. Nothing can be gained from sitting on the sidelines and nothing can be improved upon without a point to learn from.
Life gives us only a few chances to do amazing things, why spend time waiting for the perfect moment?
Climbing passion mountain
Growing up, every kid gets hit with the rhetorical question of, what do you want to be when you grow up? We admire the answers kids give and if we were to look back at what we wanted to be, I’m sure there would be a chuckle somewhere.
There are many things we like to do, a lot of things we have to do but few things we truly love to do.
Once we find the things we truly love to do, that’s when the journey up the mountain actually begins. We’ll find valleys of discouragement, loose rocks of risk and a peak that is worth every step of the way up.
It’s a path that has no shortcuts. It’s a path few are willing to take. Instead, many trade a life filled with possibility for one of safety and mediocrity. Allowing their dreams to rot alongside the way and neglecting to see the community that is willing to support them.
For years I’ve dreamed about working for myself and using my business as a platform to really help people. To make a real difference within a community and inspire someone to make their dream a reality using the skills I’ve built up since the start of my career.
At first, it seemed to be impossible and it didn’t help having people around that only saw all the reasons why it would fail. Thankfully, I had more people around me that were encouraging me to continue forward.
It’s been over ten years since I’ve had that dream and I’m ever thankful that now I have an opportunity to work on that dream.
Right now your passion may feel more like a hobby than a way to support the requirements you need to live or raise a family, but that is no reason to give up on that dream.
Everyday do something that helps you get closer to the point where you can live and work on your dream. Some days will be tougher than others, but with each step forward, you’ll one day reach the top of the mountain.
The journey to the top is never completed alone. Whether the team is visible or not, success is always a result of a combined effort.
Embrace the community
We often ignore being an entrepreneur, philanthropist or whatever non-traditional career path we may have dreamed about.
Chalk it up to fear, procrastination or discouragement in some other form, we fail to get out of our individual perception bubble. We get locked into thinking that we have to do everything alone. That the burden is solely on our shoulders. When in reality it isn’t.
Sure, not every person we meet will be genuinely good but that doesn’t mean everyone is bad.
What we contribute to the communities we are a part of, tends to come back around and affect us in either positive or negative ways.
The more good we create, is the more good we’ll be able to enjoy.
In the end, it’s up to us to choose whether or not we’ll give in to fear, pursue our dreams even if the odds are stacked against us or how responsible we are as members of our community.
What will you choose?