People ask me how to find themselves all the time—how to find their passion, their calling, their life purpose.
It makes me think of this time when I was six or seven years old. I was playing my favorite game with my family. Monopoly—it was my favorite game because I always won.
This particular game, the dice wasn’t rolling my way. And, sooner or later, I knew that I might lose. I felt this anger boiling up inside of me until finally I couldn’t take it anymore.
So I grabbed the board and started messing around the money and the pieces—if I was going to lose, so were they.
I was so afraid of losing that I had to ruin the game because I didn’t want to fail.
We do that, don’t we? We stop ourselves before we even have a chance to lose.
We quit the game to save face; we hold back before we can get vulnerable.
What took me years to learn was that the edge of failure and the edge of success are two sides of the same cliff.
When we put ourselves out on the ledge—I mean, really put ourselves out there—that’s when we learn what we’re made of. That’s when we see what’s been hiding inside all along, just waiting for the right moment to strike.
If we never make ourselves vulnerable enough to fail, we’ll never know what it really feels like to succeed. We’ll never dig deep enough to find parts of us that are hidden to the world.
We’ll never find ourselves
We’re all so afraid of failing that we hide off parts of ourselves. We keep ourselves contained because then we’re in control. Then we can call it quits when things get too heated. Then we have an excuse for why we never made it.
Deep down, we’re terrified that, if we put ourselves out there wholly and honestly, we’d still not be good enough. And that kind of heartbreak is too much for us to bear.
Want to find yourself? Just put yourself out there as passionately and honestly as you can.
Every single day. Make yourself vulnerable. Share whatever you have to give with the world right then. Bring yourself to the edge of failure as often as possible.
Because, in that moment, when you stare failure straight in the eye and decide to push forward anyway—that’s when the real you rises up. That’s when you completely unleash yourself. That’s when all of your passion and talent and life purpose make themselves known.
We find ourselves in our passions. When the words just seem to flow out of us. In light night conversations with friends or feverish writing pouring onto the page. We find ourselves when we lose ourselves. In our most infectious creativity.
To find yourself, you have to open yourself up to be found. You have to share yourself with the world. You have to break through those barriers and let yourself shine through.
You might get hurt once in a while. You might fail a few times. You might get a few bumps and bruises along the way. But hey—that’s life.
So, it all boils down to this: are you going to be the kind of person who quits at Monopoly, or are you going to be the inspiring, passionate one who changes the world?
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Assistant Editor: Richard May/Editor: Bryonie Wise