The passion to pursue.
Most of us harbor pure, untainted intentions when we set out to accomplish something—whether it is mastering a talent or a skill, fulfilling a vocation, or building a career.
Whatever it is, we want to do it well. We set out to be the best we can be, find purpose in our passion, and pursue it with vigor. We are inspired, excited, and enthusiastic.
Then, somewhere along the line, the outside world can penetrate our excitement and put our confidence at risk. We may be criticized or rejected. We may be intimidated by what we see or hear, and our passion becomes replaced with self-doubt and disappointment.
On Elephant Journal Writer’s Round Table today, the topic of readers, followers, and scores arose. Reflection ensued—as it always does—and I thought about the why behind decisions I make and actions I take.
This year, I committed to writing again—no matter what, whether it was good, not so good, or anything in between. I also decided to go public again for a number of reasons. One, to hold myself accountable and ensure I followed through on my commitment. Two, as a warm-up to work toward completion of a book I started long ago with the hope of publication. And three, because there is nothing I love to do more.
I am still rusty, without doubt. Eloquence eludes me more days than not, and the robust vocabulary I once had a grasp of seems to have taken a vacation from which I can only hope it will return.
As an avid reader, an author spoke of her writing for Elephant Journal, which I passively followed and enjoyed reading. It was then that I decided to sign in and see what writing for them entailed.
Seven months later, it was one of the best decisions that I’ve made in a long time. It has introduced me to writers and readers around the globe with whom I’ve connected. Doing what I love most has opened the door to a world of inspiration, support, and encouragement.
What I did not expect was to move from Grassroots to the Magazine section, win first place in the Ecosystem, or build a following that has exceeded my wildest dreams—had I expected anything at all. I just wanted to write and connect with other human beings on some level.
My personal mission is to make a difference in the lives of others, every day, in any way. If I can reach one soul through my writing and make a person feel less alone, or let him know that someone out here understands, my heart is happy. It’s sharing what I have learned from my mistakes—which I continue to make—and guiding others on their path to self-love and living authentically.
I was a victim to myself for many years—more than I care to count—because the opinion of others was of such importance to me and I craved validation. I was easily excited and quickly disappointed. It didn’t take much to crush my spirit, and it took many years to pull myself up from the bottomless pit of abusive and self-destructive behaviors because I gave my power to everyone else—and lost myself.
When we cease to do what we love because we love to do it and begin counting likes, seeking fame, or wanting something other than the joy it brings to us, we die a little each day.
No matter what it is you want to accomplish in life, do it and never lose sight of why you want to do it.
Believe in yourself.
Commit to yourself.
And don’t let life get the best of you—because you still have the best of you to give to life.