We’re all on a journey. Sometimes we map it out on paper, but we cannot always follow it on the road. A fallen tree. A fork in the road. A dead end. A mountain to climb. A dark night. There are twists and turns that drive us off course. And that’s ok. We cannot control everything around us.
But what about the times when the only thing in our way is ourselves? It happens to me all the time, even if I talk myself into thinking it’s not. The self-doubt. The procrastination. The high expectations. These can be crippling to the pursuit of my passions and goals. Maybe yours too.
I know I can do better. And that’s what I am going to commit to doing. These pages are my way of sharing my story, the mistakes and the pitfalls, the lessons and the successes. For me and for you.
Don’t let anyone tell you what to do with your life. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do with your body. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do with your money. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you you won’t be successful. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something. Don’t let someone tell you you’re smaller than them. Your life is your life. Your heart, your opinions, you passion, your voice should be the one you listen to above the noise of everyone else’s.
Number One: Do what you love
Find your passion. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s yours. You won’t ever give your all if you follow someone else’s dreams and wishes. Have courage to know what will fulfil you and go after it. Share your passion with others, and inspire others to find and share theirs too.
Number Two: Be kind to all you meet
Every person we cross, from stranger to loved one, is left with a mark. Make one that lasts for the right reasons. Even a smile or a thank you can turn someone’s day around. If not, make amends, say sorry to those you’ve wronged. Forgive those who wrong you. Be the bigger person, be the better person.
Number Three: Do what is right
Many times, what is right is not what is easy. But take the road less travelled anyway. Find solutions to problems that have been ignored. Stand up for those who cannot do so for themselves. Stick by your own morals. Practice what you preach. Keep your promises. What goes around comes around. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it.
Listen to your heart. The pace quickens when it finds something it’s passionate about. The pace quickens when it finds thrill in a possibility. The pace quickens when it finds beauty in a path less travelled. You can’t go wrong if you run with it.
If you can dream it, you can see it. If you can see it, you can achieve it. Anything is possible when we put our minds to it. The world would be a very different place if people didn’t believe in their dreams and pursue them. There wouldn’t be any invention. There wouldn’t be any solution. People are constantly trying, succeeding, doing what they love. Have the courage and you can do it too.
You owe it to yourself, the world, the power that created you, to live. That means doing your best, expressing gratitude, enjoying yourself, letting go of what hurts you, focusing on the moment, spreading the love, challenging your fears, being yourself. It looks different for everyone but it’s guided by the same principles. Don’t live half-heartedly. Live passionately, enthusiastically, sincerely, generously, and to the fullest.
Sometimes it’s better to ask for forgiveness, than to ask for permission. Sometimes it’s better to make a mistake, than to not try at all. Sometimes it’s better to put yourself first, than live by someone else’s rules. Live passionately, not cautiously.
The most satisfying things, the most treasured things, the most earned things in life are those we worked for, sometimes sacrificed for, those we fought for. There’s no value in something that was handed to us. There’s no glory in something we took a shortcut to. The best things in life make you sweaty, with exhilaration, hard work, passion, and perseverance. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. It will be worth it.
The odds might be high, the stakes might be great, the road might be long, but you can do it. You have so much potential, so much strength and so much passion that you can do anything. The only walls are those in your mind. If you believe you can, you will. Yes, you can. Yes, you will.
The world isn’t always beautiful. Life isn’t always fair, forgiving or fun. But the world and life are only as beautiful as we make it too. Everything you touch, every person you meet, everything you do affects the world around you. You can make your world beautiful. You can make someone else’s world beautiful. And if we at least try to, even if we cannot all the time, the world will be infinitely more beautiful in spite of its flaws and our flaws. A small gesture, a little passion, a spark of joy can make all the difference.