Enjoy this throwback blog post originally published on Dec. 22, 2017.
Your passion is what you're naturally attracted to, and it may not be glamorous. Sometimes, we're called to work in areas where people are hurting or to serve in the very same places that pained us the most. It makes you wonder, "Was all I went through to help someone else?" Because you went through it, you can share your life lessons, strategies, and experiences with others. You can show the good, the bad, and the ugly. You can describe the highs and lows all because you survived. In doing so, you are helping to shed light in a dark place. And that is what hope is all about!
I do not have a magic 5-step program to success. I wish it were that easy. I don't have a magic pill to take when you're feeling your lowest. Again, if only it were that easy. Life isn't easy, and we must stop looking for shortcuts and a blueprint because each of us goes through different environments and experiences with varying perspectives. Answers to life's problems are never a one-size-fits-all deal. Some things we have to decide individually and with lots of courage.
Our support system can empower us to get to the point of a significant decision, but it's ours alone to make.
Passion is not elusive. It doesn't hide in a corner for you to discover when you're older. It's what speaks to you today. When I was a little girl in Washington, DC, I used a pencil and loose leaf paper to escape the horrors of my childhood home. As far back as I can remember, I wrote short stories, poetry, and song lyrics. It was my passion! Somewhere between elementary and high school, I decided my passion couldn't be my career.
Writing was merely a hobby, something to do to pass the time or find an emotional release - so I thought.
Local newspaper articles, radio station spots, scripts, blogs, spoken word, countless reports through grad school - you name it! I loved to write! It never dawned on me to pursue writing my story until 2009. What happened between 2009 and today? I'll share that in another blog. There was a turning point in 2009 when I decided to write my first book. It flowed so freely and effortlessly that I felt like, "this is home." I can set up camp here and be happy for the rest of my life.
It was only when I began pursuing my passion that I found the direction to go.
With love guiding me, I felt the confidence to take steps of faith towards a goal. I reached that goal, then another popped up. The breadcrumbs lead me to a path of wholeness. Living outside of the divinely orchestrated plan for your life is tough. It's profoundly awkward and uncomfortable. It causes a tug-of-war between your thoughts, emotions, and actions. You will only win when you yield. Yield to the quiet voice that says, "<say your name>: Follow your passion and do not be afraid!"
You never know whose life you will touch or how you will make a difference for generations. It all starts with one decision, to step out on faith, sometimes sight unseen.
Just do it! Thanks, Nike. It takes the consistency and intensity of an athlete to reach your goals. Stay focused, keep your eyes on the prize, and make this world better by being your best self. Don't do it for the reputation, don't do it for the 'gram, do it out of self-love and love for others. Give out of your reservoir, and you'll see that love spread in even the darkest places. This is how we go forward, despite our past. This is how we turn our mess into a message. This is how we look out for our brothers and sisters, give them a hand, and share the support that someone once thoughtfully gave us. This is how I began to author my IRIS (Incredible Resilience and Inner Strength) Book Series!
This is how we win.
Individual wins make up the collective win. A gain for one is a gain for all. We're in this "life" together and must understand that we are only as strong as our weakest link. The key to a fulfilling life isn't found replicating someone else or their ideas. It is an honest pursuit of our passions, leaving our humble mark on our corner of this big ole' world. I encourage you to spark your light and shine bright!
To learn about the IRIS (Incredible Resilience and Inner Strength) Campaign, including its books and mentoring program, visit iveymediaagency.com/initaitves.