Most of us go through points in our lives where we don’t know what to do next. Perhaps you just finished school, broke up with your significant other, lost your job, or are at some other major crossroads in your life. And then you wonder–what’s next? What do I do? What should I do?
Loss of Passion
When we were children, many of us dreamed to be firefighters, doctors, explorers, actors, rock stars, or other things. We had dreams, baby–big dreams. Personally, I wanted to be an astronaut and find aliens in space. When I thought about it, my eyes lit up.
Over the years, I lost those dreams and they changed and transformed into many other things as I learned more about the world around me. And one day, I found that I didn’t have any dreams left. I was all dreamed out. The world had beaten me up and spat me out.
I realized only a select few could be astronauts and that finding aliens nearly impossible.
I found that lawyers on television are just that–lawyers on television.
My band fizzled out and my rockstar dreams faded.
International development work turned out to have more aspects to it than I’d expected, leaving me with a strong feeling of hopelessness.
Politics turned out to be a sham.
I had nothing left anymore. My passion seemed to be eradicated, my dreams of helping others lost, and the world seemed cold and cruel.
A Little Help From My Friends
My friends knew me better than I expected. And even through my conversations with them, I came to know myself better. I found that the things I talked about, found interesting or argued about were the key.
Deep down there was still something there. It had been suppressed by the world around me and I was told it was impossible in so many words from everybody I knew. There’s no way I could change the world or help people, which was my dream and passion.
It wasn’t until one friend really made a difference. She told me that even a little bit helps, and that drops fill the ocean. Through doing a little, I could in fact do a lot. So what if we can’t be rockstars? Maybe just playing the local pub is enough. Perhaps you can’t be the astronaut, but what about doing something related to it? What excites you?
Find that Nugget
We all have a nugget of something inside us that we’re passionate about. Maybe it’s been beaten down by the world and your own thoughts of not being able to achieve it. Or perhaps it has been fear holding you back–fear of rejection, failure, disappointing others, or something else.
Find that nugget of passion inside you. What does your heart call you to? Once you find it, think about it and what you want to do with it. Think about what you want to do with your life. We only have one and why not make it the best we can? If you live in fear, or are paralyzed by hopelessness, you’ll look back at the end of your life and wonder, “What if?”
Follow your Passion
Once you’ve found what makes you passionate, follow it! I challenge you to follow that nugget of passion, whatever it may be. Do what you can do. Maybe you can’t all-out quit your day job, but perhaps you can start off with something small and go from there.
Maybe people keep holding you back, telling you you’re not good enough or are crazy to follow your dreams. These aren’t their dreams and chances are these are the very people who have given up. Surround yourself with people who think big–you’re influenced by those around you.
So get out there! Volunteer, travel a little, play music at the local pub, read a book about astronomy, and get into it! Because the last thing you want to do is look back and say, “What if?” Life is amazing if you allow it to be.