I am firmly convinced that each of us is here for a very specific reason. To share a precious gift with the world that only we possess.
But how many of us act on that conviction?
I’m not pointing fingers. Well, except maybe at myself. Because I have had a rich history of nodding my head in agreement with the concept of living your dream, yet fleeing like my ass was on fire when faced with the action steps that go with it.
I had a “BELIEVE” charm on my keychain and eighty bazillion inspirational-quotes-with-sunsets as my screen saver. I read every rah-rah tome on the market. I cheered others on as they turned their talents into their life’s work.
But when someone would actually call me a writer, I cringed inwardly. If they persisted, I would deflect their comments with some pithy remark about it being “just something I do on the side.”
So, what was my problem?
I didn’t trust my purpose.
It was like I thought God would say at any moment, “Yeah, I gave you a pretty decent knack for stringing words together. But on second thought…nah. I’m big on miracles, but getting paid to write? That’s even beyond the whole water-into-wine thing. Put down that screenplay and go be an accountant.”
I know that sounds absurd. Especially when my brain has been known to spontaneously combust like the drummer from Spinal Tap when I’m within arm’s length of a spreadsheet.
But I lived that way for decades. Writing, but never owning it as my vocation.
I told myself I was being practical. Excuse me, is your name JK Rowling? Didn’t think so.
But just how “practical” is it to chain yourself to a job, career, relationship – anything, really – that puts your genius in the back seat? That eats up your time, but doesn’t feed your soul?
That scares you into believing that no one cares about what you’ve got to offer.
That last one is the worst. Because it’s complete and utter bulls**t.
If you’ve got something inside of you, it’s not meant to stay on lockdown.
A book, a song, or a movie. A business that will employ thousands. A cause that only you can champion.
Steven Pressfield says it best in The War of Art:
“Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”