Since as far back as 2011, I have been a person that has routinely kept a journal for reflection and for developing a better relationship with myself. Sometimes I like to peek back into my mind from years gone past to examine my inner-workings at that time, or to re-visit some old exciting memories.
Today I was re-visiting an entry from July 10, 2011. This was about the time that I was in Melbourne, Australia and I was only 2 weeks into being in the country with very little money, no support or friends and no secure job yet. Things were stressful for me, and I was also on a journey of self-discovery and thinking hard about my future, both immediate and long-term.
At that immediate time in my life, I was in search of securing my immediate future, the funds that I needed to afford accommodation and to feed myself. I wrote about these things a great deal and of my struggles at the time, but after the journal entry had ended I had made a second entry. This entry went as follows…
“Entry #2: I have decided today that it is of utmost necessity to my future contentedness, that if I am unable to choose a profession that to study for that I admire, then I must, until my dying day, continue to write and write and write with all of my soul so that I may be satisfied in working for my dreams; I can not live an empty life and without work with great meaning to myself, I will undoubtedly be unhappy. I wish for nothing more than to one day see a work of my whole heart and soul being shared with the world. A story, a work of my own imagination, passion, and talent. This would make me happier than anything in the world.”
Reading this entry felt like I was reading a plea to myself from my younger self. It is eerily relevant to me today and it’s hard to believe that this was almost 8 years ago from the date of this entry!
It’s incredibly hard to believe that it has taken me 8 whole years from that time to actually decide that what I should pursue is not just the security of a miserable job with writing on the side, but to pursue my passions full time! Yes, it’s going to require some schooling and a large overhaul to my old world but it’s going to be worth it for my future. It just feels silly that I have sidelined that passion for so long. I did not believe that I could actually pursue writing as a career for some reason, and it took an injury to make me decide that it could actually be possible for me. With the University of Victoria on the horizons for my Writing program, I’m making those old dreams of mine a reality, slowly but surely. Without certainty, but with great passion.
It’s just amazing to look back like that and to realize that this idea has never been new to me, it just took me what feels like an eternity to actually believe in myself and to believe that following this passion can lead to a fulfilling future. Instead, I had allowed the opinions of others and my own self-doubt to dictate the future that I was pursuing.
So for any person that actually took the time to read this entry, I now plead with you to not waste 8 years ignoring that nagging voice in the back of your head that is saying to you “You can’t do this! It’s just not possible for you!” or “Maybe I’ll do it next week/month/year”. Follow your heart. Even if the odds are against you, or the future is risky; Be courageous. If it is important enough to you – you will find a way to make it work! Live with your heart and not with your head.
Money is an illusion. Power is an illusion. Safety and security are illusions. Our egos are illusions. The only thing that is certain in life, is that nothing is permanent and nothing ever will be. Life itself is temporary. The Sun is temporary. Humanity is temporary.
If everything is so temporary then why do we waste so much time thinking that we can procrastinate our passions and dreams? Why do we pursue any other goal? Who’s dreams and passions are we providing for?
What a waste of time.
I think that at the end of one’s life, the measurement of their success should not be in how much money they had accumulated or in how many friends that they had, but by the amount of happiness that they had cultivated for themselves!
True happiness – Not the type of happy that is “just getting by”. I’m speaking about the type of happiness the bursts from deep inside of your soul somewhere. That type of daring, bursting, internal happiness that flows out from the heart like a river. That’s what each person should be chasing in this world.
Disregard money as a motivator. Disregard fame as a motivator. Disregard pride and ego as a motivator.
Chase passion and happiness.
But what is happiness exactly?
Happiness is loving yourself enough to decide that you deserve the best out of life. It is making your life decisions with care for your future. Chasing self-love and self-fulfillment also builds your capacity to love others. It is in this way that by being self-serving, we are also building ourselves to be of use to those for whom we truly love in our lives! Happiness is deeply caring about others in our lives and deeply caring about others not in our lives. That is true happiness.