One of the most prevailing messages you see on Web 2.0 social media sites like Tumblr is the need to embrace your inner self, to find your passion and to relentlessly pursue it, to believe in yourself. This message is everywhere: in quotes from famous personalities, scenes from movies, fan art, images, poetry, music. They are meshed together and constantly recycled and reincarnated in many new forms so you can be told the message again and again; that you are worth believing in.
This post is not a diss of this popular message, rather I wanted to take a moment to appreciate it, at the expense of sounding superfluous or cliché.
Imagine a world in which every single person was doing what they wanted to do. Imagine a world in which every single person pursued and realized their passions. If we assume—and I believe this is a safe assumption—that people are at their best and most effective when they are doing what they want to do, and not what they’re told and conditioned to do, wouldn’t we achieve so much more as a specie? Wouldn’t we be far more enlightened, far better at solving problems, and thus, leaving us more time to spend with our loved ones which would then promote better health and so on and on in this wonderfully positive feedback loop? All because of what? Having the audacity to dream and the guts to follow them through. To not be afraid of doing things that we love the most - the things that make us happier and more fulfilled. Doing things that just feel right.
The movers and shakers of the world throughout history have been people who pursued their passions to the end. Ships weren’t built and sailed by themselves, airplanes weren’t designed on their own, the Internet didn’t weave itself into our living rooms and pockets magically. Dedicated, hard-working and passionate people were behind all these revolutionary changes, and there’s no reason why all of us can’t be revolutionary in our own right. One thing’s for sure: you can’t expect to achieve greatness and fulfillment when you don’t believe in what you do.
More seriously, I am beginning to strongly believe the darker flip-side of this coin. Specifically, people who do not pursue their dreams or who find themselves laboring away on jobs or tasks that they do not have any interest in are ultimately less happier than their more passionate counterparts. I believe this is true regardless of class, profession or line of interest. In other words, if you were to take a low-paying struggling artist who absolutely loves singing, I’d bet that she would be happier and more content with herself than a suited executive who has ended up in his corner office accidentally by drudging through the formalities of life simply because he was too afraid to step outside his comfort zone to pursue his love for, I don’t know, writing children’s stories.
The longer you deny yourself the chance to tackle and pursue work that you love to do, the more layers of self-deception you will blanket yourself with, until one day you’ve piled on so much of it that it’s too suffocating to live with but too heavy to budge from. So you become uncomfortably numb and you can’t do anything about it.
But you can do something about it. Dreams never die, so why should your ambitions? The first and most difficult thing is to admit that you are not happy with the current state of affairs. Next you need to isolate what the problem is. Then you should draft out a plan of action to tackle this problem head on. Love to write? Start a blog and update it once a week! Love to teach? Create youtube training videos of something you’re good at or volunteer at your local school or community center! Want to sing? Take evening vocal lessons! The possibilities are endless and your numbness doesn’t need to go untended.
Know yourself, respect your dreams, appreciate what you’re good at and DO IT. Nike got that one right. Just freaking do it. You owe it to yourself and to a happier and more enjoyable world.
Fasting allows us to experience once a year what many throughout the world experience almost daily. Hunger, for them, is not a choice; it is simply a fact of life. Currently, Somalia and other parts of East Africa are gripped by a devastating drought, and the lives of millions of men and women — and sinless children — hang in the balance. Such tragedies make some people ask, “Where is God?” But God may very well answer with a question: “Where are you?!” After all, these catastrophes are avoidable. A recent study of global food wastage indicates that we waste millions of tons of food each year. Even a portion of that would ward off any potential famine.