A lot (and I mean an alarming lot) of people I know feel like they have no significance in this world. I’m not saying they are depressed necessarily, but that they simply don’t know what they are meant to do. They try out hobbies here and there but never commit to a passion. They complain about not knowing what they are good at without really trying. And the biggest thing connecting them all? They are unique individuals, but none of them see themselves that way.
I think there are two problems at play: laziness and lies. The biggest lie is that we are told we are meant to do something special. How is this a lie? Because it indicates that we are meant to do one singular thing with our time; we are meant to find our greatest passion and the thing we are best at and transform that into a life-changing event. It puts pressure on us to narrow down our being into a singularity, when in fact no one is so one dimensional. We should be encouraged to find anything that makes our hearts sing and to pursue all of those things no matter if they ever change the world or not. Success takes momentum, and we get there by acting on even the smallest things that give us joy and letting it build.
How are we lazy? Simple. We rarely really and truly try to find what makes us special. We are spoiled into thinking our talents and passions come to us rather than us having to chase after them. We have hobbies that are fun but we don’t ask ourselves how we can take that further. We have things that we love doing but we assume we can’t make a living at it. We are chronic low-ballers. We choose a life free of risk in the hope that safety will provide us with what we want. We expect everything on a timetable, and that isn’t all our fault. We are taught what we are supposed to do by certain age brackets and if we don’t make it, we think we failed.
There is no time limit to finding your worth. Take as much time as you need.
The biggest life-changers are those who are multi-faceted. They channel their interests into serving a greater good.
Take Oprah for example. Would anyone believe that her greatest passion is hosting a talk show? Of course not! Her passion seems to be bettering others through honesty, healing and health. She has a greater mission, one that all of her endeavors aim to satisfy.
I won’t put myself in Oprah’s category, but my interests are photography, writing and filmmaking (so far!). Are those my great life calling? Definitely not. I want to inspire others to create the lives of their dreams through imagination and fearless art. My interests serve my greatest passion.
If you are someone who feels insignificant, you might be questioning right now how anyone gets over that hump and feels that they have something to offer. I promise you I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, being told that I was going to change the world (still working on that, though). For me, the proof is in the action. I can talk about doing, or think about changing, or want to be different, but until I do it the rest is just folly. The moment I started creating the art I wanted to create, with the message I wanted to send, people started responding. When we find our authentic voice it is not easy for others to ignore it.
My biggest fear in life is not living up to my potential. I would rather fail countless times than get to the end of my life never truly having tried. People lead by action. You doing something that takes risk or moves you closer to your passion is a mirror for everyone around you. It makes them want to take action and achieve their passions. The best gift you can give to someone is to simply do. It is the most powerful word in the English language to me. DO. It is an action, a command, a calling. It is what happens when we stop making excuses or believing the lies we’re fed. It is our journey. Chase it.
Image: “Finding Your Place Among the Stars”, self-portrait, May 2016.
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robin spalding - brooke seriously you are so incredible everything you say is so wise and hits me to heart everytime! i also know a few people that this post would mean soo much to i have to go share with them! thank you so much for sharing all your wisdom!
Mary-Claire - We often believe what we perceive to be true based on things that have happened in our past. Why we think that we’re not smart or talented enough is something that often needs to be delved into by examining our thoughts and from where they came.
That examination often is painful, so we choose to continue to believe that we are not special, that we are not worthy. I believe we need to always dig deep to find the source of our negative thoughts, process them and learn to push past the barriers that keep us down.
It is, indeed, our journey!
p.s. I love the photo!
Kim Forman - You are so right!
Why do we have this belief that we need to find that ONE THING? I let that lie drag me down for far too long. I finally figured out that my passion is in following my heart to whatever it is directing me to at the moment.
Now, rather than being ashamed of my “lack of focus”, I celebrate my diversification.
Thank you for this beautiful post! <3
Tara Spicer - Ah, so wise master yoda… I think I need a little Brooke Shaden whispering in my ear about now… thank god I am booked into your master class next week!
Erik Vrolix - This is the message that says it all… I am speechless, and so convinced. Will share it with as many people as possible. Thanks so much for it, for the reminder really, because I am sure that we all know, deep inside, that this is true and the way we should live.
Fit BMX - Wonderful post, thank you! 🙂
johna rohn - Thank you…I sure needed this reminder.
Ceri - Amen. You’re amazing!
Alyssa - Thank you for sharing your thoughts– you are inspirational.
Finding Your Place Among the Stars-from Promoting Passion - Dreamspeed Photography - […] This is an article from the amazing Brooke Shaden who is one of my favorite photographers and writing of an inspiration blog, Promoting Passion: http://www.promotingpassion.com/finding-your-place-among-the-stars/ […]