My mother always wanted me to be a doctor. I remember her telling me how proud she would be if her son wore a white coat with his name neatly stitched on it while a stethoscope hung loosely around his neck. Well, being a doctor was never a desire of mine and I am not really passionate about the medical field. Could I have been a doctor? Absolutely. Is there still time to pursue it? As long as I have breath in my body, I can still accomplish anything. Would I be following my dreams? No.
I once showed my father a group picture I had taken of my fraternity brothers and I at a reception of one of their weddings. I pointed out their names and where they are now. “He’s an attorney, he’s an engineer, he’s an accomplished teacher, he recently completed his PhD, he’s a television news reporter…” I continued to list the accomplishments of my brothers then my father says “It seems to me like you’re the only one that’s nothing.” I was a bit offended, confused and baffled by his statement. I then had to try to understand why he would say such a thing. Then it came to me, he wasn’t always in my life and thus missed out on most of the high points. In addition, he falsely connects success with titles. That is not what success means to me. I further deduced that he did not quite understand what I had chosen as a career. I’d like to believe that he meant no harm with his words and my heart confirms this assertion.
Being a motivational speaker is my passion. Everyone else, including my parents, have dreams for my life but they are not mine. I once had a friend tell me I was wasting my time with the current path I had chosen and that I should just go back to school and get a good job. I am thankful that I learned a long time ago never to listen to people who are afraid to fail. I learned never to listen to people who are comfortable with the status quo. I learned never to listen to people who aren’t following their own passion. Lastly, I learned that when you follow your passion, success will follow you.
It doesn’t matter what people say, think or feel about you following your passion, just do it! I am an orator; my passion is speaking and writing. I join the company of Fredrick Douglas, Zig Ziglar, Mark Twain, Martin Luther King, Jr., James Allen and Maya Angelou. That’s not bad company to keep. Eliminate the words of the naysayers if you can’t eliminate the naysayers altogether. A good friend told me recently, “You are only young once so follow your dreams. If you fail, so what, at least you tried and that’s more than a majority of people could ever say.” You truly only live once so stop wasting your time trying to live the life everyone else wants you to live and chase your dreams until you catch them.
If you follow your passion, success will undoubtedly follow you.
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