Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep going. Tough situations build strong people in the end.”
At some point in our youth, we find a voice speaking to us from a place unknown.
Though we aren’t yet attuned to listening at a young age, this inner voice becomes clear one day and speaks. It speaks to us about our dreams. It begs our attention. It softens us with a knowing that we have finally given ourselves the authority to be who we wish to be.
We try things. We fail at things.
We learn about things that interest and inspire us. We hear of things that we somehow cannot stop thinking about. These thoughts consume our minds and our days, and become a part of our dynamic. We build the desire to know more, and we ultimately become what we aspire to be.
Or at least some do.
I find it interesting to look at a child and wonder what he will wish to become in life. What will call him? What will his passions be? And what will he set forth to build for himself?
But the underlying question remains.
When will he know?
When do any of us really know?
Some of us knew when we were still figuring out the best way to unwrap a crayon. Others figured it out at some point in high school. Yet some of us went onto college and had no clue, even after four years and ending up with a degree that we weren’t even sure we earned.
And many of us, though we may have worked in a particular industry for decades, still aren’t sure. The truth is not many people know what they want “to be.” And some are still figuring it out.
But sometimes the truth is spoken for us when we least expect it.
I can recall being in 8th grade. My science lab teacher was particularly special. She was one of those teachers who cared, one who developed a relationship with each student; learning of their talents and gifts, passions and interests. Once a week we would have a group talk where all subjects could be discussed—anything that was relevant to our lives—and as we were all early teenage students, this was a time we all looked forward to.
She became a confidant; one of few who a middle school kid could trust and talk to about anything.
But what I remember most about her was this:
At the end of the year, she gave us all predictions of our futures based on what she knew of us. She went around the room and named our strengths and what she admired about each of us. When she finally came to me she smiled at the class and said without having a doubt she was pretty sure I’d be a writer someday, to which everyone agreed.
I’ve never forgotten those words, and I often wonder had she not said anything then, would I ever have been so inclined to strive to have my words printed, read and heard.
Truly, she played a huge part in my mindset to explore the written craft and to learn and perfect a voice to share with others. And though I’ve had many other influences and role models regarding writing, she probably gave the best assurance at the perfect age.
But our roads are never easy.
My goals have come with many struggles and failures, many attempts and many setbacks.
Once we embody a gift we wish to explore, or a passion we feel we must live, we step into the struggle of becoming. And nothing worth having ever comes easy, as those who’ve lived for a while can probably attest.
If any of us wish to achieve something in life, whether a status, a relationship, an occupation or a dream, we must accept the struggle that comes with it. Some days will be easier than others, but best believe, hard days will follow. Everything is a learning process. And every experience brings us closer and closer to making our goals a reality.
All I know is, no matter what you wish for, or what you wish to accomplish, never give up when things get hard.
Because, it’s usually a sign you’re getting closer to your goal.
You’re doing the work. You’re chopping the wood. You’re building the foundation and the walls for your own kingdom, and this takes work. It takes sweat, tears and strength to weather anything worthwhile.
And it may take many days, or it may take many years. But no matter what..
Listen to that voice when it says, “This is me. This is what I want in life.”
Give yourself permission to fail.
Because this is how you’ll succeed.