“If you want to be a grocer, or a general, or a politician, or a judge, you will invariably become it; that is your punishment. If you never know what you want to be, if you live what some might call the dynamic life but what I will call the artistic life, if each day you are unsure of who you are and what you know you will never become anything, and that is your reward.”
I have made up my mind about what I want to do or become countless times. I have studied tourism and hospitality management, ended up working as a travel agent for a few years, studied literature, joining workshops, and now traveling different places, working in printing and art industry and falling in love with diving. And I’m still glad I explored all these different things.
I have many other dreams and goals and plans. Big ones. Small ones. I also want to coach people and help them write beautiful stories and impactful books. I still want to spend more time with my family. I still want to travel the world. I want to help more people, serve more people, love more people.
I want to be more.
But there were seasons I stopped myself from doing the things I really wanted to do, because I thought I couldn’t do them.
I took a trip to southern archipelago to get away from home. Because it’s usually when I travel that I see things much more clear. Routine life really kills my sparkle and my wonder for the world, it makes me feel stuck. That’s probably why I feel the urge to leave my country every few years. Off to new adventures. New places to discover. New people to meet. To get inspired. To live in different places and make new memories. It’s during my trip when I realized that I should stop talking and start doing. Because dreams don’t work unless you do. I discovered the only one who was standing in my way, was really just myself. And I find myself on square one, I got to asked myself again, “Why am I doing this for again?”
It is important to address the WHY because it becomes easier to direct your actions towards the reason you started this journey in the first place. When your WHY is clear to you, it then points to HOW you should approach your Life’s Task which determines WHAT you need to do (or not do) in the present. Most importantly, going back to WHY allows you to connect the lines between seemingly “lost” pages/days in your story. Maybe you were never lost at all, you are simply early in the process of pursuing your original WHY.
I also realized that I want to simply passion.
Sometimes I’m all about pursuing my passion with the fire of a thousand burning stars and a fury of a raging storm, sometimes I lose it. Sometimes I misplace it. Sometimes I get burned out. So, whenever I forget, I always come back to the things that ignites my passion and my own drive to discover and chase my dreams. I write down the list of things that I love. List the things that make me happy. Things that bring joy to my heart.
Here’s a check list of the things that I love; things that give me immense joy and peace; things that set my soul on fire.
•Books. Good heavens, I read quite a lot of them. And I buy even more.
•Stories. Anything and everything that tells stories — movies, games, TV commercials, Podcast, Thai insurance ads, Facebook videos, and even answers to the age-old question, “How are you?”
•Music. Music is my therapy, my diary, my life.
•I love love love LOVE the water. The ocean—I’m the ocean child. The sea. Lakes. Rivers. Waterfalls. Rain. Puddles. Dude, water is life.
•I love volunteering to organizations that help in preserving and rescuing marine creatures. My favorite is releasing turtles in the ocean.
•Buying books. Did I mention that already? I did? Oh.
•Spending time with people. I like it so much that I don’t write about it because writing about it takes away the memory of it, I suppose?
•Sunrise. I wonder if I can be born again like the sun to the morning.
•Traveling alone. Enjoying the solitude.
•Meeting people. Seeing places.
•Food. I love eating.
•Preaching. Leading worship. Celebrating the love of Jesus either alone or with the entire assembly.
•I’m really passionate about working in the ministry. Oh my goodness I am ever so thankful that my family, especially my Mom, supports my decision to work in God’s vineyard. I think I want to cry now.
•Words. I’m really, really really passionate about words. I weave words. I spin stories. I create worlds. Well, I hope I move heart or spark imagination through my words.
•And a whole lot of other things.
This would certainly help me.
What about you? Can you write your own list of things that you love? Can you list down the things that make you happy? Things that bring you joy? What are the things that you’re good at? Maybe it’s cooking. Maybe you’ve got a handful of insights about parenting. Or maybe you’re good at being single. You’re good at being happy. You can use that as fuel to set your soul on fire.
I have had so many different hobbies. Most of them being creative things. When I was a child I used to dance, sing, write, act, paint, I used to play outside, doing things that kids do. I think the older we get the more we lose touch with our creative side. We get so caught up in building a career, doing things adults are ‘supposed to do’ that there is no time left to ‘play’. But even as an adult ‘play time’ is still important, to de-stress and enjoy life; I use my creativity and write more. Though, I don’t write like Shakespeare, I kind of suck at planning, my mind is like a thunderstorm and I have difficulties to write consistent. But I love to share my adventures and write about the things that move me. And you can do that, too. Doing the things that move you, inspire you and encourage you to chase your own dreams.
Because it’s never too late to start.
Society tells us we need to specialize in something, but to me that just seems so incredibly boring. I don’t want to be a specialist in anything, I want to learn about so many different things and try everything that seems interesting. And who decides when you are a specialist anyway?
It’s okay to change your mind about what you want, it’s okay if your dreams change along the way. You still tried. You still explored them. Don’t feel regretful, but proud that you tried what others only talk about. It’s okay if you end up doing something completely different. Pursuing the things that make you happy is already enough. Remember that the biggest regrets are the things we didn’t try out of fear.