It’s interesting to think that all of the famous or successful people you admire, be they a literary great, superstar performer, outstanding business person or even the President of the United States, all began somewhere. Maybe you read Shakespeare or Emerson with sublime admiration in your eyes. But remember, there was a time when Shakespeare and Emerson were just like you and me, beginners hastily penning their ideas into a journal at the dusty old library someplace. The reason these highly esteemed folk became so successful is that they learned to trust themselves. If you are ever going to discover your own wings, you have to learn to trust yourself.
The problem with our age it seems, is that people have become so unoriginal. It’s like someone put out a broadcast announcing that all of the things one may do, have already been done, so get on board someone else’s train and figure out where you fit! And even worse, people have learned not to question anymore. Attach an authority figure or better a scientific study and the whole world digests it as true without even giving it a second thought. The mass media machine has inundated us with so much information, that we feel we already know the answer before the question is even posed. And most dastardly of all, we’ve learned to trust what the vulgar crowd says over the still small voice within our hearts.
You, my friend, were designed to be an original. Observe nature and see if you can find any two things alike. You are unique in every sense of the word! So why should you trouble yourself so shamefully day by day for not fitting in with the organization of things? A society is made up of individuals and needs the best it can gather from each of them. A society that exists for the society is headed for disaster as group (mob) rule is always infused with danger. You don’t need a government or a celebrity or even your family to tell you what to think! Sure, you listen to advice, but then you must think for yourself. What should I be doing? Where should I be going? What do I have to offer to the world? These are the only questions that matter. The reason so many people are drifting along bored and unfulfilled is because they are busy living someone else’s dream!
Most of us shun our own insights because we have been herded and prodded to do so. Then, as Emerson aptly predicted, “Tomorrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another.” We only half believe ourselves and that only half the time. We apply a strange method of thinking someone else always knows what is best for us, better than ourselves. Who should know more than I what is my duty; my obligations? Yet therein we travel down pathways and alleys seeking the happiness that someone else has promised us we’ll find there. You alone, in your heart always know what to do and what not to do. You are conspicuously aware of what causes you both delight and shame.
Though there be a thousand reasons why you distrust yourself, every one of them is a thinly clad veil for fear. If you are honest, (and who would choose to be dishonest with themselves?), the only thing that ever stopped a man from acting upon something he knows, is fear. And what great supremacy fear holds over the mind of man today! Fear whips you in line and threatens you with catastrophe for daring to step out of line! Fear drains the vivid colors out of men and makes them all grey-scale. Fear crushes your lofty dreams and orders you to settle for the status quo. Yet, fear is mastered in a moment of time when you choose to act upon what you and you alone do know.
Each person living in the world has his particular gift to offer the world. And though time is required for its development, it is there; it must be there, as all of God’s creation is never without purpose. To compare your purpose with my purpose is like expecting a salty taste from sugar. Salt is salt and sugar is sugar, and both are required according to taste; with a million variations therein. Thus your purpose must meet a need no other person can quite fill, else were all men the same and drudgery would overtake the planet. You find out your purpose by focusing in on your delights. When I read Emerson my heart doesn’t quite know what to do, but when my wife listens to him, most words offer her no meaningful impact. What is it that passionately interests you? What thing, when done by you, is without effort and that for which time stands still? In that thing are your wings, though they still exist in embryonic form.
It’s been said that if you find whatever it is you love to do and do it, you will never work another day in your life. I would expand that to say that if you find what you love to do and do it, you will be joyfully living the life God has personally called you to live. Your age doesn’t matter. Your circumstances don’t matter. How you’ve lived your up to this point doesn’t matter. What matters is that you pursue, with all that you are, your grand, unique purpose. And, that purpose will never appear written in cloud-like ink across the sky or be chanted by the convulsing masses. It won’t be written by the finger of God on your wall. Instead, it will show itself in your interests; in those things you cannot get enough of; in the quiet, silent, tender regions of your heart from whence the still small voice gently urges, go this way my wonderful son; head that way my beautiful daughter…
You owe yourself the courage to stand up and masterfully take your place in this life.
“Insist on yourself, never imitate. Trust thyself, every heart vibrates to that iron string.”
Just some good thoughts…