I remember watching the movie, "Coach Carter" and hearing an amazingly insightful quote.
"Our biggest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure..." That quote came from Marianne Williamson, and she is absolutely right.
A friend of mine read my novel, "Journey of a Lifetime". He came back to me and told me something that I knew, but had not fully acknowledged.
He told me that my novel would change lives.
It gave me goosebumps to hear that, and I quickly dismissed it. I dismissed it because it was safer to think that my novel would NOT change lives, rather than give the reader the insights to their own power. The intention of my novel is exactly that, yet I was not prepared for the acknowledgement of it. I wasn't prepared because it is my worst fear that I could change the world. I mean, that's an arrogant thought, right? "Who am I to change the world?" Yet, we all do it everyday. We help people by listening, by forgiving, by loving and caring. Every action we take has an impact, no matter how small. I steps in our own communities, we would have an impact on the world. We may never know what the impact is, but we know that there is one.
The effects of my book will never be measurable. I will never know the effect it has on people, the world, or my life. Yet, I know it will because I know it already has and it has yet to be published and released to the public.
I know this because another friend of mine went to an addictions councelling meeting tonight and quoted the first line of my novel, which is...
"To me, it all comes down to the final five minutes of your life..."
How do you want to be remembered? Do you feel that you were heard, understood, accepted and respected in your life to those who mattered most to you?
Hearing that the opening line from my novel had an impact in that meeting, made the turbulent journey it took me to get to write "Journey of a Lifetime" totally worth it.
Instead of dismissing my accomplishment, I accepted it. I took it in. I thought, "People will get their lives back. Parents will get their children back, kids will get their parents back." I had a hand in that. While I could have been out doing anything else with my time, I was learning how to write that novel over and over again so that it sounded perfect for you, the reader.
Then I got completely overwhelmed and got significant about myself for a minute and I cried. I didn't cry because I was sad. I cried because everything I had endured in my life which felt overpowering in every moment, didn't stop me. It made me have a stronger capacity to be a better person by helping others. So I cried because I realized that I made it happen, and I had arrived.
Others have may have their moments like climbing Mt. Everest or completing an Iron Man competition. They are great moments, no doubt. But the moment moves onward, and you are forced to try to remember the feeling.
"Journey of a Lifetime" will outlive me. It is bigger than me, and it will continue long after I am gone. The hope that every single person will realize their own power in their own journey is an important one. If my novel helps them get there, then it was the greatest thing I think I could contribute myself towards, and I will be perfectly ok knowing that I had an impact without knowing how much.
Playing small does not serve the world and its greatness. But mostly it doesn't serve you! It is my hope that you pick something you are passionate about and start building your capacity towards it. Take small steps, or big ones! But start walking towards what you would want to be remembered for.
After all, everything does come down to the final five minutes of your life, and what you want to be remembered for...
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