There is so much conversation and pressure about defining who we are and what we want to be. It is a palpable panic amongst nearly all generations to find your passion and change the world and look great while doing it. In theory, it is not a bad-intentioned aim but in practice it is making us anxious and over-worked and often times even less clear about the direction we want to go. We think that our path must be well-defined and linear, that there has to be a clear job-title or company name that makes sense to not only everyone else, but to ourselves. We look for ways to define ourselves by what we do, and if we are in the process of figuring it out not having a perfect response to “what do you do” at a dinner party can throw us into a full-blown panic and self-doubt attack.
I’m not here to convince you that not knowing is okay or not-okay, there are enough articles written about that topic and if you talk to enough people you realize no one has it figured out. Until we are able to accept within ourselves that not knowing exactly our path doesn’t equate to failure, flakiness, or laziness, we will continue to search for those articles (as opposed to taking action) to confirm that we are okay.
I’m here to convince you to practice courage. No matter where you are in life, what job you have, what your relationship status is, you have the option to choose courage. You can choose courage in your thoughts, actions, and words. You can choose courage when faced with a difficult decision, an uncomfortable conversation, or the pain of a friend. You can choose the courage to continue to seek your path even when it is unclear, as opposed to retreating back to the safe path that made sense but also made you numb. You can choose the courage to keep putting one foot in front of the other even when you don’t know where the next step will land. Rather than fretting about choosing a job title or business name that makes sense, you can choose courage. Choose courage even when it is painful, because knowing that you acted in courage is much less painful than knowing you acted in fear.
Don’t make courage a big mountain to climb, a plane to be jumped out of, or a nearly impossible leap. Make courage an everyday act. Practice courage in the small moments when no one is looking. In the way you smile at a stranger, or write a note to a friend, or how you talk to yourself. Make courage your passion, and I am certain that other passions will soon follow.