One dumb thing I used to believe in

I used to believe that when adults said, “You can do anything,” they didn’t really mean it. I used to believe you had a certain person to achieve things, to go places, to be someone.

I thought the sweet spots of life – those lush, sunny places where your personality, gifting, experience, and vision intersect – were for those born into the right family, social class, moment in time, race… or a combination of predetermined factors that some almighty hand of fate picked to succeed by random chance.

I used to look at the less fortunate and tell myself they would never amount to anything because they were never given the opportunity to. I used to tell myself I would never make it beyond a certain limit because of all these factors.

Making history and going where others have not gone before? That’s for the future generation or those blessed with access to all the latest technology and facilities. Or so I believed.

What I now know to be true, more than ever:

Life is what you make it. Success is what you make it. I can be anything… but why would I want to? Success only feels good if it is success to me – not as the world sees it. I have the power to take responsibility for my life. Culture, race, income, or status quo are only limiting if I let them be. I have the power to define my own limits.

This post is inspired by Danielle LaPorte’s The Burning Question series.

I choose Joy

Instead of despairing at a dead end,

I will choose to forge a new trail.

Instead of saying “Things will never change”,

I will choose to change them.

Instead of avoiding,

I will choose to confront.

Instead of running away,

I will choose to fight.

Instead of giving up,

I will choose to give more.

Instead of waiting for courage, a sign, someone else –

I will choose to do it afraid, uncertain, and alone.

Instead of blaming others,

I will choose to take responsibility.

Instead of letting it rain on my parade,

I will choose to dance in the rain.

I will own my choices,

my day,

my abilities,

my satisfaction,

my happiness.

And I will choose joy.

No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. -C.S. Lewis