One life. You are here on planet earth for a reason. You could have been born in any other time of history- yet you are here now. You have been gifted with talents, dreams and desires; not by accident, but with a purpose. You only get one life, this is not a dress rehearsal, there are no do overs, you only get to live each moment once. What matters at the end of the day is what you did with it.
How will you spend this one life that you have been given?
You’ve got dreams, you’ve got ideas but you have no clue where to begin. Don’t worry, you are not alone. If you are like most of us, getting started on something as important as “living your dream” can be a daunting task. It’s kind of like staring at a blank canvas. Where do you start? What do you paint? What colors should you use? If you are honest, it’s hard to not be intimidated by the void of “what could be”. The ominous “What if’s” race through our mind as we struggle on where to begin...
What if you make a mistake?
What if you fail?
What if no one likes what you make?
Well, what if?
Let’s just be real for a second:
Chances are you will probably make a mistake.
You may fail. You may also succeed.
You have been given unique talents and gifts. You are unlike anyone else. Yet as humans we struggle with the dichotomy of wanting to stand out (embracing our uniqueness) and wanting to blend in and be accepted by society. The bible puts it like this in Romans 12:2, “ Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” There is a pattern of life that most people follow. They file in, single file marching along through life never lifting up their head, simply trudging along in the well worn paths that others have carved out for them. Only pausing at brief moments to ask themselves, “Is this the life I really wanted?”
You are in charge of your life. You are not a victim of your circumstances or surroundings. Don’t get hung up blaming others for the way that your life should be, start making your life be what you want it to be. To do this it takes boldness. It takes courage, it takes standing out from among the masses and doing things different.
Most people let fear stop them. There are so many “What if’s” when it comes to living your dream. Most people let these “what if’s” paralyze their dreams into a life of restrictive confinement. You’ve felt it before, passion stirring in your soul, excitement about an idea, a feeling as though you were born to do this. Then inevitably fear comes, ominously looming overhead, you worry, “what will people think of me if I tried?”
And what of the critics? They seem to circle like vultures the second that a dreamer chooses to begin. They are there to kindly remind you to; keep your head on straight, don’t get your hopes up, pull your head out of the clouds and tell you numerous stories of how they too tried and failed. I submit to you this thought: We are not to live a life dictated by our critics. Like the composer Jean Sibelius said, “Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic.”
In your life there will ALWAYS be people who will tell you that you can’t, that it is impossible, that you are not smart enough, old enough, you don’t have enough money, you’re not from the right family, and on and on and on… They will tell you these things because this is what they see as truth and this truth has become their reality. The good news is; this doesn’t have to become YOUR reality.
When you listen to the critics it’s easy to rationalize away your dream, and thus fail before you even begin... and the worst part is that only you will know the failure. Trapped in silent suffering, and great loneliness for only you are aware of the great fear that lies within which does not dare to venture.
We all have only this one life. Let us silence our critics and dare to let the adventurer within be freed. Will you make mistakes? Yes. Will you have some failures? Most definitely. But will you have lived? Absolutely.
How will you choose to live your one life?
I leave you with the words of Teddy Roosevelt in the Man in the Arena.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
This has been the first installation of #go_inspiration, the new weekly collaboration between Go International and artists of Instagram in which we seek to provide continued inspiration through articles and art. Every week artists from across the globe will upload their photos to Instagram and hashtag them #go_inspiration. Our featured artist will choose their favorite photo. At the end of the year Go will compile all the winning artists work into an inspirational book called #go_inspiration. Last week’s theme was “One Life and the @bcreativetulsa was chosen as this week’s contest winner by featured artist @justinkila.
Join us for this week’s #go_inspiration where artist and photographer Katie O’toole inspires us to “Risk”. @__KTO has traveled to 14 different countries and her unique works has been featured in both national and international magazines. Her travels recently took her to Australia, and she currently resides in Oklahoma. To join in this week’s contest CLICK HERE for more details!