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By: Jamie Collins

May today’s post inspire you to think a little harder, dream a little bigger, and compel you to chase a richer, fuller life that is waiting on you to take hold of it. The time has come to decide if you are ready to “chase” life or simply to live it.

“One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar.”
– Helen Keller

If someone had told me 16 years ago, at a time when I found myself seated in a cubicle answering phones at a small law firm for a whopping ten bucks an hour that I would one day be sitting where I am now, I would have cackled in the face of unlikelihood. But when reflecting back over the years that lapsed and led me to this moment, it becomes unquestionably clear that one thing brought me here, across a long and unpredictable journey. That one thing is passion.

At some points that passion looked like a burning desire, other times it resembled a flickering ambition dancing like candlelight on the wind, and occasionally, it even mirrored soul-sucking desperation, accompanied by big decisions and a will to win. But passion and a desire to succeed peppered the path I walked.

There are many times in our lives that we often stop to worry about all of the intricate details of our lives. We wonder how we’ll get from point A to point B. We question the paths we can take. We think through the options we see before us. We try to map it all out on a course that seems best – usually one that is logical and clear.

Often the anticipated journey teetering across an abyss of foreseeable (and often unforeseeable) obstacles leaves us sitting on the bench of life, unintentional or otherwise. We want good things to happen for us. We want to live a richer, fuller life. We try to figure out a way to get ourselves there. But we overthink choices, analyze and reanalyze decisions, and balk at the unvisited challenges we can’t fully know, comprehend, seize or control. Ultimately, we end up talking ourselves right out of our dreams and onto that bench, right alongside our future endeavors and dead dreams.

In 2000, when I decided to return to college to earn a paralegal degree, if someone had told me I would one day manage to parlay that two year degree I worked so diligently to earn into my current salary and position, I would have split my side with disbelieving laughter. Yet, here I sit – many key choices, strategic decisions, a handful of self-discoveries, and several solid work experiences later. I arrived. I couldn’t have plotted the course had I tried.

If I’d burned my ambition designing the perfectly crafted plan for arriving into the legal world, writing world, blogging world, along with the social media world (and discovery of who it is I want to be in this world), I undoubtedly would have thwarted my own journey and sidelined myself in the process. Too much. Too big. Too hard. Too easy just to sit back and forget about it all. Doubt would have crept in, followed by the accompanying dream killers – doubt, insecurity, apprehension, uncertainty, fear, and the unknown. These things would have sat me down on life’s bench.

It’s a good thing I didn’t stand in the roadway waiting for step-by-step directions, a personal invitation or a road map. Instead, I dashed forward. Through the gates of glory I went, fueled on a lethal combination of passion, instinct, and unwavering ambition. Day by day, step-by-step, good things fell together. I met the right people. Before anyone locally outside of my “inner circle” knew me or believed in me (outside of esteemed colleagues and coworkers), I had carved out a national following. Little-by-little, things happened. I approached people or people approached me. I had ideas or the ideas came and found me. Had I stopped to plot the precise journey I could take to get here, where I sit now typing this post, I would have remained on the sidelines, cloaked in uncertainty, swallowing back doubt, and awaiting that personal invitation.

I post this today to tell you that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to if you affix your gaze and heart upon it. You can hit any mark you set for yourself, so long as you are prepared to make the journey fueled on passion, instinct, and unwavering ambition.

Creating a plan is helpful. Conducting research is important. Meeting key people who may assist or further your endeavors certainly couldn’t hurt. But don’t spend so much time plotting a direct course to a future self (whom you have yet to discover) to find that in the end, you find yourself standing in the barren roadway of untapped potential as your dreams go floating by on the wind, because you can’t see exactly where you’re headed or precisely how you’ll arrive. Part of the fun is in the journey. You’ll find the people, resources, and things you’ll need along the way. More importantly, people and things will help shape and guide your journey to the interesting place it will lead.

Your passion will take you all the way there. Any paths you are meant to walk, you’ll find. Key people you are meant to know will somehow find you, or you them. The plan will fall together (and sometimes fall apart, often to something better) hour-by-hour, little-by-little, day-by-day. Be hungry. Be passionate. Remain steadfast. Be ready to charge out of the gate on passion, instinct, and ambition alone. Be willing to tell yourself that you’ll make your whole journey filled by faith if you don’t see a clear cut path to the dream. Little-by-little, hour-by-hour, day-by-day, you’ll get there.

Do not fear the unknown.
Do not bow down to insecurities. Do not listen to your own self-doubt.
Do not become shackled by fear. Do not stop to feel the apprehension.
When you feel the dream killers pressing down upon you – RISE up to meet them.

When you hear that voice of self doubt speak up, silence it. When you feel uncertain about which path to walk down, realize that walking anywhere in the pursuit of passion is better than standing still on the path of life. When you feel uncertain whether you can do something that big and bold – tell yourself you can. When you feel inclined to take a step toward that bench – Remember, that bench is where dreams go to die.

Charge through the fear. Check the self-doubt at the curb. Tap that inner passion burning silently within you, and take one step down that path toward the unknown.

May today’s post inspire you to think harder, dream bigger, and chase your way into a richer, fuller life that is waiting on you to take hold of it. You don’t need a road map. You don’t need a personal invitation. Your passion, instinct and ambition will carry you there. Trust the spark. Take the step. Seize the moment. Dream the dream. Do it now. Follow your passion to the unexpected, exciting, unknown place where it leads.

Think More – Dream Big – Chase Life.

Take one giant step away from that bench. Wave goodbye to the dream killers.

Chase life.

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“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can, and no one may. We must walk the path.” – Buddha

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain. – Unknown

“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope…yourself, right now, right down here on earth. – Bradley Whitford

“You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need.” – Jerry Gillies

“…Like dominoes, a single event kicked off an unstoppable series of changes that gained momentum and spun out of control, and nothing was ever the same again. Don’t ever doubt that a mere second can change your life forever.” – Quotebites.com

“Chase down your passion like it’s the last bus of the night.” – Terri Guillemets

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