On a personal level, I've had trouble off and on with believing I had something real to offer or that was truly good at anything, but over the years I've grown to believe that we all have something to offer. There are always excuses like, "There is someone that does it better than me so I'll just let them do it" or "I don't know what I'm good at." The truth is we are not here for ourselves. Our passions and talents, although we enjoy them, are not just for us.
I once was having a conversation with my friend Nate. (He's such an encouraging and enthusiastic person who just continually creates.) There is one thing he said to me in this particular conversation that has always stuck with me. He said, "Don't cheat the world of your contribution." I don't know if he was quoting someone else or whether those were his own words. Regardless, it has resonated in my mind ever since.
What is a contribution?
- A gift or payment to a common fund or collection.
- The part played by a person or thing in bringing
about a result or helping something to advance.
A few years back I was able to see Stevie Wonder perform live. When he walked out on the stage playing the first song on the keytar, I felt this overwhelming sense of joy. Think about if someone like Stevie Wonder wrote all those songs, didn't think they were any good and never played them for anyone or maybe his mother shared her son with the world whether it be because of his disability or just plain fear. We may not know we are missing something, but we would be missing something nonetheless.
If you hold back what you have to offer out of selfishness or fear you cheat not only yourself, but the world. It can be difficult when you believe you have nothing significant to offer, but you don't always realize or may never know the impact you will have or the people whose lives will be changed and how important that might be. Don't just consume. Do things, make things! It doesn't matter if it's perfect. Besides, perfect is all a matter of opinion and perspective. You won't find your passion if you never try anything and never push past the resistance that we all find in learning and practicing.
Regardless of how easy something may seem to someone else, everyone has something that is difficult for them and that thing may be or even become what they are most passionate about. I believe we all need challenge and purpose in our lives. It isn't necessarily a matter of finding the one thing we were "born to do," but not sitting idle. I can almost guarantee you will find more fulfillment in life by giving of yourself in whatever way possible.