There is nothing more beautiful or intoxicating than feeling like you are on the right path. I don’t mean when you know the best strategy or which action step to take next. That is a wonderful feeling too, but it is nothing compared to when your true self, creativity, and passion are being honored like never before. I’m talking about the path when you feel clear, peaceful, happy and determined.
The feeling of living in alignment with your values in pursuit of your dreams is truly powerful and uplifting. You feel like anything is possible because your passion is driving you and seemingly nothing can get in your way. You feel joyous, excited, and have overflowing energy.
It’s in these moments of alignment and clarity when we can often make great strides toward fulfillment: finishing the first chapter of our novel, signing up for taekwondo classes, making a profile on Etsy, whatever it is that calls us with the unmistakable pull of creation and joy. These moments are the fun ones, the easy ones, and the ones we think will last forever.
But that is the thing about life—there is really no such thing as “forever.” Our existence is full of constant change, and just when we get used to being a certain age or having a certain job, transition comes and we have to start getting used to something new all over again.
So the truth is that when you start taking steps in the direction of your dreams, or discover a passion for something and begin to explore it, the initial zeal and burst of energy you feel will eventually wear off. You will hit moments when it doesn’t sound fun to keep practicing the guitar or reaching out to publishers who have rejected you over and over again.
You will hit moments when the thing you love becomes the thing you want to avoid. “Why?” you ask. The reasons are as plentiful and diverse as there are people to experience them. Perhaps, even though change is inevitable, we don’t want to change at all. It could be a fear of failure, a fear of success, or a fear of the unknown. It might be that we listen to our inner critic and believe in our unworthiness or incapability.
The point is that when those moments come, and you feel like the path you are on is full of obstacles, challenges, and stress, remember what you are fighting for. Remember the bliss, and the goal that you set out for yourself. Remember the beauty and the intoxication, because somewhere deep down inside you there is something aching to come forth and be created or lived.
Never give up on happiness, fulfillment, passion, or success as you define it. As long as you keep taking steps forward on the path that most honors you, you will discover new ways to be delighted and new ways to make your passion come alive again, because the best part of about constant change is that the low parts won’t stay forever either. Sometimes you just have to stick with it to see what awaits you on the other side.
Just think of all the times JK Rowling had her Harry Potter manuscript rejected: 12. How much fun could it have been for her after the first one, or the first few, or the first TEN? To have something she poured herself into rejected over and over, all with the knowledge in the back of her mind that she had to provide for herself and her family. It couldn’t have been all roses and rainbows, but imagine what would have happened if she had given up. Thankfully, a generation of readers has been inspired and delighted because she didn’t give up.
You see, passion alone doesn’t create success, perseverance does. There is a fine line between refusing to give up and being stubborn or refusing to let go of what no longer serves you. But you have to give yourself a chance first. Keep going, even when the path is uphill and icy. Never give up, because the sure way to never succeed is to quit or to never try at all.
You may not achieve everything in life you set out to do, but your life will be so much richer for the journey. The most rewarding part about never giving up? The knowledge that you never gave up on yourself and didn’t let the hardest parts of the path keep you from living life to the fullest. It won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it.