The day before my flight to South-Africa, I hold a seminar in which I talk about how to find your passion and how to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself. Many of the participants are wondering if they’re on the right track with their life, what their current lifestyle can do more for them, and if they’ll ever be able to find their passion at all.
My flight, the following day, runs smoothly, and I’m excited and relaxed at the same time. Flying to unknown territory feels as part of my comfortzone, thanks to my adventure in Orlando, Florida, a couple of months earlier. I can allow myself to feel at ease while I’m bridging the eleven hour gap from Amsterdam to Johannesburg. Upon arrival, the unknown and therefore the positive tension surfaces.
I spend the first couple of days with two co-travelers: we discover the historical and cultural parts of the country, by visiting the Apartheids museum, Nelson Mandela’s house (which has been transformed into a museum), and the highest building of the continent; the Top of Africa. Even a safari, in which we’re seeking to find elephants, giraffes, lions, hippos and many more exotic animals is part of our African adventure. Between my companions and me, a warm connection is growing and I feel empowered by these wonderful experiences.
The main reason why I’m here, is a big conference, where entrepreneurs can network on an international level, acquire new businesses and contacts, and where national as well as international speakers, among which Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, will share their knowledge, experience and insights on doing business.
On the third and final day, just after I fled the congress with the most beautiful, caring and amazing lady ever to get some air and grab a bite to recharge my sleep deprived physical and mental battery, I quietly tip-toe my way back to the first row of the packed (well over a thousand people) conference hall to take my seat.
My business-partner and good friend immediately grabs me by the wrist and whispers in my ear: “You have to get on stage and pitch your company!” The relaxed feeling of the wonderful lunch with the beautiful lady changes in a blink of an eye to sudden stress and panic.
Due to this paralyzing feeling, along with the sudden necessity to make a choice whether or not to go on stage, I almost loose control; immediately I switch to my rational side to regain control over the situation. I can feel my heart pounding in my throat as I slowly make my way to the stage.
Spotlights shine their bright light on me, and at the same time I bring the microphone to my mouth to speak, I can’t remember a word I want to say; I have a blackout. Seconds pass, and they feel like an eternity. Finally, I force myself to say something; anything!
Logic takes over and while the tension is racing through my veins, I’m happy I remember a few words I want to say, and I start to tell some boring story about what it is my company does. Even though the stress slowly pours out of my system, it takes a while before I can truly speak from the heart and find the balance between logic and passion.
Still, after descendingI the stage, I feel as if I’ve failed; no introduction, didn’t mention my name and even my company name I forgot to state. I didn’t say what I wanted to say. I feel guilty forwards myself, mostly because I know I could have done better. Despite positive feedback form others afterward on my authenticity; I put the emphasis on the few who criticize me for my lack of structure in my pitch. I literally feel the pain within me, and there’s nothing I can do about it but to blame myself.
It’s ironic; weeks before my flight to Orlando, Florida, I practiced for at least ten minutes a day a short speech, in case I’d get the stage for a few minutes. Now, about six months later, I finally get that stage, and I’m completely unprepared for this opportunity.
It’s only on the day I fly back home to the Netherlands, and take a closer look at my experiences in South-Africa, that I feel, whilst flipping through the photo’s, I’ve taken a step forward in the direction of my passion.
The realization that, during those few days, I was doing more that I have been doing so far, enable me to get back in touch with that feeling of power and belief in myself; the reason why I do what I do. The drive that will get me where I want to be. It’s both my dream and vision to inspire, motivate and help others grow on an international level .
Despite being active in the area of personal development for years, and overcoming many obstacles to be at the level of success I am now, I realize that there still is anentier path before me to pursue.
And though I’m taking steps forward, sometimes opportunities seem to present themselves as obstacles. Moments in which stress grabs you by the throat, because, during the discovery of that unfamiliar path, you feel you’re unprepared in what to expect more. It feels like you’re failing, while in fact it’s a beautiful experience and solely a temporary outcome. It provides the insights that so-called mistakes are nothing more than knowledge and information, and that you have the freedom to alter your course and keep going in the direction you’re aiming at.
Whether we know what our passion is or we’re still at the starting point of discovering it – its’ the steps we take into the unknown, it’s the signals we receive that show us the way and from which we can tap into our power. This feeling comes from the heart, and it’s the key we have to turn, to open up our heart and truly feel what we want in our life, to find that passion.
It’s almost a guarantee: when you’re looking for your passion, your path, you’ll encounter obstacles along the way to your potential and your purpose. But, it’s that beautiful feeling of fulfillment to live the life we envision.
Discover your passion, take the time to start and proceed on your path of discovery. I promise you it’s worth it; that fulfillment will change you into the person you need to be, to do what you really want to do.
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To your success,