|Climbing Lion's Head Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa|
Often times we perceive what we think is the certainty of others and interpret it to mean that we lack direction or motivation. It's easy to look at a politician or musician or actor or activist and think, "They know what they are supposed to do. I still don't know what I'm doing with my life." We all have the potential and power to do the same thing; make progress. We look at those in the spotlight and think that their lives have more meaning than our own. We diminish our own impact before we have a chance to fully recognize it and accept it. Our fight for progress must first begin within.
Progress is made over time. It's the process of repeatedly making healthy, mature, and intentional decisions. Progress involves commitment and persistence. As you look over your life, acknowledge those areas that you improved. Maybe you haven't done as much as you'd hoped by now, but recognize that you are further than you once were. Instead of using what hasn't worked as fuel for disappointment and excuses, use it as motivation to propel you further. Instead of repeating mantras of negativity and self-defeat, praise yourself for continuing. You could have given up, but you didn't. You are still here.
Everyone has something to give and a story to tell. Your gift and your story is more powerful than your doubt and insecurity. Just as we all needed the courage and bravery of generations prior, we need your courage and bravery to push us forward. Whether you're out front, behind the scenes, raising the next generation of leaders, educating young people, or providing emotional support to others, you are needed. Your role matters. You are important. Your position, your struggle, and your visibility is not to be compared to others. It is all vital. It all matters. We all have an important role. As you strive to improve the quality of your life and the lives of those around you, remember that you were created to be a progressive force and you were designed to do it in your own way.