We all had dreams when we were young about what we wanted to be or do when we “grew up”. I’ve always admired people who were brave enough at such a young age to push through the nay-sayers and follow their passions unapologetically.
But let’s face it, for a lot of us- especially during those fragile formative years- it didn’t take a lot of nay-saying to make us believe the hype and start seeking an easier, less painful path.
In my own formative years, I had epic dreams of becoming an artist and entertainer. I was especially passionate about Fine and Performing Arts- choir, theater, dance, art- you name it, I was throwing myself into it. There was a joy and a truth in doing these things that was crystal clear to me.
And yet I gradually let it all of those moments of joy and clarity slip through my fingers as self-doubt and fear took over.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Cut to 20 years after high school and I can still feel that buzzing inside of me when I think about doing these things. It hasn’t left me at all, and you know something else? I haven’t changed that much. I’ve been through a lot and had my ups and downs, but when I close my eyes and remember those moments, that’s still me, 100%, dreaming of being an artist and entertainer.
Sound familiar, too?
Well, lately I’ve been wanting to push my self-created boundaries and let myself know that it’s okay to do what lights you up! In fact, it’s your purpose in this life!
Does that mean I suddenly have to become the star of my own HBO series or go on tour with Beyoncé? No! In high school, that’s what success looked like to me- fame, the unattainable, recognition, glory! No wonder I thought it seemed so out of reach!
What has changed about me over the years is my idea of success. Now it looks like this: Happiness. Joy! Vitality! Passion! Engagement with LIFE and with others!
Yes! This sounds like my kind of success story.
If only I had taken What About Bob?‘s “baby steps” to heart back then! Or that seemingly cliché adage- It’s not the destination, but the journey that matters– Oh, hindsight, you ole dog.
But it’s definitely not too late! A wise friend once said to me, “If you start filling each day with lots of small and simple things that you love, you will wake up one day to find that you have a life you love.”
So, here’s a great success story for you today:
(And if you already know about the phenomenon that is the Pharrell Williams/Happy/Dance videos from around the world phenomenon, consider this sentence your TLDR, and skip to the next part!)
- By now, you may very well have heard the story about a rapper/producer/artist named Pharrell Williams who made a little ditty called “Happy” for the movie “Despicable Me, part 2. He’s been in the biz for at least two decades, but he’s now experiencing a new kind of success. He released a video featuring lots of people (including some famous cameos) dancing and being all happy about it. That was awesome.
- But then something even awesomer happened. People all over the world started making videos of their own- capturing themselves, their friends, their whole schools and cities, dancing to the song Happy! Talk about the collective consciousness getting together and elevating the level of Awesome to 11!!! That was truly awesome.
- And then Oprah had Pharrell over to watch the fan videos and he was completely overwhelmed with emotion- I mean, here were thousands of people all over the world, expressing their JOY, showing their MOVES, and spreading the LOVE with a song that he wrote! Man. Seriously awesome.
- I am amazed at how many people are on the internet just dancing and being happy- even if just for a moment. This is a treasure trove of pure gold because it’s totally contagious! Try it for yourself and let me know what you think! Before you read another word, click that Pharrell link and see what the buzz is about!
(For the TLDRers, here’s where you can pick it back up- )
And now for something ridiculously exciting- no, I didn’t land my own Comedy Central special, BUT I did make my own HAPPY dance video !!!
And let me tell you this was SO much fun to make!
Fear be damned– I mean, why wouldn’t I put a video of myself dancing on the internet? Dancing is one of the HAPPIEST things I know! 😀
This is a Love Letter to you and your dreams, to my dreams, to dance, to true success and joy, and to overcoming silly fears and self-doubt!
Thanks for reading! Share your thoughts and replies in the comments below. – xo