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Following your passion is sometimes about not listening to even yourself

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Jon Westenberg, the prolific writer on Medium who runs Creatomic, and is one of the few writers I read every post of, wrote about passion, letting others take decisions for you, giving up and rejection, the other day. The part that struck me the most was,

We don’t quit because our inner voices say we’re not good enough. Not all the time anyway. We quit because our inner voices say well, we tried and we blew it so now we’ve got a valid reason to stop trying. That voice is encouraged when gatekeepers tell you No. It’s encouraged when you’ve given other people the authority to tell you what you can and can’t do or chase or follow or work on.

Having broken from the herd and having started something of my own more than three months ago, there have been a few many times when giving up has seemed like a good option. After all, we humans are designed to look for paths of least resistance and try to live the easiest life possible. Everyone who has tried to make their own ding in the universe would’ve often heard their inner voice telling them that they tried and blew it and hence, they should go back to the status quo. I know mine has. And of course, our society, which is built on people being trained to not break the mould, encourages us to think that way. But the secret lies in not listening to anyone (not even yourself, when your inner voice is asking you to give up) and keeping working towards painting your picture of life.

I have faced situations like these and have been lucky enough to not fall for these intricate traps laid by my inner voice (the unwavering support of my partner-in-crime has been my guiding light in such situations) and hopefully, with a lot of small steps in the direction the goal that I set out towards achieving three months ago, I’ll get there sooner than later. It isn’t going to be easy, achieving something big never is (from running a marathon to climbing a mountain) but the thrill is in the journey of reaching there and the feeling of exhilaration once you do. And in times when people around you (and you yourself) doubt you, the secret is to just shut your brain off for a while, close your eyes and breathe (something I do in the last couple of laps while on a long run). Always works.

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