Listening to Your Heart Is a Journey of Learning Through Good and Bad Times
Aah, yes – the photo above is me back in 2006 (December) in my tiny one-bedroom basement bachelor apartment. Following my heart got me into trouble at times, but I now realize that the lessons I was learning would change my life forever, as long as I learned from them and kept on believing in myself through hell and back.
I’d be lying if I said that listening to your heart will be an easy way to live. It’s been a knock-down, drawn-out battle at times in my own life – no doubt about it. The beauty is that I’ve got forty years of living to look back on now, which offers me a front-row seat into my life, my decisions and the lessons that have come my way. That’s an invaluable teacher, otherwise known as experience. You can’t buy that. You’ve got to to put in the time and earn it.
We Learn By Doing, and That’s How It’s Supposed To Be!
I’ve been in a jail cell, a locked mental health unit (after committing myself), on the phone with the police and in front of a judge as a result of following my heart at times. I’ve also been hired for jobs, went to university, won trophies for being a star athlete as a young teen, signed a major book deal and became the world’s largest voice on Twitter for the topic of ADHD as a result of having the courage to follow my heart.
We’ve also got to take a step back when we decide to make a decision that impacts us. I’m a bit of a self-confessed “late bloomer” in this area, but that’s for several reasons, including needing major therapy to work through issues with my Mother and what healthy romantic relationships actually look like (as opposed to what I was shown early on).
Nevertheless, I had to dust myself off and continuously get help during my adult life to sort through the past, my sense of self and how to find my place in this world. No one else was going to do it for me. I had to find a way to keep going and keep growing through the good times and the hard ones, too.
There’s No Feeling As Amazing As Staying True To Yourself
I was watching a Rocky marathon on TV the other day (one of my favorite stories due to the sheer will and challenges that are faced, as well as the lessons learned) when it hit me: Life is a fight in a way (for some more than others, but we all face struggles and gut-wrenching challenges at times), one that will demand every ounce of energy you’ve got just to make it through some of the challenges you’ll face. The amazing news, the true reward is in self-growth as a result of learning from mistakes (learning lessons, I prefer to call them).
No one can ever take your sense of self and achievement away from you. For those of you who might feel lost right now, trust me on this: KEEP GOING. That’s the only reason I made it this far, to enjoying a peaceful and fulfilled life every single day. I have true inner peace now, but I’m also driven to take my success to the next levels, one by one, giving back as I go.
For all the jobs I was fired from, the people who doubted me and the moments I wondered what was wrong with me, it feels damn satisfying to have arrived at this place of self-actualization. God knows there were days and nights when I cried, worried I wouldn’t ever see success like this.
This is dedicated to my deceased brother, Ryan, who wasn’t as fortunate. I feel him cheering me on every single day, pushing me to become my own Force For Good…It shall be done. It already is, in fact.
Never forget where you came from and who helped you along the way.