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Baptized by Fire

What does that mean? To be baptized by fire. For me, it means that you are being refined by the kiln in which you live. And that kiln, that fire, is different for everyone.

For whatever reason I have never been one to choose the path of least resistance. Ever since I was young my interests led me down roads with many potholes, setbacks, and dead ends. Rejection and loss are hard blows to absorb. But my ghosts have taught me a certain resilience. An appreciation for the pain, as masochistic as that sounds. I embrace the pain because along with the pain of risk…comes reward.

Through all of life’s stuggles, I have found a high. That high is knowing that I did what my heart desired, despite all odds. The willingness to step up and do what many people want, yet few venture into. I am not a special case or any better than the next, I am simply willing to roll the dice. Mind you, being willing doesn’t mean being fearless. The unknown can be a scary place. It can also be a place where your greatest destinations await. You need only to shift your focus to the positives in the darkness of the unknown, feed on your hunger for your goal – whatever that goal is to you. One of my favorite movie quotes is from The Guardian, where Kevin Costner tells a class of Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers “the only difference between you and the victim is your mindset when you enter the water.” If merely choosing to blaze your own trail meant it would be easy and safe everyone would do it. It is not easy nor safe, and you may fail. In fact you will fail at some point, but just because you fail doesn’t mean you need to quit. Never quit.

I, personally, would rather fail trying on my own than exist in a life wondering what could have been. I cannot accept ordinary. It is a liberating mindset to accept and embrace failures. While the crash may sting, it quickly becomes a time of self-reflection, learning, adapting, and growing smarter on your journey. While failing will never be pleasant, you begin to realize that your failures make you dangerous.

I will leave you with this, Denzel Washington once said “if you want something you’ve never had you have to do something you’ve never done.” And it’s true. If you feel the calling inside of you, don’t just listen to it, chase it; like a dog chasing a ball. Be relentless. Expect setbacks and failures, but never die easy in the pursuit of what makes your heart beat. Use fear of the unknown to heighten the execution of what you know, and be cognizant of learning opportunities. No one will hand you the world, you need to take it. Remember that just on the other side of maximum risk is where your shining moments await. These moments created the calling in your heart. Go take them.

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