Start Doing What You Love Right Now!

By Jody Hedlund, @JodyHedlund

My kids have loved watching the Olympics over the past couple of weeks. I know this because they're constantly checking to see what events are on TV.

But I also know the excitement goes deeper when I see my daughters pretending to be Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman as they jump on the trampoline. Or when my young son is doing the backstroke at the pool and claims to be Michael Phelps.

After listening to story after story about athletes and their rigorous workouts, my oldest son went online, found a detailed training plan, and printed it out.

There's something about watching others strive after their dreams that inspires us to reach higher for ours.

My twin daughters recently had a sleepover with a friend and watched the Disney movie, Lemonade Mouth. Yes, it's slightly cheesy and unrealistic. But it was still an inspiring movie. A group of misfit teens came together, formed a band, and then worked hard to make something of themselves. 

After the movie, as the girls and I processed the good and the bad, I remarked that one of the things I liked about the movie was that the kids pursued their passion even though they were young. They didn't let age or other obstacles stand in their way. They didn't wait until they finished high school, had more time, or were more mature. They just did it.

My daughters' friend that slept over is a budding writer. She's in seventh grade, but she already has a binder full of research for her book and has plotted it out in great detail. During the sleepover, I gave her a copy of my character worksheets so she could use them in her planning.

I did it because I believe in her. I don't think she's too young to write a book or pursue her passion.

She isn't letting anything stop her from doing what she loves. Like the kids in Lemonade Mouth, she isn't telling herself she's too young. She's embracing her gifting and passion with abandon.

Often when we get older, we lose faith in ourselves. Once we've experienced the hard knocks of life, we start viewing the world more cynically. We're no longer oblivious to the realities and roadblocks that loom between us and our dreams.

So we grow less willing to jump into the unknown. Instead, we tiptoe in, testing the waters slowly. And we have the tendency to slink out at the least ripple. 

If only we could hang on to the child-like abandonment of chasing after our dreams. If only we didn't focus so much on the obstacles standing in our way. If only we didn't let fear stop us. If only we continued to believe that everything was still possible.

Because the truth is, none of us are too young or too old to follow our passions, to begin doing what we love every day. 

Maybe we need to stop tip-toeing in and just take the plunge. Jump into the water with a splash. Get wet. Go deep. And give it all we've got.

So be like a child. Believe in yourself.

Believe you can be a writer. Or artist. Or musician.

Start now. Why wait?

Are you doing what you love with childlike abandonment? Or are you letting obstacles and fear hold you back?

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