“It is not death most people are afraid of. It is getting to the end of life only to realize that you never truly lived.”
These are the words that begin Prince Ea’s viral spoken word poem. He creates powerful videos urging young people to embrace their gifts, no matter how impractical or unlikely they may seem.
“Hey you-- wake up! Why do you exist? Life is not meant to simply work, wait for the weekend, and pay rent. No. Now I don’t know much, but I know this: every person on this earth has a GIFT.”
You may know what your gift is. You may not. Perhaps you’ve been raised to follow a certain path. Perhaps you’ve never had someone ask you what your gift was. After all, “what do you want to be when you grow up,” is not the same question as: “what is your unique gift?” One implies a profession, standard and recognizable by the world. Another implies a calling, one that can be translated by you to fit many forms.
“People don’t choose dreams; dreams choose THEM. So the question I’m getting to is: Do you have the courage to grab the dream that picked YOU? That befits you and grips you? Or will you let it get away and slip through?... See most of us are afraid of the thief that comes in the night to steal all of our things, but there is a thief in your mind who is after your dreams. His name is doubt. If you see him, call the cops and keep him away from the kids, ‘cause he is wanted for murder. For he has killed more dreams than failure ever did.”
What have you always wanted to do, but were held back by doubt? Doubt is nothing to be ashamed of. We all have it. If we didn’t, we’d be flagrant narcissists with a penchant for eye-rolls and superficial relationships. The important part is how we handle our doubt in the language we speak to ourselves when we talk about our dreams. Doubt and Confidence are a two-sided coin, both essential. Doubt keeps us grounded and in-check, helping us think through conflicts and roadblocks to make ourselves better. But without confidence driving us to keep going throughout the necessary failures that help us grow, doubt will take over, stopping us before we’ve begun.
“Struggle and criticism are prerequisites for greatness. That is the law of this universe, and NOBODY escapes it.”
What is your gift? When you reach the end of your life, what would you most regret not sharing with the world?