I can remember a moment with my old high school band director on a visit home during my first year in college. I remember talking to the man who would consistently communicate messages to me that would essentially change my life.
On this day, I told him, "I'm in 14 organizations at school," insinuating my leadership and community involvement. I thought he would be proud.
He replied, "When you know yourself better, that number will decrease."
I was taken aback. I almost gasped, wondering how he got that from what I told him. He didn't ask me for more detail about what I was involved in, he didn't seem to care to ask who I helped, and he hadn't questioned why I was involved in so much.
Looking back on that day, I realize what it was he was communicating to me. We have to know ourselves, and fall in love with who we are in order to know what it is we really want out of life. This means to know what we want to do, what our purpose is, who we should surround ourselves with, and how we should spend our time, we need to know what we love. We need to fall in love with who we are.
I know now that my passions are youth, education, and the arts. I also am a fan of growth. Whether it's people, organizations, or ideas. I made a commitment my third year of college to not do anything that doesn't relate to those interests--to those things that I love.
If we all did what we were in love with because we knew ourselves and loved ourselves so much that we almost felt we had no choice, then the capacity for those endeavors would be exponentially greater. Passion = Purpose = Productivity.
I implore you and encourage you to find out what you love, and love it to the fullest. Our communities, our society, our countries, and our world need the passion and love we have to give, but we have to find it in ourselves first.