The Only Thing The World Needs From You

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Howard Thurman (Source: The Living Wisdom of Howard Thurman: A Visionary for Our Time)

I know what you’re thinking.

You’re thinking, ‘what do you mean the ONLY THING the world needs from me?! The world demands EVERYTHING from me!!!’

‘It expects me to be a teetotaling, super-ripped, enlightened, buddhist monk who lives in a mansion with 5 cars yet gives everything to the poor, can speak 6 languages, hold 3 full-time jobs with an additional 8 hobbies on the side while also caring for the elderly with the abundance of spare time one must have available.’

Breathe…

‘On top of which I must also find a cure for cancer, prevent global warming, travel the entire world, read 8 books a day, find the time to study for a 4th profession, have the perfect life partner, raise straight A children who never fart in public, cook the recommended 12 meals a day, eat only the finest imported wagyu beef, be a vegan, own the latest model of smartphone while also find a suitable replacement for plastics.’

‘Should I go on?!!!’

You could but I think we get the point.

Yes, unfortunately, this is but a modicum of what our fucked up society expects. That said, this is exactly why we need to be very clear.

What the world needs from you and what society expects are two very different things.

One you need to trust in. The other you need tell fuck off!

Society’s ridiculous expectations have flooded our brains with too much information. We’re constantly being pulled in a million different directions that’s left us paralysed in one. We can’t see through the sea of bullshit to understand what we’re supposed to do. We’re lost wondering which way we should paddle with no land in sight.

The problem isn’t what society thinks, of course. The major problem we have is making society’s expectations our own. In doing so we play a game we can’t possibly win. As a result of not being able to meet these impossible expectations – because none of us can – many of us simply give up.

What we need to do is set ourselves free. We need to cut through the noise and focus on our major purpose in life. We need to follow our calling. Then say ‘fuck it’ to the rest. I truly believe this will benefit the world far more than trying to meet society’s expectations. That’s provided you can shift through all the bullshit and follow what your calling in life actually is. As in, not society’s. Not your parent’s. Not Barrack Obama’s. Certainly not Donald Trump’s. Yours! Your own unique calling.

This is the only thing the world needs from you.

I think that you know this of course, the question is how?! And also what the fuck?

I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers but I’ll give you a few more thoughts you should probably ignore.

Fuck what society has to say about who it thinks you should be.

You and only you get to decide what success looks like. Don’t let society do that for you. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your life has to look good on paper, so some top level exec can commend you on your perfect CV to only then give the job to the slightly less qualified white man because you’re black, or a women, or a black women…

Ahhh shiiiiiiit!

To be clear I’m not saying give up. To not be a better person. To not go after what you want despite any disadvantages you may or may not have. 

No! 

What I’m saying is to be clear about what success actually means to you, to be clear about what you actually want. Don’t go chasing someone else’s goals. If you want to wander the seven seas as a pirate – if that’s what makes you feel alive – then who the fuck am I, or anyone else for that matter, to judge you? At least if you fail as a pirate (highly probable) you’ll have loved life.

Seriously!

We spend far too much time thinking about how our life choices will be viewed by others. We need to wake up and follow what we know in our hearts will make us happy.

A stressful life chasing other people’s version of success is what has turned us all into robots. We’re simply going through the motions so we can reach our end goal. We say to ourselves it’ll all be worth it after I have secured financial independence for the last 10 good years of my life. After I have broken my body, sold my soul and lost all sense of aliveness in the mean time.

Is your retirement really worth that much? To slave away so that one day you might get to live in the knowledge that money is no longer a problem for you, for the last 10 years of your life?

Let me tell you something that society doesn’t want you to work out. Money is but one problem.

When Jay-Z rapped about 99 problems I suspect they were all related to having money. Bitches weren’t one of them admittedly, because of the money, but even so. The point is be careful what you chase after in life. 

The world really doesn’t need you to be rich and famous. It doesn’t need you to solve all its problems. Society has made this an obsession of yours but it’s bullshit.

The only thing the world needs from you is to come alive. That comes from chasing the dreams that you alone have defined. It comes from following your heart.

I’ve got a new rap song. It goes, I’ve got 99 problems but the dream ain’t one. (How white am I?) If you can sing that you’re winning my friend because you’ll always have 99 problems. Don’t make not following your dreams one of them.


As always I welcome ALL opinions on this blog. And as always, my writing requires a large pinch of salt! That said I’m curious as to what you think about the argument that following your heart is better for the world than trying to meet society’s expectations? Thoughts and comments very welcome below. Thanks for reading!

22 thoughts on “The Only Thing The World Needs From You

  • Funny how? When you’re a kid, everybody and their grandmother tells you to “follow your dream!” But when you do become old enough and try — it’s all “Hey man, get a real job!” or “Wake up! There’s no future in (insert your dream here.) Or even, “Are you ever going to grow-up?”

    Society itself, is not interested in your dreams. Rather it’s goals are social conformity, compliance and obedience. And assimilation into the current culture Du Jour! They want safe, obedient and well-herded “sheeple” — not independent thinkers with personal dreams! Yet, personal happiness does not come from restrictions.

    So yes, I say it doesn’t matter what others expect your life to be like. In the end, who cares what they want — It’s your life to live and the way you want to live it is up to you and you alone. Including chasing your wildest dreams. — Good Stuff Aviator! Another interesting Post!

    “Your dream is not a democracy, listen to your heart not the masses.” ― Bernard Kelvin Clive

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s exactly right Wayne. ‘The worlds is your oyster’ is what I was always told. But I was also told I wasn’t any good at English and that I shouldn’t continue with art even though I loved it. Now, years later, despite taking a very different career path, I also write and draw children’s books. Funny how things work out in life. I strongly believe if we all back off and simply let our children have the freedom to decide for themselves – they will end up doing something special on their chosen path. It’s easy for us to tell children to follow their dreams but do we really mean it? Maybe as adults we tell others not to dare greatly because we don’t have the balls to dare greatly ourselves. Excellent points Wayne and thank you for the quote. I love it!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Awesome AP! That personal story about you and how you overcame, yet always believing in yourself and your dreams should be an inspiration to all of us. Why go through life wondering what if? Chase your dreams with courage, conviction and attitude and who knows what you might achieve? One thing is for sure — nothing is going to happen if you don’t at least try!

        Liked by 1 person

      • If you don’t believe you can fail then you won’t. Because you won’t believe it if you do. 😂
        I should say I definitely didn’t always believe in myself. Quite the opposite in fact. But things changed significantly for me over the last few years. I do belief in myself now – far more than I ever have. Thank you for your kind words Wayne.
        I am a little conscious of the fact that as a privileged middle class white man it’s all well and good to talk about following dreams when for so many more survival is all they can afford to think about. Then again I also wonder if for that very reason I have a greater responsibility to make sure I do!? My worst case scenario is likely much better than most others.
        You’re right about trying. We worry so much about financial security yet we all die at the end anyway. I far more fearful of ending my days wondering what if as you say.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Cheryl. I think it takes a lot of courage to change career paths like that – especially for people who are making lots of money. That can be a difficult thing to give up. Still I think many of us ‘know’ if the job is right for them or not. Often it’s fear that prevents people from doing what they want so they choose unhappiness over uncertainty. All the best to you too! 🙏

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    • Thank you 🙏 I’m glad it resonated with you. If it inspires but one person to make a positive change in their life then I’ll be very happy

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  • My dad told me I was to be a pro baseball player
    My mom reinforced that with God made you to play baseball

    After my pro career, I became no one since my life was only baseball and it was over

    Funny my trauma from childhood popped up mid 60’s

    Healing lead me to I guess my calling

    I am a mentor for others suffering from Ptsd

    The opposite of my dad

    Being in the moment, right now is a place where trauma and expectations die

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe for many of us it’s through our suffering that we find our calling. I’m sorry to hear about your struggles but happy that it lead you to where you’re meant to be. Thanks for stopping by 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  • Thank you – I love it too! – Our aliveness! We really don’t talk about that feeling enough. What makes you come alive. If we all spent our time doing those things I believe everyone would be better off.

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