Someone asked this question of me recently:
"What was your dream when you were a kid? What did you want to be?"
I could barely remember anything specific, but I do remember the deep longing I felt as a 4 or 6 year old. The longing to be great.
The inner longing of the heart, the knowing that I was made for more than this. That I wasn't average, I was exceptional. That I was born uniquely different from every single person in history, past, present, future.
That I was born with something great that was meant to make a difference in the world.
Every person dead and alive is born with a great purpose.
You know you had that desire at one time, too. Every child wants to be a superhero, or a princess. They know they are made to be super!
I had that too, but over time, I almost lost it. After time after time of being told - without words, usually - that greatness isn't for you - lies, pain, and disappointment slowly sucked the passion out of me.
It was in one of the hardest seasons of my life that I rediscovered my inner longing for greatness, from age 16-18.
My family had just moved to California, a new and foreign state, with people that I didn't know or trust. I was lonely, insecure.
I went to a high school with 1200 kids, but no one knew me. I was quiet, shy, terrified of people. I would never speak without being spoken to first, and when I did speak, quite often I had to be asked to repeat what I had said because I spoke so softly.
I had no friends. But in this time of my life, when I was walking through life alone and afraid, is when my eyes opened up to a whole new world.
Because I didn't have many friends, I spent a lot of time alone. So, I started searching for something to fill my time and my soul. I found people online like Dale Partridge, Seth Godin, Donald Miller, Brene Brown, Tim Ferriss, Dave Ramsey, and others like them. These voices helped turn my life around.
I was hungry for real hope.
I ravenously read their books, listened to their podcasts, consumed everything they created. I was hungry for real hope, and I found it in the messages that these people were putting out into the world. The messages of "you can do it, too!" "You are born for greatness!" "You have what it takes!"
A fire lit in my soul, a drive that could not be stopped. I had found something real to hold on to.
In these messages, I found the permission to be myself and to be great again. I unlearned lies that I believed about myself, and replaced them with truths. I learned practical skills around marketing, branding, social media, business, and creativity.
In short, I found the hope I had been seeking. In my darkest times, I found redemption. In my loneliness, I found peace. In my lowest moments, I gained an education that will be of benefit for the rest of my life.
It's a beautiful story of how nothing we go through is ever wasted. It all works towards a greater purpose, one that we are often completely oblivious to.
| Nothing we go through is ever wasted!
Towards the end of these 2-3 years of discovery, I started this blog. And as they say, the rest is history?
But no, that's not the end of the story.
I'm not where I will be yet; I'm growing every day, learning new things about life and truth and myself.
But I know that if I, Japheth Mast - an ex-Amish kid, with no great family legacy, no history of success, no proven path towards greatness - can do this, anyone can. I was so messed up, you don't want to know. I had no chance. I was doomed for mediocrity.
If Japheth Mast can do it, anyone can!
We need a generation that will stand against becoming mediocre! A people that will not accept a normal, meaningless, unpurposeful life.
Your life is too valuable to be thrown away.
You have a purpose and a destiny that is far greater than you can know. Are you willing to fight for you? It takes courage to be great. Unleash the Greatness within!
Destiny is not for comfort seekers. Destiny is for the daring and determined who are willing to endure some discomfort, delay gratification, and go where Destiny leads.
- TD Jakes