I’ve always wanted to be my own boss. Part of the reason is because I have never been my own boss, and I am bitten by “the grass is greener on the other side” bug. But the other part of the reason is wanting to prove to myself that I have what it takes to strike out on my own. This dream has been alive ever since I moved to the Bay Area and started to mingle with entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs-wanna-be’s (myself included) in social and corporate settings.
But something is holding me back. Actually, a handful of things are holding me back — it’s money, it’s talent, it’s time, it’s this, it’s that. In fact, ever since I’ve identified these barriers, I have been trying to conquer every one of them by rationalizing why I would be triumphant in the end. But no matter how hard I try to make sense of my fear, I am still not able to take the necessary first step.
Today, however, I found the following passage that clicked inside me. Curious why the passage resonated with me, I decided to dig deeper. Turns out one of my biggest fears is actually me not able to make a difference with what I do. This passage makes it super clear that if I don’t do anything, I DEFINITELY won’t make a difference. It’s such a simple concept to understand, yet I never fully digested the meaning until now. Now I believe I am sufficiently inspired to do something about my dream. I hope these words will do the same in inspiring you to do more with your life too!
“I say to you, this morning, that if you have never found something so dear and precious to you that you will die for it, then you aren’t fit to live.
You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be, and one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid.
You refuse to do it because you want to live longer. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab or shoot or bomb your house. So you refuse to take a stand.
Well, you may go on and live until you are ninety, but you are just as dead at 38 as you would be at ninety.
And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.
You died when you refused to stand up for right.
You died when you refused to stand up for truth.
You died when you refused to stand up for justice.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
From the sermon “But, If Not” delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church on November 5, 1967.