How foolish does it seem to light a lantern while the sunset blazes behind it? Who will see this feeble flame? This is how life may feel to many at the moment. My little flame, my inadequate little contributions can hardly make a difference.
But night is coming. Your light will be needed. Feed it with the light of others and you can build a bonfire. One small flame can be extinguished easily, but a larger fire, one that has fuel from underneath and all around, cannot be conquered so easily.
Find fuel in terms of friendships, connection to those who inspire you, mentoring from those you aspire to, books, resources or coaching. Find ways to unlock the power within you. Learn what you need to move forward.
This doesn’t have to be a college or university model, unless you want it. And even then, this can be done part time. It will get done, don’t sweat it. Learn from a progression of jobs that teach you what you want to know. Read voraciously. Gather this to yourself and build yourself up with it.
You are your most precious asset. It is important that you pay attention to this asset and grow it consciously and in the direction that you want. Let’s say you have what you consider to be a menial job, because you didn’t have the opportunity to do further education. But you’re interested in a particular topic or sport, let’s say. Get involved with others who are interested in those things and start building a community of like-minded people around you.
This doesn’t have to be for earning or profit. It can be purely for your enjoyment, to build up a part of your life that is of interest to you or important to you. The next level could be to read everything you can about it. Let’s say you love music, but especially classic rock from the 70s (or hip hop or whatever genre you favour). Think about your favourite musicians in the genre and find what has been written about them. Study it and become a mini expert.
Or let’s say you are a street sweeper, and you are dedicated to your work. You want to be the best damned street sweeper that ever lived. What can you find out about it? Maybe history is your thing. You could research when this work started. Before concrete and paving or after? How old is the skill? How has it changed since it started? How has the equipment evolved? What is used in different parts of the world? Could you become more valuable to your employer with this knowledge, or is it just for your pleasure?
In the end, our life can be full and rich, regardless of our circumstances or how much money we have, or what opportunities we had as kids. Learn to play an instrument or to speak another language. Not only is this good for your brain, but for your soul as well.
“At night, a candle’s brighter than the sun.”
Feed your fire.