"Do not ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that - because what the world needs is people who have come alive." -Howard Thurman

For the last few months, it has become my routine to listen to podcasts when I walk my dog, Izzy. Instead of multitasking on Instagram, texting 5 different people, all whilst trying to control my pup, I've chosen to try and be more present. Not everyday is the same, but my goal is to listen to something mind-enriching everyday - something that I believe will expand my horizons, my mindset, and my overall well-being. So far, it has proven itself to be beneficial. It doesn't happen EVERY day, but I do my best. 

Today's podcast choice was an episode of Lauren Herrera's Love Is A Verb - "Self love stories & actionable steps to increase love, abundance & happiness".

This podcast speaks a lot on making the choice to guide your actions by love and not fear - what you put out into the world, you will get back. My mom always told me - "Mckenna, what goes around comes around". That's something that has stuck with me forever.. and today's podcast-listening-walk really nailed it in the head for me.

Navigating life as a 24 year old is pretty terrifying. Everything feels uncertain. I moved to Nashville over 2 years ago without a solid job in place, without a real "plan" as to what was going to happen. I made the leap and moved down because I am a heart follower. Fast forward to now and frankly, I still don't really know what I’m doing. It’s easy to let fear creep in when life is a little up in the air. While I watch friends buying houses, getting engaged, putting money in savings… I find myself worrying paycheck to paycheck about covering rent, groceries, etc. Sometimes I feel like I'm on top of the world and sometimes I question every decision I’ve made. It feels a little bit like a rollercoaster with no seatbelt.

I have friends in the same position who make me feel less alone. I have the same questions all of the time… do we go through hell to follow our passions, only to fall flat on our faces? How can I navigate life in LOVE and not fear, when everything feels like a huge question mark? Is this how things are supposed to feel when you’re following your dreams?

There are two guys at the YMCA of East Nashville who I used to see all of the time (one of the jobs I have had as a personal trainer in Nashville). I had a brief conversation with them a couple of months ago that has seriously stuck with me. I asked one man what he did for a living. He said a few things - entrepreneur, personal trainer. Lastly, he said "serving others”. I looked at him and said "That's really why we're here anyways, right?" At that moment, I realized that has to be what it's all about—giving back and putting a dent in the world—big or small, being a part of something bigger, doing good. Serving others. We, as humans, need each other—especially right now. We need CONNECTION. It’s not always easy to go down the road that’s a little darker, a little less certain. But if we know our “why”, things feel a little lighter, a little brighter.

So..what’s your why? What’s my why? I know it’s so hard to remember sometimes. There is so much stimulation in the world to be a certain way, to follow the rules—get a good job, get a hefty paycheck, have a family, do that thing that everyone else does. I challenge you to resist the rules. Resist the voices that tell you that you’re not enough, that you don’t deserve success, that you’ll never be able to shine the light that you are meant to share. It’s all just fear talking.

If you don’t fit the mold, if you feel like you’re a little lost in this season, don’t stop. Keep breaking the rules, making your own definition of success. Don’t stop being unique. Have a love affair with the unknown road and love the crap out of your journey. Keep loving hard, aligning with what feels good, and being good to the world. If fear comes along, feel it. Let it in for a minute. From it, find motivation and movement, not discouragement and stagnation. The world needs what you have to offer. We need love. We need to spread it to everyone—the impoverished, the lonely, the minorities, the ones who don’t have a voice, the list goes on. We need to lead in love, not fear.