Coming to the end of the year, I realised that I told people ‘I feel lost’ a lot, but it is precisely this reason that drives me to create things that matter to me when there is nothing to lose.
After attending two silent meditation courses, trekking the Everest Basecamp, travelling alone to Vietnam, creating a book, a podcast and a community this year, I finally understood the quote:
‘Not all those who wander are lost.’
#1 Inspiration of a book comes from the sharpest U-turn in life
This year, when I was able to acknowledge that the ‘darkest struggle’ or ‘existential crisis’ that I went through 2 years ago was actually mild depression, it became clear why I wanted to share my story.
I was completely broken inside when I had everything that sounds good and looks good in life. When I let go of everything and went back home, I discovered the joy of living at the rock bottom without a job, career and future.
The sharpest U-turn in life taught me important lessons about what matters most in life.
#2 Turning pain and struggles into a positive message
In the benefit of hindsight, I wrote my way out of depression when I was able to channel my emotions into words and assign meaning to things that happened in my life.
No matter how painful an experience was, I was always conscious about ending an article with a positive note when I wrote about it.
Through words, I give myself hope, embrace all good and bad as part of me, and recognise that all these experiences made me strong. I hope my words do the same for people who are on a similar journey.
#3 Be proud and be loud
The biggest lesson I learn from self-publishing was to be proud of who I am and believe that my story matters.
In the process of getting the book out, I was constantly crippled by the self-limiting thought that people who are more successful than I am don’t even have a book yet, who am I to tell my story?
When I looked at the audience during the book launch, I had a moment of clarity when I realized that all my struggles and pains made sense. I could use my story to help people, give them courage, let them know that it’s okay to spend time finding our place in the world.
#4 Building a community through trial and error
This year, I started a community with a friend to tackle our own problem as a misfit constantly trying to find a place where we can be our best-self using our strengths.
5 months into community building, ‘Own Your Story’ evolved from an experiment into a community launchpad where people can connect, share knowledge and co-create projects.
We are proud to create a space where it is safe to fail, backed by a supportive community who believe in growth and purposeful life.
What really matters at the end of life?
After a year of creating my life without a plan, I had a deeper understanding of what does ‘own your story’ mean and why it matters.
Owning my story is about embracing all seasons in life through the ups and downs, acknowledge that all of them shape me the person I am today, and love myself for the person I’ve become.
In the process of creating my best self, it is risky to step into the unknown and it will be painful to fall, but we have the inner strength to pick ourselves up.
When you are at the crossroad, always turn inwards and ask, what really matters at the end of life?
We need more people living their truth, finding their purpose, and living with joy and love in their hearts.
Own Your Story Podcast features interesting guests with fascinating stories and unique perspectives on life, taking viewers on a journey through the lives of others and ultimately inspire them to embark on an adventure of their own.