Why reaching your greatest potential and living YOUR best version is one, if not the, most important part of Life itself.

Life is a world in and of itself. It’s so important to taste, feel, breathe, smell every single thing that Life offers; we should be as excited as kids get when they enter into a candy store – they never get enough. That’s exactly what we owe to Life – that excitement, the feeling of needing and desiring to experience more each day. In this world, all we know is what we have in front of us. We may have theories, beliefs, ideas of what comes after, but why spend time wondering about the unknown, when we have the gift of all gifts sitting before us waiting to be lived. Life.

I’m 33 years old and I can honestly say that despite some of my own very difficult times and adversities at such a young age, I learned to let go and live because what I realized was that the more I held on to the unanswered questions and self-pity, I couldn’t grow. I was failing myself. And believe it or not, regardless of the number of supporters you may have, no one is as strong of a supporter than you are to yourself. If you don’t believe in who you are, how do you ever expect anyone else to? There’s only so much someone can do for you – people can sing and dance all year round, but when push comes to shove, it’s you that needs to write those lyrics, sing them, and dance to them.

All my life, growing up in New York, it taught me to grow thick skin, and to dream. I worked for several politicians, made a name for myself from the age of 17, and gained the experience of those barely in their 40s. Although I had achieved much, I didn’t have absolute raw exposure to Life – I thought everyone was the same, that loyalty was a given, and peoples’ character was just as my own. But when I was 19 years old, I went through one of the most difficult times in my life – it was political, unfair, wrong, and full of lies and deceit. I learned that when push came to shove, people didn’t mind throwing you on the side and pretending as though you never even existed. I learned a lot through my political experience. Most importantly, I learned that your circle got smaller as things got hotter. I was wrongfully accused of doing something I never did by a political figure (70 year old vs 20 – put the pieces together), but I held my integrity, always stood my ground, and proved my innocence. Throughout the two (2) years, however, I saw every color one would never even imagine. I realized that not everything was black and white – in fact, it was open to interpretation. I learned lessons that although I hated having to face years ago, I appreciate them today. I’m thankful for those days because if it weren’t for then, I would not be who I am today. I continued going to college, graduating from a top tier university, went to law school, and graduated having the opportunity to work for Fortune companies and startups.

My point is, you don’t stop believing in you despite the noise in the background. It’s simple for people to talk – but don’t you dare ever ruin your chances of dreaming and allowing them to become a reality over anyone’s opinion. If you believe in who you are, the world can turn against you, but you have YOU. At the end of the day, the same minutes which turn into hours and weeks and months, will never return again. Get knocked down. Practice getting up stronger than before. Smile through every tear. Keep your eye on that small light peeping through that door at the end of the dark tunnel. And never forget that this in this lifetime, you deserve to set your footprint into the ground, embedding a small piece of yourself into the history of this world. You have a voice, you have yourself, think of the unimaginable, and start painting your way through.

You owe it to yourself and to life to taste every flavor waiting for you grab. So…what are you waiting for?

By: Serena Essapour