I think one of the most powerful gifts is that of being able to move the human spirit. To reach someone at such a level that they’re moved to tears.

The really amazing thing about this gift is that it’s tied to our gifts, which we just don’t really think about it. When there is something within us that we really do love, something that sets our souls on fire and we’re integrating that thing into our daily lives, we’re affecting people. Quite possibly on a larger scale than we even recognize.

For me, obviously, it’s writing. I’ve been writing since I was a kid. This thing is inside of me and when I’m not doing it for a long period of time, I’m pretty miserable. It might sound sad to say this but I don’t write for other people. I write for me. Like I said, if I didn’t write I would be tremendously unhappy and miserable.

“Well, that sounds really selfish and self-centered of you, Craven.”

The Ms. America answer to why I write is that it helps other people. The truth is, it helps me first.

The beautiful thing, though, about our dreams and when we’re acting on them is that we have no control over the fact that certain things are going to spread like a wildfire. It brings everyone touched by our dream the fires of hope, possibility, excitement, joy, and peace that burn right through the thoughts of impossibility that is set in their minds.

I love to write, but I don’t write for you, I write for me. The real truth is that when you see the effect your dream is having on those around you, it adds greater fuel to a fire already burning bright within you. Ultimately you find yourself doing what you love not only for yourself but also for all of the people you love that you haven’t even had the chance to meet.

That sounds more like the Ms. America answer. But it is true. If you were doing what you had believed was in you to do and simply heard crickets, you might want to look back over your heart. Now there is a cricket stage, where you are completely alone with your craft and even when shown to some folks… crickets. The fact is, if this truly is in your heart it will eventually catch on and spark the hearts of others around you. Only you know if it’s worth persisting and pursuing.

It’s when someone says to you that what you wrote moved them to make some huge change in their lives, like staying off of drinking or continuing on a path of making themselves better, that you’re hooked. You’re hooked on the dream even more. The dream that you were already hooked on even through the cricket stage. And at a time when you really didn’t care what anyone thought, you just knew you loved it and loved doing it. So you did it.

The human spirit moves when it recognizes movement in another. Getting lost in your gifts and passions will quickly begin to stir your spirit, and even more quickly the human spirits around you. So, it’s almost as if being “selfish”becomes service.

It’s always a question of what do I like to do (I’d capitalize “I” for emphasis but it’s already capitalized.) You don’t sit back and think, “Hmmmm, what could I do that people would really enjoy. Maybe I should sing, or maybe paint…” If you suck at those things or just have zero interest in them, you won’t even consider them. The only thing you’re going to consider is what you love. It starts with you but it ultimately ends with your neighbor. So be selfish. It eventually becomes service.

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