I don't know what it is, but most people I know have problems believing in themselves. Yours truly included. There may be a crack in our souls that lets our self-belief leak out. Okay, I'll grant you, some folks have no problem with self-esteem. Hell, some of us have exactly the opposite problem. You know the type. They change a light bulb by just holding it up and let the world revolve around them.
But I'd bet even they secretly go off somewhere and wonder what the hell they're doing and why.
When my first novel got accepted for publication, I had no idea how to handle it. When it won Best Thriller at EPICon 2012, imagine one tongue-tied man wondering what I did to deserve something so nice happening. I still have trouble accepting the whole thing. I mean, why should I of all people have something good happen to me?
Then I have to remember this: I was made by my God. And my God doesn't make mistakes. Granted, I'm as far from perfect as an aardvark with three butt cheeks and mange. I didn't say I was perfect. I said I'm not a mistake. And neither are you. You have a gift, and that gift makes you the only you on the planet. And believe it or not, the world needs what you have.
You see, you are the only one who can give the world the gift that you have, and if you don't give it, the world is missing it.
That's why we all have a dream. Some of us have more than one. When I was little, I wanted to dig dinosaur bones with Roy Chapman Andrews.
Okay, so it might have been weird for a four-year-old to dream of being a paleontologist. It's not any more weird than a four-year-old who can read and pronounce "paleontologist." I could even name every species of dinosaur that appeared in Fantasia. It never occurred to me that maybe I was born just a little late to dig with O'l Roy. He was my hero, and science was my passion. That, and being outside. Roy was an adventurer, an outdoorsman, and a scientist. That rocks. I don't know why I never seriously pursued paleontology. I think maybe the math killed it. I create a giant sucking sound whenever I try to figure out mathematical problems. My brain just isn't configured for it.
Then I hit my teens. I heard Rush for the first time, and my new hero became Geddy Lee. Geddy Lee isn't a scientist, so he doesn't have to know math. He knows bass guitar, and how to put on a show with one.
The reason I picked Geddy was because Geddy plays bass, and everyone else wanted to play guitar. One of the reasons I really liked Rush's music was because everyone else I knew hated them, except maybe a handful of other misfits like me. I think I just gave my rebel side away. I taught myself how to play bass on a detuned six-string. Of course, I later got my own bass, which I still play forty years later. I'm probably not a s good as Geddy Lee, but I have fun. I was even in a band for a while, and we made a pretty good stab at making music. We even got our band name written on the men's room wall at the local oyster bar. But that's as far as we got.
My latest dream was to become a published author, and I chased it with everything that was in me. That was the one that finally took. That's how you tell a dream. It's something you pursue with a passion. You may not know right now what your dream is, but dearest, you have one. Believe me. If I can have three, you can have one. I sincerely believe that every single person on earth has a built-in dream, and that dream is what you are meant to be. If you have nothing else, have your dream, and chase it. Because the world needs your dream.
Because you are brilliant. God doesn't make mistakes. He makes dreamers. And when they find their dreams, He laughs with happiness, claps his hands and tells all of Heaven how proud He is of them. And that, my friend, includes you.