I remember when I spoke at my first event, reviewing my notes, preparing messages for the audience, imaging how they would feel, rehearsing with my wife for hours on end, by showtime she could have given the talk instead of me. Even though I was nervous about the event I knew I could do it and do it well.

What made me just as nervous is what colleagues and people would think of this as a career. What would I tell people when they asked what I did? “I’m a public speaker”, just imagining what that would sound like compared to being a doctor, engineer, or businessman gave me the chills.

My mom used to say that even when I was young I was always looking for a crowd to talk to and entertain, it was who I was. She said that I could speak about anything and often wondered where I found the energy from to talk about all these different topics.

I don’t know where that part of me went. I was defining my success based on my position in society, rather than the purpose that was inside me. The Khalid that shined whenever he got the chance to speak was silenced by the voices in my head telling me to be realistic rather than being real.

One thing I realized is that even though I was good at the jobs I was never going to be great because even though the work got all of my effort it didn’t get all of my passion. I feel that is what separates people who shine versus people who don’t, when you are passionate about the work it shows, people see it and feel it through your actions, and that is the impression you leave on all the lives you touch through your work.

One day I got called to speak at an event for an article I wrote. When I got on stage I felt alive, I felt joy every single moment I was up there, I felt complete, I felt like Khalid, nothing more, nothing less. That feeling was everything.

To me that feeling was more important than any negative opinion someone had about my work. It was in that moment that I knew that there is no greater feeling that doing work you love, everything starts to make sense, and your journey to success personally and professionally can begin to take shape.

If you are still hesitant about moving forward with your dreams here are some words from Steve Jobs that have changed my life, I hope they can change yours, “You can’t connect the dots moving forward, you can only connect them looking backwards, so you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future, you have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever , because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you of the well worn path, and that will make all the difference. Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”