If I just kept myself shut down, I will never be able to answer that question. Basically I flunked my way from my elementary, junior, and senior high school through many of favourite school’s subjects but art. I didn’t even enroll to a favourite university.

So, it’s a little bit strange looking back now because I am a leader of a youth program, a trainer and speaker, and a motivational coach. Most of all, I am very passionate about my jobs. I have found ME.

In many of my training classes, I always got wrong perceptions on how I started things that look so easy I do they say today. It was always the same thought, I was born with these skills. Until they hesitantly asked, ‘how did you do it?’

I actually learned a bit late that there were treasures to be found inside me. It all started when I was seventeen. I joined a discussion club because I didn’t want to spend my Sunday evening sitting at home. TV programs back then were far from fun for watching.

One day, I was chosen to present my ideas and lead a discussion on a scheduled Sunday meeting. I was the last person appointed. The other members? Well, all of them had taken their parts. No other option, I was rejected to ask for a delay, no escape!

That day came. After a two-week preparation, when every letter on my paper memorized, I finally came forward and started my first word. My hands couldn’t stop from shaking. It was surely making the paper I held trembling. My heart was beating fast and like echoing loudly to the entire air in the class room. I almost fell and cried. I didn’t remember how many times I stopped and looked down to my paper feeling my eyes burning. But I was forced to keep going through. I kept telling myself that I just needed to pass this ten-minute disaster and that was it. I cared no more on how my face colour looked like.

I remembered that my mind was playing my sights hard. I thought I saw cruel eyes and cynical smiles in front of me. I thought the audience was making a fun of me. All of those bad thoughts adding bitter flavour to my ten-minute existence.

The last word was said, and it seemed that every inch of my skin screaming of joy. I heard the first clapping hands followed by the others. The chair of the club approached and congratulated me while my mind was busy calling me to gather myself again, felt my feet again.

Between that minutes, there was a feeling of content sneaked in. Funny, I never knew before that I loved this adventure. It sounds weird, but I was indeed happy. I managed to smile! And I did it!

The situation was better afterwards. I felt that the audience looked friendlier. When a discussion was established, I was much more relax.

I never knew I could pass that brutal minutes and survived. That first challenge standing in front of many people, presenting an idea, elaborating it by using a foreign language that I wasn’t good at, really gave me a different perspective. When a force and an effort collide, we could make our own way out.

I got an evaluation when the discussion ended. I received positive feedbacks, inputs, critics, and things to develop for better me. They were not only giving me more confident but also trust that I could do beyond and better.

What a lesson I got! I was forced, pushing my sleeping energy to get up, and experiencing all of that learning and feeling of content from OUTSIDE. The inside me was just flat and unspirited. They had started to wake up the giant in me.

I met people who gave me opportunity to excel, and indirectly seek what I was genuinely capable of. I wasn’t sure what I would find and get from that discussion club until that day. I knew what a help and support were for making a ten-step better me. I accidentally put myself to be found, although it came after months of me being there.

If I knew it earlier what I found out then, I could have gotten so much more than just that day. I could have walked hundreds of steps farther at that age.

But the problem was I didn’t know what would I really do until I got that chance and support. They made me look at me deeply within. I have begun ‘exploration me’, reaching out more and yet keeping my energy level high whenever I stumble and fall, and it still is until now. With more smiles fortunately …

Finding who you really are will never be easy. What you think who you are now might not be the one who you want to be in the future. Time changes, opportunity given varies. Explore you, find a support. Get people to balance and excel your perspective. You don’t have to follow everything, but they will definitely give you more colours to see things.

Remember, there is always something for a start. It might not come fast, but when it comes, make sure the effect shall outlast.

-Sipping my afternoon chocolate-