Who am I? A question that many ask but few truly know how to answer. In this very moment, you are exactly who you were created to be. It doesn’t matter what life currently looks like for you, nor
the previous challenges you may have went through. If you’re anything like me, you want more and know there is more in store for your life. You have big dreams and envision yourself living in
an even bigger reality. In all of your greatness, the answer to the complex question, “Who am I?” is really quite simple. You are a Passioneer.
A Passioneer is someone who through pursuing their passions charters new territory. It isn’t necessarily uncharted territory, but they are the first of their kind to do it – be it the first in their
family, friends, generation, etc. Passioneers pretty much figure out which route to take through life’s journey by following the burning desire from within. Maybe you are the first in your family
to go to college, the first in your group of friends to move from your hometown and live across the country, or maybe you’ve decided to take the unconventional route by becoming an entrepreneur
or chasing your dreams as an actress. This new territory can be physical, mental, spiritual, relational, or financial. No matter your path, Passioneers understand that impossible is nothing.
They continuously turn their can’ts into cans, dreams into plans, and visions into their reality because they understand that the proof of passion is pursuit. And most importantly, once
Passioneers arrive to this new space, they then prepare the way for others to follow. Don’t desire to be like anyone else. The goal is always to arrive, and then prepare the way for
others. You are the most power person you can be. Longing to be like the popular girl in school or your favorite celebrity strips you of your power. There is nothing wrong with viewing their success
as motivation, but once you begin to wish for their lifestyle or possessions, you’ve lost focus of what truly matters – you! Take note that what people show you is only half the story. And, social
media is nothing but a highlight reel.
In 2013, after an emotional conversation with an acquaintance that told me I was “playing around” in their industry and that “people would fight to have these opportunities,” I left feeling really
attacked, misunderstood, and judged. I felt as if people weren’t accepting me because of the things I was doing in my life, specifically within my career. Those achievements and successes were all
blessings directly from God, and although they weren’t in my desired career field, the doors opened for me in the exact industry I was supposed to be in during that season. Each partnership, client,
position, celebrity picture, mentor, and opportunity was sent and presented to me. I didn’t have to go looking.
From the outside looking in, I appeared to be winning in every area of my life. No one knew my struggles, challenges, or that every position and opportunity wasn’t accompanied by financial gain.
Actually more times than not, I wasn’t getting paid. But from a social media point of view, my highlight reel aligned with other people’s dreams.
From there, I stopped posting my big moments on social media and even stopped sharing testimonies of all the great things that were going on in my life. Every day I battled internally with
what to share and what not to share - so I shared nothing. I couldn’t fully comprehend how people I looked to as friends perceived me as competition.
Weeks following that conversation, while on the phone crying to my mom about everything, out of nowhere I spoke these words: “I’m not about to dim my light just because someone need to put
I later learned that I was viewed as competition because they only saw one side of my blessings. Those friends didn’t see the burdens, pain, tears, sacrifice, and hard work that accompanied the
opportunities they so desperately desired. Many nights my dinner consisted of ramen noodles or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And, I worked at least 2-3 jobs in addition to all my freelance
gigs just to be able to pay my portion of the $2,100 rent (which didn’t include the cost of my utilities, public transportation fees, personal expenses, food, etc). But I didn’t despise my small
beginnings. Even during the low times, I had joy. I was grateful to have the opportunity to chase my dreams in New York City. There was a burning desire within that reminded me of my dreams
and goals. It kept me pushing. That burning desire was my passion. Passion is the driving force in one’s life. It’s the thing that keeps you dedicated, motivated, and
focused in striving to achieve greatness.
After asking yourself the question, “Who am I?” you will find yourself on a journey. The journey isn’t the shocker. The surprise will arise when you find out this journey is similar to a roller coaster
ride. Initially, everything will seem to be going smoothly. You’re excited about your selfdiscovery. You’re anticipating the thrill that will come with confidently walking deeper into your
destiny. You’re on the rise. Then *BOOM* without forewarning, there’s a sudden drop that totally catches you off-guard.
“But why is this happening to me?” Your answer put simply? Because you said, “Yes.”
Once you decide to say yes to your destiny and to fully pursuing your passion, you will embark on the greatest ride you have yet to experience. Everything you have previously endured has only
prepared you for everything you are about to go through. Be encouraged in the fact that the brightest of diamonds are initially buried in the middle of rocks. Diamonds are precious. Diamonds
are valuable. Diamonds are rare. Diamonds are unique. And so are you! To have a firm understanding of the power that lies on the inside of you makes you unstoppable. The rocky times
you’ve been through no longer matter. You have been equipped with absolutely everything you need to succeed. You are precious. You are valuable. You are rare. You are unique. You are
special. You are powerful. And most importantly, you are YOU!
Troubled days won’t last always. Even in the midst of tears, I had a firm understanding that there is no success without sacrifice. Life is to be enjoyed, not endured. Experience the journey of selfdiscovery
through the eyes of gratitude by realizing you may not currently have everything you want in life but you possess everything you need. The more you continue to learn who you are and
what you’ve been created to do, the more your inner diamond will shine. You are enough. Enjoy the journey of discovering the power that lies on the inside of you!
Since 2013, I have personally experienced how discovering the “Power of You,” can change your life. I have written two books, started a scholarship for first-generation college students,
created a business conference, and founded my own publishing company. I host a slew of monthly events and workshops, mentor countless individuals, head the young adult's ministry at
Crenshaw Christian Center New York, and coach a multitude of young business owners and aspiring authors – all while maintaining a thriving speaking career. Nothing can stop you once
you decide to be who you were created to be and let your inner light shine. Be great and embrace the Power of You!
*Cassondra Lenior is from St. Louis, Missouri, currently residing in New York City. She is the author of From Nothing to New York & The Passion is Pursuit 40 Day Devotional. She is all the founder of Passion is Pursuit Confernce & Vision Board Workshops. For info on Cassondra Lenoir or her next event go www.passionispursuit.com