Today’s article is coming at the end of an incredible few days for me. It’s hard to put into words some of the emotions I’ve been feeling, but I will do my best. I hope that by doing so I can help you all realize the power of following your passion, realizing your dreams, and understanding that your happiness comes from the things you do for your soul – the things that you deeply love that give you a purpose. For those of you who know me well, or follow my social media accounts, you will know that I traveled to Delaware this weekend as DJ/Producer MAR1’s official team Videographer. MAR1 performed twice at FireFly Music Festival, one of the largest Music Festivals on the East Coast. While it was an absolute honor to be asked to join him at Firefly, there is a much larger journey and lesson to be learned from the experiences we shared this weekend – experiences I know both MAR1 and I always dreamed about.
Since starting ZULUECHO Initiative in 2017, I have devoted my work to helping empower people to follow their passions. To enable them to believe in the power of working towards something they love, at all costs. THAT is my passion – spreading positivity through moments of shared joy, whether it be music, a successful business, a unique artist, or a beautiful painting. I fell in love with the process of celebrating passion. Celebrating the notion that in this world we are given one life to create the most intimate and passionate experiences to truly find our happiness by doing something we love. This past weekend was just that. Both MAR1 and I began our respective brands, him as a DJ and me as a Creative, about three years ago. At the time, neither of us were entirely sure what was going to come out of it, but we both knew we had a passion for what we were working towards and we kept going. To see him on stage doing something he was passionate about, while wearing the ZULUECHO Brand was truly a surreal moment.
ZULUECHO Initiative’s “FRIENDS OF Z|E” was among the first parts of the Initiative that I started. MAR1 has been there from day one. Beyond his eagerness to learn how to make music, I saw in him a desire to use his music to make people happy. To share HIS passion with others. That was the moment I wanted to celebrate one day – and that’s exactly what happened this weekend. Firefly Music festival was the first music festival he attended, and he attended it as an artist. Through the footage I captured at the festival of his sets, I was able to frame moments of joy, both within him, and within the audiences. My work has always been about using an individual’s passion to spread happiness to others, and to be able to say that I was part of MAR1’s incredible weekend is truly an honor. I’d love to congratulate MAR1 on his achievements this weekend, and can’t wait to see what the future holds. As for my videography – stay tuned for a recap film of this incredible weekend!
Having said all that, I’d like to talk a bit about why following your passion is challenging, some of the things you learn along the way, and ultimately how it is the most important way to find happiness in this world.
People who have followed me for a while will know that I speak a lot about the “process.” The momentum that builds up through the continuous work you put in to achieve something you are passionate about. Something I might not always remember to say, however, is that that process is NOT so straight forward. There are always challenges, obstacles, and tests that make you question everything you’re doing. There are hard days, hard weeks, and hard months where things don’t seem to work out, or where you don’t quite know what steps to take next. Trust that those times are moments that the universe is giving you to reflect on the work you’re doing. Trust that you will come out of those times having learned something about what you do that will allow you to push yourself further. Instead of asking yourself “why is this happening?” start asking yourself “what is this teaching me?”. Successes come and go, and so do failures – that is the process and trust me when I say, it is exhausting. It takes a lot out of you. Whether time, mental energy, physical energy, emotional investment etc. , it’s exhausting.
So how do you actually deal with it all? How do you find the power to actually keep going? Well – the answer really comes down to one word. Passion. When you follow a passion, you have given yourself a purpose. You’ve given yourself a reason to learn, a reason to fail, a reason to grow, a reason to keep moving. It’s the only way you can get through the hard times, because you know in your heart that those hard times are part of the process that will enable you to be who YOU want to be. Along the way you will begin to meet people with similar interests. Similar visions for who they want to be, and by putting yourself in the mentality that you can achieve your biggest dreams, you are already removing one of the biggest obstacles. When I started three years ago, I never thought I’d be on stage at Firefly festival filming a DJ – but I always wanted it.
This weekend I met so many incredible people. Musicians, photographers, videographers, managers, support staff – what have you. Through the conversations we shared, it became clear that my doubts about what I do, and the challenges I faced were not only unique to me. It allowed me to realize that following a passion in itself, is a challenge. The real question you need to ask yourself, is what challenge in this world is a challenge you can fall in love with? What challenge in your life is one you can wake up to every day and keep trying to beat. That is how you build a life that you want.
If your dreams scare you, you’re already closer than you think. That is your challenge. Now how are you going to beat it? Trust your process and build the life you want.
To celebrate this, I’ve released a series of new ZULUECHO Collection products – The new “INSPIRE TEE”, “PASSION OVER ALL TEE”, and “I’M JUST GETTING STARTED TEE”. I share these mantras with you all in the hope that they remind you about the importance of who you want to become in this world. The first and last step to giving up, is giving up – it’s quick and painful… The first step to making it, is believing in it.
Believe in the power of your dream… #zuluechoinitiative