What will you be known for?
This question was posed to us during one of my Educational Leadership classes. The moderator of the discussion asked us to turn to our neighbor and tell him or her what we thought we would be known for. I said, even though it is a hobby, I might be known for playing and teaching classical piano. When I recently posted a book reading to YouTube, alongside a collection of piano pieces I recorded, the piano videos gained me more subscribers.
After I thought about the question more, however, I might answer the question differently.
On May 20, 2012, my cousin, Luke Akao, was killed in a motorcycle accident. He was 30 years old. My sister and I attended the memorial service this past Saturday. Although we did not know Luke well, I was so impressed by how many people said how much he had helped others. He lived. He loved. He laughed. He could fix just about everything. He had graduated from UCLA with a degree in Political Science, but he was so much more than just a student. His friendship, his daredevil qualities, and his goofy sense of humor endeared him to everyone around him, be it co-workers or family members.
We are all multifaceted beings. There is no "one" thing that defines us. I teach piano, yes. I write. I work with databases. I conduct institutional research. I am a lifelong learner. I am committed to excellence. I give Toastmasters speeches. Life is a series of changes. At any given time, one talent may rise above another. Sometimes it is work. Sometimes it is school. Sometimes it is family. It could even be play.
A colleague of mine in the Educational Leadership program at UNR had commented that he had seen my blog and noticed that I had attended law school and dropped out. He had gone to law school too and had decided it wasn't for him. Now, both of us hold a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. Even though it was not a good fit, law school did not prevent us from succeeding in the future, nor from following new goals and dreams.
By writing my book, I hope to encourage people to find the best path, uniquely designed for them. It could be law. It could be something entirely different. Whatever your passion is, do it! If my cousin taught me anything, it would be to live life to the fullest.