Throughout my entire life, one recurring theme has dominated the choices I’ve made, detours I’ve taken and convictions I’ve latched onto—the need for efficacy. I crave that sense of influence, achievement, validation, agency. To feel command over setbacks. Invincibility over hardships. An upper-hand over karma.
Even when the feeling is tenuous or contrived, I want to believe it’s there.
Why this desperation for control? I have a few guesses, but one sticks out—fear that my contributions don’t matter. That my existence lacks purpose. That I’m destined for mediocrity when this heart of mine clamors for passion and inspiration. That I’m just not effective.
Call it a “futility phobia,” but I often wonder if that desire for impact will ever come to fruition. After all, I can’t dictate the course of social justice. I can’t force another person to embrace the potential I know lives inside them. I can’t transform our culture.
True. But I can shift my own attitudes and perceptions.
Instead of being a defeatist who second guesses where my life is headed and what significance it could possibly have, I gotta do some major mental rewiring. Exchange the hesitance for confidence. The cynicism for enthusiasm. The anxiety for vitality.
Perhaps in the future, these words flowing from my spirit won’t get trapped in the obscurity of time and space. They won’t seem like a rambling stream-of-consciousness without focus, intent or direction. Maybe this urge to write—to express, to create meaning—will change the world someday.
Or not. I can’t predict an outcome. Nor can I control it. But to become more effective, I don’t need all the answers. I just need faith.
Faith that adversity forges empowerment.
Faith that mistakes build wisdom and character.
Faith that dedication reaps accomplishment.
Faith that each story—even mine, even yours—is worthwhile.