"Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the World, and it will one day return there." - Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist
Sometimes, you just have to trust your heart's intuition.
Even when the opportunity seems meek, still, trust your heart.
Because honestly, what Paulo Coelho said in his most famous novel, The Alchemist, is true.
Just trust me. Hear me out. He may have used some outlandish words and it looks pretty cliché, but I have a story to support it.
Two years ago, my junior year in high school, I was going to give up on my dream. The distractions were killing my focus on tennis. Family, school, AP classes, friends, drama, you name it. It was a tough year for me.
Even though I'd practice tennis six days a week, three hours a day, I wasn't improving. All the distractions were constantly in my head. It was so bad to the point where the froshophe players (lowest players on the high school team) were able to beat me, a varsity player.
It was really embarrassing, and I had no idea what to do. When season came, people were always asking me ,"Yo Khalid! You ready to play?!" thinking that I was going to be a starter. They'd be surprised when I'd reply with, "No, I don't think so. I'll probably just be a sub. Coach's orders."
It was excruciating. I'd stand on the sidelines while everyone else would be playing.
You know that feeling you get when you work so hard for something, like trying to get an A on a test, but then you get a C or God forbid an F, while the guy next to you doesn't do his homework but gets an A? You worked so hard only to see others have the get what you worked to hard to attain.
That's exactly how I felt. My confidence was at an all-time low. I remember going home one night after a match we had (I didn't play at all that day) thinking to myself, "Is that it? Khalid, are you serious? Did you burn yourself out? Is tennis really your dream-." I stopped that thought in its tracks. I couldn't give anymore energy to those negative, soul-crushing thoughts. I knew something had to be done.
I remember my Sophomore English teacher Steve Schultz showing us a clip from a talk show that was interviewing Will Smith. If you don't know who that guy is, you have a serious problem. Go watch one of his movies, such as The Pursuit of Happyness, then come back and finish this article.
Will Smith was talking about how this one novel changed his life. He actually credited this book for his incredible acting success. You wanna know what it is? Yeah, you guessed it right. It was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
I ordered the book off of Amazon, and it really put my heart back into tennis. If you haven't read that book, you're really missing out. I highly suggest you read it.
I began to feel like myself again. I felt like my heart's passion wasn't fake. I began to trust my heart's intuition.
Six months later, I became the FVHS Tennis Club Team Captain, leading the team to become Southern California Sectionals Champions.
Every human being who's done something big and impactful in their lives will tell you that the road to success is a bumpy one, and that it’s never a straight line. Embrace it, for true character is cultivated in our greatest struggles.
A few months before we became champions, I was at my lowest point in tennis. Again, it is never a straight line.
Bad things will happen. Things won't turn out the way you wished they did. Mistakes and failures will be on every corner. People who were close to you will abandon you. It'll be a heartbreaking, uphill battle. But is it worth it? Is your heart's intuition really worth it?
I can continue with my tennis story and tell you how my heart's intuition is worth it, but I'm not writing this to brag my successes. I'm writing this to you so you can trust your heart's intuition, whatever it may be.
When I mean whatever it may be, I really do mean it. Your heart’s intuition truly can be anything, as long as it gives you a spark in your heart.
It's got to be something you're willing to sacrifice your blood, sweat, and tears for. If you truly feel in the depths of your heart that you're willing to go through hard times for it, then my dearest friend, I tell you to go all out on your heart's intuition. Because sometimes when you feel like it's not worth it, your heart pulls you back in the right direction.
That being said, I want to end this article with one of my favorite quotes of all time.
"And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become." - Steve Jobs