THE BLOG
04/07/2014 10:36 am ET Updated Jun 07, 2014

Be Passionate. Be Reckless. Be Great.

Caiaimage/Tom Merton via Getty Images

In another lifetime, I used to believe that all of the great artists, the monumental thinkers and the cultural needle movers, were each given a grand story to tell by circumstance, by chance. They were born in a specific place, at a very specific time, with challenged beginnings that would eventually manifest itself into their life mantra. Albert Einstein, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe -- it seems as if their purpose was as natural as being born, it was written in their stars, laid out in the cards dealt to them. They were destined for greatness... and that's all there was to it.

Wrong.

At about age 14, I had a conversation with a good friend of mine -- coincidently named Brittany as well -- about why all of these cultural icons never seemed to have even a glimpse of a normal life. It was like it was a prerequisite to have an intangible storybook past, and just being a kid with a dream wasn't good enough to be great. If you didn't have some crazy story, then you were normal, and normal meant you were sh*t out of luck.

Wrong again.

What I didn't realize is that while having a teenage dream might be monotonously normal, actually following that dream was anything but. I wanted to sing, I wanted to write my own music with every fiber of my being, and I wanted to share it with the entire world. So when I finally got the chance, I ran with it.

I ran hard, and I ran fast. I ran with reckless abandon, so much that I didn't even notice I was living out those crazy stories -- those borderline unbelievable, "you've got to be freaking kidding me" stories that you just can't make up, those stories that popular culture had repeatedly baffled me with as a kid. And then, like a tidal wave, it hit me.

It wasn't a matter of chance, it was a matter of choice.

It was in the pursuit of my dream where the epic, desperate, tragic and magical moments were being created. The most profound chapters, the ones that have sparked the definition of my life's work and the ones that are still yet to come, began with me choosing to pursue my passion.

So, f*ck the hype. Screw the stories that ignore any concept of time and take someone from zero to hero overnight. Just like every magazine cover is Photoshopped, every story is carefully edited. The truth of the matter is, we aren't given a story, and we aren't given a path to greatness -- but we are given a life, and it is up to us to create one that is great. Bet on your passions, use what you've been given and if you don't have a story just yet... don't you worry, you're about to make one.