Here’s a short story to highlight what I spoke about in my previous post
My name is Derek, I come from the land of nowhere and everywhere. I have a small family of four, they’re great and they’re awful. Truth be told, there isn’t any other family I’d rather have. In the same moment that I couldn’t be happier with them, I couldn’t be more frustrated. I work at LS Factory, its about five blocks from my house on the direct route, and about seven if I lollygag and take a longer walk for the fresh air. I leave to work at five in the morning and I get back around five or six in the evening. Whenever I go to work I get the dreaded feeling of nothingness, and whenever I walk home I feel the urge to try something new and just go for it despite my worries! But, I’m just Derek. A 25 year old guy, this is my future. At least, that’s what I thought until as I was walking home, on a Wednesday evening for the facts, I had a bit of a revelation you could say.
Derek being entirely fictional, has what many would consider to be a typical lifestyle, and a typical day. Financially he needs for little but has much for want. Truly, someone other than Derek could be very happy. But, that is not the life that Derek had wanted. I’m sure so many of you are also finding yourselves in the repetitive motions from which you desperately want to move forward. But right now you’re stagnant, staying still in the same motion day in and day out. Does this sound something like your day to day?
Many of us certainly wish to get to our dream jobs, live in our dream locations, and just keep moving forward. But for whatever reasons, the majority of us stop moving when we get to what we feel is a safe place in our lives.
You need to question if you are happy with where you are in your life right now. Are you employed unhappily? Are you unemployed? Are you a parent who wishes to get more out of life? There are a great many questions to be asked, and they must be asked before a problem can be resolved. After all, how can you hope to fix a problem you don’t know exists? The answer is that you cannot. Thankfully, these sorts of problems aren’t hard to spot once you tune into yourself for a moment. So, before we proceed further, I’d like you to ponder a few questions.
- Do you live where you want to live?
- Do you have a career or a job that you love?
- Are you happy with your home’s decorations?
- Are you happy with how you feel physically?
- Do you find yourself wanting but not letting yourself want?
- Do you ever tell yourself that you “Can’t” or “Won’t ever”
- When is the last time you just watched the sunset/sunrise? Can you remember?
Nothing in your life is wrong, always remember that. You are in charge of the direction you go, you choose where you live, and you choose how to respond to the situations that arise in your life. Everything is your responsibility in your life. This is the same rule that I’ve lived by for quite some time, and once I started living my life with everything being my responsibility, my quality of life improved.
*To clarify: Everything in my life is my responsibility, but that does not mean that I micro-manage everything in my life. It means that at all times, I am able to respond to the goings on of my life. I may not respond perfectly, but I am always prepared to respond to a changing situation in my life because it is my responsibility to do so. The course of my life is dictated by me for better or worse entirely. 100%. As long as you accept that, your life will always be for the better.
Once you’ve decided to fully accept responsibility for your life and where you are, you’ll be able to move forward. You’ve by now taken a moment to check where you are in life. If you’re happy where you are, then I am very happy for you! But if you’re not happy, or if you’re happy but not where you’d like to be in life, then you know its time to move forward.
To move forward, one must simply take the first step. It’s always the hardest. It’s hard to leave the life to which you’ve grown accustomed even if you’re unhappy with it. It’s difficult to start looking for your dream job. However, life has a way of testing us to make sure that we’re ready. The harder it is, the better the payoff will be.
You’re always going to be your biggest opposition. Nobody else can slow you down once you get started with your dream. Assuming you and I have this in common, you’ve given yourself a plethora of excuses as to why you shouldn’t upset your established order, and why you shouldn’t go after your dream. If you want to move forward with your life and keep striving towards what makes you happiest in life, then its time to do away with those excuses. They’re not helping anyone. If you have a husband/wife/children they’ll support you. Financially, things are always more difficult during change. But change is a beautiful thing. Without change we’d never find out so many of the great things in life that we love. I was able to meet my amazing fiancee because of a series of life changes that both of us went through. Being afraid of the unknown is totally normal, but you should never let your fears cripple you. You are in control of your life, you control how your fears affect you, you control the course of your life. You are outstanding! Don’t forget that.
So, the best advice I can give you today for this?
Go out and realize your dreams.
You will be great at what you love to do, the road to get to where you want to be may be difficult, but don’t lose faith in yourself. While you can be your own worst enemy, you are also your greatest ally. You know what you want, you know how much you want it, and you know what will make you happy. We live in a world where our greatest restriction is our own mind, let yourself free of those shackles and go for what you want. You’ll have to fully dedicate yourself to whats really important to you as you do this though.
Success has Costs
You’ll be successful the more you press for your dreams, and the harder you try the better you’ll be. And the more successful you get, the more likely it is that you’ll meet resistance from people you knew as friends. Don’t take this personally. More often than not when someone is overly critical or tries to make you feel bad for your success they are just upset about where they are. They haven’t taken the steps to move forward in their own lives. You may lose friends as you become more successful, it happens. But you’ll keep the real friends you have, and you’ll most likely gain new friends related to your field.
Keep in mind whats going to change before you make drastic changes in your life, discuss it with your family. Its unlikely that people won’t support you, but it makes it easier for people to support you if they know what you’re trying to accomplish. They know and love you, they have faith that you’ll be great at your passion.
I went home that evening and spoke with my family. I told them that I couldn’t be happy if I lived the rest of my life working at the factory, I knew that working there was safe for the right now, and that it brought in enough money to help us survive. But it was leaving me empty inside. After explaining with my family for awhile how working there was taking its toll on me, they seemed to understand. But they were hesitant about my plans for the future. I told them how it was my dream to build the new skyscrapers and to design buildings. I’d always dreamed of being an architect, and that I was going to give it my all to get the appropriate degrees and start a new career. Better now than later. I’d try to keep my job at the factory with reduced hours to keep an income while I went to school. My family supported me and they were very happy that I was pursuing what makes me happy. I was nervous that my family wouldn’t support me, but my family wants me to be happy and they’ll support me through thick and thin. I feel as though the air I breathe is cleaner now that I’m moving towards my career goal.
Be kind, do something nice for a stranger today.