Growing up I was always told I could accomplish anything I put my mind to. I was instructed to work hard, go to school, and above all always give 110% to the things I was passionate about. As I got older and slowly started to check the various boxes off of my list of things I had to do to be successful, I realized that all I had amassed was a significant amount of school debt and a 40 hour a week job that only helped to pay the bills. The years had passed me by and my days began to seem redundant. Was this success? Was this all there was?
I wondered if I had missed a step somewhere. What had I gotten wrong? I looked to place the blame on someone. To attribute my dissatisfaction to someone or something. I did everything I was told to do and I thought these steps would surely secure that successful life I had envisioned for myself. As I took time to ponder these thoughts and questions I slowly came to the realization that all my efforts hadn’t secured my success, but had in fact succeeded in making me just another average member of society.
All those years spent jumping through hoops, taking out loans, over extending myself just to fit into a mold that just about everyone else fits into. I always aspired to be different. To be an agent of change. Perhaps I had lost sight of what success should look like for me. Blinded by the endless reminders that success meant a 40 hour work week sitting behind a desk. That it meant obtaining the biggest mortgage I could qualify for to spend the greater portion of my life paying for it. This wasn’t what I had imagined for myself. If this was success I wanted no part of it. I felt lost.
For a short while I felt angry. Why had I wasted so much time? What could I do to make my situation different? When I finally got over the initial feelings of anger and regret, I tried to make a conscious effort to let those feelings go once and for all. I still have a major portion of my life ahead of me and for this I should be grateful. There are a great many people who go through life questioning if this is all there is and they never stop to change their course in life. I had identified the problem and was motivated to be an agent of change in my own life. I could finally take a step towards what I really wanted.
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with their song still in them.” Henry David Thoreau
I for one refuse to go through life in quiet desperation. Although I have spent the greater part of my 20’s living life the way others expected me to, I have decided to break away from this destructive pattern of living. To change my course and to forge ahead with a new set of expectations. Success cannot be defined by anyone other than you. Only you can create your own happiness.
Be open to new ideas. Acknowledge where your actions have taken you and decide to be an agent of change in your own life. If you are willing to accept personal responsibility and are open to making the necessary shifts in life to ensure your happiness and success then the world will truly be within your grasp. Where I once felt lost and misguided I know see an opportunity to begin a life filled with self discovery. I am no longer lost just undiscovered. -Ambition In The City