I struggled today to find a topic to talk about as my mind and energy have been focused on other parts of my life. But as I sat and thought about success versus failure and the lack of happiness I see in people, I couldn’t help but wonder why so many allow themselves to continue in situations that make them unhappy.
Why do people continue to work jobs they hate? Why do people continue in relationships that make them unhappy? Why do people live in towns that they despise? Why do people continue to engage in activities that are so self-destructive? Could it be laziness or perhaps fear or maybe complacency?
I think those play a part in everyone’s life at some point. But as I spent time in introspection I came to the conclusion that a vast majority of us simply don’t know who we are, what we want or where we want to go.
Life quickly gobbles us up and refines us to societal norms: going to college, getting a good paying job, finding a mate, having kids, buying a house, etc. And unfortunately for many, dreams and aspirations get left behind like a pile of tailings at a gold mine, where all the goodies have been stripped and all that is left is a pile of rocks. And it happens so easily as most of us are convinced that living your dream(s) is unrealistic or unattainable.
Imagine how the world would be different had Henry Ford, the Wright brothers or Christopher Columbus listened to the naysayers!
At some point you have to stop. Stop and ask yourself what you want. What are you doing with your life? Are you happy? Do you know what your dreams are? I think so many of us have been brainwashed into thinking that we’re not supposed to experience greatness; that living your dream is meant for others, but not for you! And I’m not just talking about greatness as it pertains to a profession or career only, but to you as a complete person.
What is often misunderstood about people that have achieved amazing things is that the achievement was not the greatness. The greatness was inside them and expressed in their willingness to take action in their life, stepping out and taking a chance, staying the course when adversity screamed at them to quit. And it all begins with a definiteness of purpose, knowledge of what you want and an unquenchable desire to seize what you want!
So I say, spend some alone time each and every day and think about your life. Go to the park on your lunch break. Wake up 30 minutes earlier in the morning. Steal away and find a secluded, quiet spot. Think about your life, your successes and failures, your relationships, your job/career, your financial situation. Dig through the piles of rubble that years of accepting the norm has heaped upon the true YOU.
Ask the hard questions of yourself and don’t be afraid of the answers. You cannot begin your journey to personal and professional fulfillment until you know who you are and what you want.
As always…dream big, dream often.