Life is quite contradictory.
When you are young and have big dreams, you are poor.
When you grow older and have money, you wonder what to do with your life! If your dreams are worth the time and effort pursuing.
Some say over the years, they have lost the drive.
For most of us, it’s to the mundane lifestyle that we have carved for ourselves; to live up to expectations that others have on us.
When they have finally ticked off what others think is right for them, they are too drained to carry on the dreams they left off years ago.
Do you see the pattern of living in most people these days, going through the normal life?
Finish school – finish grad school / university – find a job – earn money – find a partner – save money – get married – get a house – have baby – get car – save money – spend more money – work – home – change new car – see children to university – finish mortgage – retire – children grown up – don’t know what to do – mingle with other elderly – learn dancing – play chess – travel with family – play with grandkids – leave this world wondering what is the purpose of living.
This is (was) the goal set for many of us, especially in this part of the world where we are just developing as a society and especially if our parents have struggled to make ends meet. Most parents don’t tell their children to follow their passion, or do what they love, because what if they fail? What if their dreams cannot support their lifestyle?
Advice from people older than you (even I gave that same advice in the past)
“Find a good job, get a well-paid job, find someone good/reliable and get married”
Between doing what you love and growing old happily, there is a gap you need to bridge, your livelihood.
Expectations! Expectations! Expectations!
When you finish school, the first thing most face is the pressure to secure a job and start paying for their own living expenses.
While this is seen as a responsible step to take, for most of us who have just finished school, leaving a secure environment and stepping into the huge working society having to deal with responsibilities we’ve never had. Dealing with people we’ve never met (first interviews, first day of job, first assignment, first project, first boss!) are quite overwhelming. But people expect you to do it, because that’s how others did.
No one told us that we could find jobs we enjoy, no one told us that we could take our time and learn the ropes. We were given probation to prove ourselves worthy of a position, to get used to the job that makes us a living so that we could pay our bills and rent and student loans.
What You Need To Know Now
The world out there is full of possibilities and incredible choices you can take.
You need to carve your way out and start your own journey. No one will be there to guide you because the guide is in your heart.
Only you will know what you need to lead a successful happy life.
Being successful does not mean that you earn big bucks, have high status, drive expensive cars or have a great following. It means success in your own definition.
How you define success is up to you, but it has to make you feel happy, gratified and let you live a fulfilling life.
You are meant to be successful.
Don’t let anything else define your success for you. Don’t be the saboteur of your own success path.
You could be a people-oriented person who enjoys interacting with people. You may go into sales, or work with children, or be a TV host.
Or you may be a result-oriented person. Perhaps you will get into IT, project management, or be an event planner. Maybe even an innovator!
You could be into creative work, or service line or managing companies or be your own boss.
No one knows, only you. But you need to find that out for yourself.
Get to know who you are.
Know yourself as who you are, your personality, your character and your temperament, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. If you know you are disadvantaged in some aspects, find out how you can improve yourself to be a better person than who you were yesterday.
You learn about cultures, people, languages, traditions, manners, code of conduct, perspectives, laws and politics, and many more interesting knowledge you probably never will hear on the news.
If you don’t have one yet, start finding. Be it writing, swimming, travelling, reading, hiking, mountain climbing, water polo, rowing, skiing; they all enrich your mind, health and resilience.
Attend that Toastmasters session, learn that new language, read more about technical writing, practice negotiation, take part in charity and raise funds, do an official presentation. Take up a challenge.
You don’t know what you don’t know. It takes a lot of pride down to ask for help. it takes a lot of time and effort and struggles to try and work your way around if you don’t even know your direction yet. If you don’t ask, the chances of you getting the help you want are 0%. There is a reason for the presence of experts.
Once you ask, you will be surprised by the willingness of others to help, and how easy it would be rather than finding your way out blindfolded.
Complaining is a death trap for your personal and professional growth. If you have a problem, be the one to seek the answer and solve it, rather than sitting around and waiting for an answer to drop from the sky or being spoon-fed solutions.
A person who actively looks for solution always finds themselves in better position weeks or months ahead than the person who is stuck in the rut complaining for years.
Make it your personal goal to quit complaining.
No pain no gain, but take the minimum pain in exchange for maximum gain. Always be willing to give and take. Strive for win-win situations. Always be looking towards the next step, don’t let yourself be the stumbling block to your progress.
Don’t think this is good enough when what you want is that!
Keep working towards your goal, every day, even if it’s by inch. The thing about settling is, you might talk yourself into accepting it, but you will never really be able to accept or be contented with it.
Be willing to work really really hard for it.
Say you want to be a boss. No boss would be sitting at home watching telly all day while waiting for business activities to bustle by itself. You need to plan, think, assess, plan, act, do, act, think, assess, act, reassess, do, think, act.. day in day out. You need to learn, do, think, review, challenge your comfort zone, manage and risk until your business takes off. Even then, you still need to continue what you are doing.