This past weekend, I was getting drinks with a friend when we started talking about the last 20Something post. As friends usually do, we were complaining about life’s little difficulties, especially work and where we wanted to be in our lives this time next year. I began to whine about knowing what I want with my life and where I want to eventually be; I just don’t know how to get there. Having the resources and the connections are one thing, but motivating myself was another.
Fortunate are those who have a clear vision of what is important to them and how they wish to live their lives. So many of us flounder like rudderless ships, steered only by the vagaries of chance and hope. But we can’t get there unless we know where ‘there’ is. So, how do we figure out where this mysterious “where” is.
Years ago, during the Great Depression, a young man was hitchhiking around the country. He struck up a conversation was an older gent who offered him a ride into town. The older man asked the kid what his goals in life, what did he want to do, what did he become. The young man replied that his life’s greatest desire was to be a multimillionaire. After chuckling to that response, the older man said, “Oh not, it isn’t. If that were true, you would not be wasting your time hitching around the country. You’d be hard at work, trying to make this dream of yours come true.”
Over time, we become what we do. If you procrastinate to the nines, you’ll start to refer your own self as being lazy. If you exert your ass off, you’ll be known as a harder worker. If we want our dreams to come true, we then need to give them some muscle. Whatever the dream may be, from writing and publishing your first novel to winning an Oscar (okay, that one maybe be out of your control), just wishing about it won’t do anything. We need to know ourselves, set goals and then put all of our efforts into achieving what we set out to accomplish. Push yourself- it is worth that painful effort. Think about it. As I was telling such friend; you only have one life, so why not?
I am happy. Yes, I’m constantly stressing about work and finances, have barely any free time and I go home to an empty bed at the end of the day. However, I’m beaming from ear-to-ear. My skin is warm and my heart is full and I’m pretty lucky to be where I’m at. I know that everyone isn’t so fortunate. Times are tough; there’s not doubt about that. The economy. Lack of decent jobs. Money woes. We are all feeling the burn in some way or another. Because of this (and maybe from other personal conflicts), a lot of us feel like we’re not at the place in our lives we thought we should be at. We all are not working at a place we enjoy, a place that doesn’t cater to our college major or interests. Or hell, even a place that pays us enough to support ourselves on our own. Some aren’t living out dreams of getting an education that we deserve or we can’t find that one special person we can give constant googly eyes to and start making babies with. Others have too much stress on their plate and are forced to shove it down their throats while completing one remedial task after another.
Whatever the case may be, we are all struggling in some way or another. Our struggles don’t have to consume our core beings, though. They do only add to the beauty of life. Perhaps you don’t believe that your current situation lives up to your standards. And yet, it some way it may be fulfilling your deepest needs and ideals. You just don’t know it yet.
We can get through these rough patches by keeping focus on the things we want to achieve and holding faith in our hearts, knowing that these dreams will eventually come true. Sometimes, our life GPS misguides us and leads us through crazy twists and turns instead of the straight and narrow path. We may and probably will get lost along the way but remember to keep the dream awake and alive and we will eventually see that beautiful clearing ahead. Okay, the love of our lives aren’t waiting for us on a street corner (or maybe they are- who knows?) and the fantasy career maybe be eons away. But we will get there. The world is nothing but our canvas for our blooming imaginations. You maybe be coloring with shades of gray now but have hope and keep trying to strive and soon you’re be seeing the full spectrum of the rainbow. Just remember to keep that life GPS plugged in and fully charged.