Are you settling? Do you ever stop and ask yourself why am I even doing this?
Stuck in that job, that relationship, that town, that lifestyle, because you are afraid because you are comfortable?
You may be settling for someone else’s life and not even realize that you are doing it.
As children, we are often taught by our parents to get good jobs, stay at that job, buy a house, have kids and settle down into a cookie cutter life and experience safe, nice, fluffy, happiness.
Thanks, parents, sounds magical.
But what happens when things don’t fit into that picture? What happens if your passions or desires take you outside of that box? What happens if your, their plan comes crumbling down?
Well, it probably will. Very few safely stumble towards a cookie cutter form of happiness untouched. The safety, and serenity. This false dream can cause us so much pain and disappointment in ourselves when we begin to realize that things are not as they have been made to seem. We feel like we have failed, failed at a dream that was not even our own.
I mean no offense parents, but teaching your kids that this is the only path to follow could cause them to feel a lot of disappointment, feel like failures and maybe even be afraid to be who or what they truly are.
I mean fast forward to 2016 and that cookie cutter life of our parent’s dreams doesn’t have much room for streamlined growth anymore, does it? Times have changed so much that its hard to take the guidance and advice of happiness that they set out as solid and achievable anymore isn’t it?
Maybe it’s just me, but I spent a lot of time feeling lost from following the guidance of others that lead me to a path that was not my own to follow.
There are people experiencing debt trying to achieve this dream of happiness, marrying people they don’t truly love, putting their dreams on the back burner. It’s a dangerous road to follow.
To those people I say.
You do not have to live this way. Twenty or forty years ago, sacrifice in this way was necessary for the growth in life that created comfort and stability. Families were large, education and self-improvement was a small idea on the shadow of a bigger ideal.
This is not the world of today. Today you are free to take your time. This is our new world where there should be no one accumulating debt and unhappiness from old dreams or struggles. Today is an age in which we are free to write our own scripts in life, take our time and achieve what we want when we want and how we want. How lucky are we?
Thank you, parents, this is after all what you worked so hard for. Is it not?
This is meant in no way to deter people from having families or homes or any matter of traditional security and happiness. This is meant to urge you to look at your life. I mean really look at it. To ensure that your dreams and goals are founded on personal desire and not the result of another’s personal desire.
You may feel like a failure without being one at all. I mean who gets to decide what is a success? What is happiness?
Why try to shove yourself into a box in which you do not belong? A box that someone else placed in front of you and said, now “crawl in”.
Be who you want to be when you want to be it. Why? Because that is the world we live in today Not a selfish world, but a world of greater opportunity than our parents or their parents ever could have imagined. A world where the smallest or simplest of dreams can become reality if only you have the courage to create your own path. To free yourself from boxes and labels and live in the moments as they pass fully and uniquely.
Take these steps to consider the true personal motives of your life goals. Stop and take a moment to see if the life you are living is your own. This simple exercise could be the spark of courage you need to pursue your true dreams and passions.
Sit quietly with yourself and write a list of all the future and current goals in your life.
Apply these three questions to each point written on your list. (Make sure you look inward for these questions not outward, try not to think about the effect on others if you can avoid it, be selfish in your analysis)
- Where did the original inspiration for this goal come from? My parents, media, friends, myself?
- Does this goal bring ME true happiness and warm my soul?
- Will this goal set me up for future success and further inspiration?
Now take stock of how you feel about your answers. Are you surprised by your answers?
Choose a completely different outcome or goal from the one originally listed, the first one that comes to mind. Write it down. Be as creative as you want.
Apply Step 2 to your new goal.
What do you think about this alternate reality? Do you feel more inspired? Or does it confirm your confidence in the original goal? What have you learned?
These three steps may seem a little daunting. So if you are short on time start with one or two things and analyze those.
It is easy to follow a path that has been set ahead of you by those before, and sometimes those footsteps lead you to a great sense of who you are and what you want. But at some point, you will have to follow your own path and dreams, with little or no guidance other than your own intuition. At some point, you will break the mold of your life. So why not do it in a productive way? Why not find your own options?
Don’t box yourself in. Try everything and anything, fail and then try again.
That is what life is about.
If you are searching for happiness you will not find it down another’s path. You will not enjoy the views or the flowers, a journey enjoyed can only be your own.