It’s not easy to find your way through the world. You might have interests that don’t coincide with the values of your parents or with those of western society. It’s important to remember that everyone is different, and while the status quo might work for the majority of the population, it doesn’t work for everyone. To have a truly fulfilling life, you must live it on your own terms.
There are plenty of forces willing to tell you what your path should be:
1. Parents. Your parents want you to be happy and successful. Many of them also want to be able to brag to their friends about their children. They also don’t want to be supporting you financially when you’re in your 30’s. Parents tend to be practical in their advice. Just remember that you’d have a similar life to them if you followed their advice. That might be good or bad. Keep in mind that you are not the same as your parents. You also have your own life to live.
2. Educational system. The educational system wants to turn out productive people into society that conform to their ways of thinking. This might be great for society, but it might not be in your best interests.
What if you want to be a rockstar, or take a few years to travel and write a book, own a llama farm, or become a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka? Your school guidance counselor might be less than supportive.
3. Society as a whole. We live in a society that values achievement, financial resources, and personal possessions. We’re supposed to get married to a beautiful partner, have a few kids, and live in the suburbs.
It’s natural to want to play that game, even if it doesn’t quite suit our true nature. It’s nice to have the admiration of society. Our egos crave this type of recognition. But the type of life dictated by society isn’t a good fit for everyone. There are plenty of people that are highly successful by society’s criteria that are absolutely miserable. Plenty of people are willing to influence your choice of lifestyle and career. It’s unlikely their advice will be optimal for you. Be an individual and find the path that works best for you. Find and follow your own path with these strategies:
1. Ask yourself what you really want to do. Don’t say that you don’t know, because you do know. You’re just afraid to allow it to see the light of day. You might be concerned what others think, or you might be afraid that you’re not capable of doing it. Deep down, you know what you want.
Ask yourself what you would do if you could do anything, and then listen to the answer.
2. Decide that you’re going to follow your path. One of the biggest obstacles to success is failing to make a true decision. A decision only occurs when you shut yourself off to other possibilities. If you frequently change your mind, you’re not making true decisions.
3. Make a plan. Set up a schedule of daily tasks that will bring you closer to living the life that you have chosen. You’re practically guaranteed success provided you don’t give up.
Your life is your responsibility. If you find yourself stuck living someone else’s definition of success, you’ll find yourself all alone. The people that influenced you to live this way will be off living their own lives.
Take control of your destiny and find your own path. Your life will be more interesting, more satisfying, and uniquely your own!
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