The wonderful part of being human beings is that we are all unique. Each of our brains has it’s own distinct wiring, and we each have our own idiosyncratic interests. As a result of this uniqueness, we each have our own individual calling; something that we alone were born to do. We were very much aware of this potential vocational path when we were younger, but as we grow older we may lose sight of or completely forget about that certain something that we were once drawn to in our youth. I believe this is due to the increasing amount of distraction we face as we move forward through life. In order to live the life of your dreams, you are going to have to develop an intense focus and drown out the noise of modern society. Here are some of the things that may be distracting you from following the journey that leads to the life you were truly meant to live.
1. Your parents
This can definitely be a hard pill to swallow. Our parents love us, want to protect us, and want us to lead successful and happy lives. However, their vision for how they want you to live your life may not be in accordance with your truest aspirations. It’s not that they are intentionally trying to do you any harm; they are simply attempting to look out for your best interests. This seemingly benign advice and nudging towards a certain direction can actually be an insidious influence that can potentially destroy your hopes and dreams. Your parents probably had big dreams and grandiose visions for their lives at one point, and perhaps as life went on things didn’t quite turn out the way they envisioned, so it has become their belief that this is simply the way life is, and that you would be better off playing it safe, just like they did. You are the only one that can live your life, and if your parents disapprove of the path you’ve chosen, it’s on them, not you. You must go in the direction that you are pulled towards from deep within you, regardless of their wishes.
2. Your peers
The popularity contest has extended well beyond our high school years with the prevalence of social media. The people around us portray their lives with glimmering imagery, carefully crafted profiles and meticulously arranged photographs. It may appear that they are living an optimal lifestyle, enjoying the fruits of their labor derived from a fulfilling career. You must keep in mind, however, that living an excellent life is a long-term strategy. Your peers may seem happy now with their career choices, but those who decide to enter into a career field on no other basis than compensation will realize down the road that they have made a mistake. Focus on your path and your unique journey. Slow and steady wins the race, and it’s going to take a persistent and concentrated effort to get what you truly want from life. The tortoise paid no attention to the hare blazing ahead of him, because he knew in the long run that the strategy would work in his favor. Your peers may be equivalent to the hare, arbitrarily choosing positions based on a salary with good benefits. Pay them no mind. Run your race steadily.
3. The media
The main objective of the media is not to provide you with information to help you live a better life. It’s main and arguably sole purpose if to get you to line their pockets. Consumerism is one of main reasons why people work in jobs they don’t really enjoy. We spend long hours working so that we can afford to buy a bunch of things that we don’t really need. The media portrays the good life as one measured in materials, luxury, and outward appearance. What’s much more valuable that money is spending time doing the things that you truly enjoy, and spending time with the people that you care about most. Instead of being distracted by the typical idea of a good life, work towards living a great life.
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with having a good time, there comes a point where perhaps you should be engaging in something more substantial than hitting up the local bar or club every weekend. We live in a competitive environment, and the competition has expanded to a global scale. Just remember while you’re partying, someone else is practicing, and should you ever face this person in the competitive setting, you will lose. While you may be sitting pretty at the moment, living it up every weekend, someone out there is looking to take your spot.
It is my opinion that our society watches entirely too much television. While it’s perfectly fine to sit back and be entertained every once and a while, there are potentially better things you could be doing with your time. The average American may spend nearly a decade watching television in their lifetime. Think of how many other amazing things can be accomplished in that amount of time. In contrast, many of the world’s successful people spend little time watching television. Perhaps instead of spending much of your glorious time on this planet watching other people live out their destiny, spend some of that time striving to live out your own.
6. The status quo
Instead of being innovate thinkers, trailblazers, and creative individuals, many of us are nothing more than a mere patchwork of the opinions, beliefs, and ideologies of modern society. From an early age we are indoctrinated into a belief as to how are supposed to live our lives. The idea of the modern corporation and the employment structure in our society represents a very small portion of human history, and is in no way indicative of how things are going to be in the future. With the increases in technology and a rapid cultural evolution, it is my belief that there will be a paradigm shift in the way society operates as we complete the transition from the industrial age to the information age. Those who aren’t flexible or adaptable, who aren’t prepared, who aren’t acquiring various skills, and who are reliant on the way of live we’re living now, may be in for a rude awakening. To live the live of your dreams you have to be equipped with the tools to take advantages of new opportunities, and I believe we are currently living in an unprecedented time in human history that will allow those who are prepared to reap the rewards.
7. The company
Those who don’t build their own dreams will work to build somebody else’s. Instead of creating a unique path that is structured around our truest aspirations, many of us spend our workdays making someone else rich. Many of us may envy the top one percent, but the reality is that the masses of men and women are the one’s contributing to their success. We are the one’s who are employees of these companies, who are also taking the money earned through work and spending it buying products of other companies. The company you work for doesn’t care about you, and it has no loyalty to you. If it can find somebody who will do the same work you do for less money, they will replace you. However, if you develop strength based on your special talents and build a life and career based on something only you can provide, you will become irreplaceable. Instead of seeking a salary, seek mastery.