For long I have convinced myself that I suffer because I’m lost. The quarter life crisis is a trending topic lately. To confirm it further, everyone around me seems to be sailing in the “lost” seas as well. But the more I dwell on the topic, the more I realize we are not lost, we are distracted, and there’s a tremendous difference.
Because of this interconnected cyber world we live in, we often get excited about our decisions, but too distracted to see them through to the bigger picture. Take social media for example, while it’s a fantastic tool to use for sharing ideas in any trade, it can become an obsession that hinders the practice needed to hone those ideas in the first place. The temptations to give in are endless, and the rewards are immediate.
But it’s not just the internet that distracts us, it’s regular everyday life. Many of us starting to explore what it takes to turn our passions into careers, face the dilemma of quitting the dreaded day job. On one hand, the secure income helps us sleep better at night, and on the other, the job makes us hate waking up in the morning. Hence, the paralyzing feeling of being lost takes over, and we find ourselves in the self-help section of Barnes and Nobles searching for clues in books that include the words “escape,” and “crisis.” To make matters worse, we find ourselves at the mercy of opinions. When we ask for advice, it’s because we’re insecure and need a second, or third, or fourth, opinion to affirm ours. But why is it so?
I am not lost, in fact I know exactly what I need to do become a full-time writer: to write, full-time. Duh, right? It’s funny because sometimes the most obvious advice is the the most challenging to come to grips with. When I was three years old, I knew I was a creator, and that’s what I did every single day. I created stories, and my ideas manifested into books that ended up in my father’s office, but I never asked anyone for advice about it. I don’t recall once in my younger years asking another kid in the playground, “Should I write? What should I write about and what should I do with it once I’m finished?”
I just f*cking wrote, and wrote, then wrote some more.
I spent my entire life rebelling against authority, whether it came from my parents, relatives, teachers, bosses, friends, or partners, because it never made sense to me that I needed someone else to tell me what to do.
How is it that at 25 years old, halfway to 50, I find myself helplessly waiting on permission from others to make the decisions of MY life?
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate mentors and seek knowledge from others every day. But there’s a difference between asking for knowledge to improve the path we’re on, and asking for advice to be on that path in the first place.
Here’s the thing: we don’t get any closer to our goals by getting more people to agree with us.
We might improve our sales pitch, which is definitely a must in whatever business we’re trying to pursue, but we also get conflicting advice which confuses us and deters from taking action. The point is, if you have a calling, do it. Do it every single day in any form that comes natural at the time. Don’t bother asking for permission to do what you love. Look inward and rediscover that confident three year old that didn’t overthink what he or she wanted to do. We all know what we love, we’ve just been distracted from it.