Don’t Be A Lemming. Find Your Own Path.

Friday, 3pm, and it’s been a long work week. The work hasn’t necessarily been that draining, but the hours of beige and stale bleakness, of going through the movements, has been numbing in an exhausting way. Higher paid coworkers making you feel not just inferior, but different. When you get some down time you’ll listen to a song that reminds you of that outdoor concert because it reminds you of when you felt like yourself. Maybe you’ll like a few photos on NatGeo’s Instagram and it makes you feel good that somewhere in the world there’s something nice happening. Tonight you’ll go out for happy hour with some friends, though really just kind of want to sleep. Tomorrow you’ll go to a beer garden that does a poor job of pretending it’s in Europe, but for a night it will suffice as a fun escape. Sunday you’ll watch tv all day hung over and dread repeating the work week. Again. All these things you’ll do to escape your reality for a little, imagining yourself in some other world. This world is here though, and I don’t know why anyone would settle for less than what they want.

The hardest part of getting yourself out of the lemming cycle is really taking the first step to get out of it. It’s hard to go off the beaten path, almost embarrassing. You’ve been told forever that there is an exact path to success that you should follow, and if it wasn’t the one society had told you to take, than you were an embarrassment. Jobs that don’t involve a desk are frowned upon. If you don’t get that desk job you won’t get the house in the neighborhood where everyone’s house looks the same. If you don’t get that house than you won’t get the spouse you don’t have much in common with, but hey, you’re both at that age you so you might as well. Then you spend years escaping to your basement where you listen to drink beer and think of how this isn’t necessarily what you wanted. Should I have kids I hope they would prefer to have a dad who tried to make himself happy then who just prepared for what someone else told him to do

Someone recently said to me of their place of work, “If you can shut yourself off for five days of the week it’s a great job.” That’s absurd. As absurd as that is, I think that is a majority of Americans’ adopted view on life. How can you go through life like that? The best thing I ever did for myself was refuse to be pushed into an entry level bank job because was more acceptable in society’s eyes then what I was doing at the time. I saw what the end game would be and knew that is never where I’d find my happiness. Though I don’t think I’ve found exactly what I’m looking for yet, I’m still proud I didn’t let myself settle. I felt really bad about it and myself at the time, now I do feel I was onto something. Don’t ever feel bad for searching for what you truly want. You don’t owe being anything to anyone. Most people who are going to offer their advice on what you should do know as little as you do, they just have an opinion on what you should be.

You shouldn’t be anyone’s lemming. Don’t feel you should take a path that is leading you to constantly feel inferior. Never feel inferior to anyone. The notion you need a job at a large corporation to feel respectable should be dispelled and is being pushed by a minority that wants to keep you where you are. They’ll pay you the same low wage they pay everyone else, keep you in a small world of your own and make you cope. Make you feel that this is the way that life should be. Take that menial wage and save for your future. That future that never really comes, it’s just a mirage you use to get through your day. Filthy rich people make me uncomfortable, not because I feel inferior, but because they’re comfortable with their wealth. History will look back on this time period incredulously on how so few could have so much, and even more astonishing, how the vast majority was tricked and doped into letting it happen.

Money shouldn’t be the end goal. Wealth isn’t found in money. It’s found in experiences and time. Give yourself both. Do things that make you feel alive. Stop watching so much TV. I’m tired of hearing how great TV is now. Stop being so boring. Try new things outside of TV, go for big experiences and adventures you thought unattainable, and you’ll probably awaken something in yourself you didn’t know you were neglecting. If you’re happy, that is awesome. If you’re not , never feel apologetic for taking actions to make yourself genuinely happier. Wake yourself up. You’ll make the world a whole lot less boring. TC mark

Related

More From Thought Catalog