This is more of a philosophical and spiritual read, but not in a religious sense. It’s more about looking inwards and identifying and understanding your deepest desires and regrets, determining what you want to accomplish and how you want to get there - something many of us don’t do often enough (myself included). Many of us have dreams and goals, but lack the drive to action these desires as time goes by. This is a wake-up call.
"Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice: it is not to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." – William Jennings Bryan
I think many of us under 30 somethings have high bars and are brought up to think we can achieve anything we put our minds to. But then we graduate and enter the real world; we start to develop our careers and accept societal norms, and our greatest dreams and desires get pushed aside. The fuel tank powering our drive, purpose, fearlessness, and wanderlust slowly dips towards empty as time goes by and the energy and stamina we once had towards the pursuit of happiness via our greatest desires and interests grows stagnant. We start waiting for that ‘right opportunity’ to present itself, but do not seek it out.
"Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." – Steve Jobs
But you don’t need to wait for it, you can make it happen yourself by putting actionable steps in place. Do you want to travel more? Set up a small travel fund and put a percentage of your pay check aside. Do you want to learn a new language or take a course? Ask for time off or designate a little time each day to accommodate your new interest. Do you want to improve yourself physically or emotionally? Set aside time to do a 30-minute workout or a 10-minute meditation practice. You’ll never get there if you just wait around for the ‘right time’ to start, you need to make it the right time. You need to choose what is the important priority for you.
"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful." – Albert Schweitzer
See, sometimes I feel I am just existing, following along the typical western society checklist: go to school (post-secondary), get a job, get married, have a family, work hard and save until you can no longer work, retire, and die of old age (hopefully feeling fulfilled). For some people, this is all they want in life and checking all those boxes is what really matter to them (and good on you for achieving what you wanted, honestly). I want a more diversified storyline and may even skip a couple of these steps – I want to improve and challenge myself, never stop learning, see amazing things around the world, and do things that I feel are great accomplishments and make me happy, all by my own standards. I think some of us go through phases where we just exist - we look towards tomorrow and wish or pray that one day we can do x, y, z, but we don’t make changes to work towards those desires beyond tomorrow. Oftentimes, you are your greatest excuse. Enough excuses. If you want it, make it happen.
“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” – Shannon L. Alder
I am one who believes there’s a greater force out there that makes the world-go-round. That there isn’t a God per se, but that choice and a bit of luck help shape you and your story. So make a choice to start that course, book that trip, take that job, live in that country because the straight and narrow path isn’t for all of us.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman
I'm a 20-something woman working my way through life in Canada, traveling when I can afford it and seeking out my passions one day at a time.