It started in our teens and, for some, even before our teen years. Our parents, our teachers and society in general start pushing for the answer to this question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” There is always a select group, (my son belongs to the group) of kids that do know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their lives.However, for the most part, teens have no clue. Think back to when you were a teenager. Did you know? If so, did it work out?
In our twenties, we thought we had it all figured out. We created a mental plan to pursue the “American Dream” ie. finish college, marry school sweetheart, have 2.4 children, a dog and, of course, the house with the white picket fence. Our life plan, life goals were set, we thought at the time, forever.
So, we maneuvered through our 20’s, life goals set in place. All we had to do was follow the plan, and we would have the life we (or society) believes we need. I talk to 20 somethings now and they have a life plan firmly in place. A timeline in fact, when each stage of their live is going to happen. They actually believe their lives will work out exactly as they have planned. It’s comical. And on more than one occasion, I have said to these plan followers, “come talk to me in 20 years and let me know how that worked out for you.” And then::
We spend our 30’s trying to figure out what the hell went wrong and what we need to do to rectify and resurrect our life plan. After all, how could we be expected to live our lives with no light at the end of the tunnel. Not since our teen years have we been so completely confused.
The fabulous 40’s could not get here soon enough.. We reflect. We take mental notes of our lives so far. What has worked? What hasn’t? Then, for the first time in our lives, we realize, who cares??? We’ve spent all of these years trying to fit a mold that was a farce to begin with. After reflecting on our experiences, we realize that life is not all about the end goal. In fact, it’s not about a goal at all. Life is about the journey. Moreover, life is the journey.
What a revelation! A whole new perspective is born.
We now and forever forward, have a completely different view of what a success life looks like and it does not include a white picket fence. True life success comes from within, from the relationships we foster and hold so dear, It comes from understanding the world is so much bigger than us and we need to stick together in it. That career we prepared for and have worked in for so long seems so trivial now. We stop stepping on toes to move up the ladder, we quit working 60-70 hours a week and spend more time with our families; doing the things we want to do, seeing the things we’ve always wanted to see. We learn the value of living in the moment.
So, if you have not yet had your revelation, why not start today? Take an ax to that white picket fence. Define your own success.Live your life in such a way that you will be happy. . Don’t confine yourself to the boundaries of the “American Dream”. Live out your own dreams.