“If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve seen that this week I am traveling the states for job interviews. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to spread my wings away from Arizona for the first time, seeing all the States have to offer. These past two days I was, for the first time, in Arkansas. However amidst these days I’ve found thoughts fly in and out of my head with no consistency about my future. “Am I really about to make a life changing decision? Am I going to be passionate about the work I do? Do I really know myself enough to make this decision? Am I ready for “real life”? “
And as I continue to think about my future, and how my decisions are now impactful beyond measure, I began to question others on their reasoning behind their path through life. What I found to be the driving force for the idea of being successful in one’s field revolved around three major components: enough money to live, enough money to retire, ability to get a higher position than current state. I’m not here to tell people those components of life are wrong. I’m here to tell you I can’t find solace in those motives. When I asked an employee what her main goal was by advancing, she responded with “to reach a six figure salary, so I can have more money to do what I love.”
There has to be more.
Too often we lose sight of our passions. In my 21 years of existence I cannot claim experience with many fields of expertise, but I can tell you that the goals and paths that I once set my sight upon become muddied with conflicts, commitments, and distractions. It’s easy to fall off your route, close your eyes and keep walking aimlessly. And for many of my close friends, at this moment of life, that’s all you can truly accomplish.
But to find myself four years out of college with the goal of making money and then doing what I love cannot be what life is all about. Yes, close your eyes occasionally but close it with a timer, knowing when to pick up your bags and follow the dreams you once had. Collegiate students sit around and make excuses of why they cannot do what they love because of a variety of excuses. We label ourselves as a wanderlust, someone who wants to see the world and do what we love. But we find ourselves working paycheck to paycheck hoping one day “six figures” will lie in our lap, and then what we love can be actualized.
Don’t work for retirement. Work for the now.”
I kept revising the above passage, trying to make it an effective post for motivation. But my audience was wrong. The above post was for myself. Let me explain.
See, I’ve been thinking for a long time of what is the right path for myself. Like others my age, there are things I am passionate about, but because of the prescribed American dream we all slot ourselves into corporate America hoping we will someday find time for what we love. I talk a big game to those around me. I tell them how easy it is to work your ass off, and do what you truly love now, monetize it later. But here I am flying across the country to corporate America, trying to find passion in companies where I know I could excel and produce value. But the lingering tap in my mind tells me the opportunity is now. The fruit is ripe for the taking for myself to take a step away from all that is static.
I recently read “The Four Hour Work Week” for the second time in a year this past week, and came to the same inspiration. Drop all I have, travel, make money remotely, and be one with the world. And doubts creep up about the realistic nature of this type of life. Can one be sustainable? Can one live effectively? Real life doesn’t allow that to happen right?
However, what I’ve begun to realize is that these questions, these excuses we make up are not ours. They are society’s questions, which have been developed and refined throughout our subconscious to keep us at bay. You only hear the horror stories, the tragedies of someone skydiving into life. The idea of experimenting with your life is shamed, as other’s expectations are set for you & then you define yourself by those expectations. The hardest part is the action. And as I wrote that above piece, I kept trying to persuade myself to act. I must find a route to take that goes along with what the blazing motive yearns for. But that’s the hardest part for individuals my age. It’s easy to dream, but hard to make it reality. So I challenge you, now, just like I’m challenging myself. Stop one unnecessary thing each day that you do (Facebook, Twitter, Buzzfeed) and focus on that dream you’ve cultivated in the back of your mind. I’ll let you know how I progress, keeping myself accountable along with way. Make action items and find the happy medium between a job and your dream.
I don’t see value in a six-figure salary. I don’t see value in working for retirement. I see value in this world, the cultures abound, and the love within every person. And I want to live it. Firsthand. And you should too.
I just need to open the plane’s door, live by my thoughts, find the conviction and bravery, and jump. Who’s down to join?