Are You Following Your Own Path?
It’s not easy to find your way through the world. You might have interests that don’t coincide with the values of your parents or with those of western society.
While the status quo might work for the majority of the population, that doesn’t have to be you.
To have a truly fulfilling life, you must live it on your own terms.
There are plenty of forces willing to tell you what your path should be:
1. Parents. Your parents want you to be happy and successful. While they most likely have only your highest good in mind, their advice comes from their own upbringing and beliefs, which may or may not mirror your own.
I had a client once whose parents had told her she “should get a job as a teacher because it was a secure profession” when what she really wanted was to use her passion for art and creative abilities.
For years and years she had been so dissatisfied and unhappy, never realizing she was following someone else’s desired course for her life.
She’s now combining her skills as a teacher and creative and artistic abilities to support children in tapping into their own creativity. Perfect!
Remember, you are not the same as your parents. You have your own life to live.
2. Educational system. The educational system wants to turn out productive people into society that conform to their ways of thinking. This might be great for society, but it might not be in your best interests.
What if you want to be a rock star, or take a few years to travel and write a book, own a llama farm, or become a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember ever having a class that helped me focus and connect with what I was passionate about. Instead, there were, and still are, all kinds of aptitude assessments to determine what I excelled in; what skills I possessed.
Early on in my career I discovered I was really good at bookkeeping, which came as a complete surprise to me since I failed miserably at math in school! So I went to college and got an education in economics and accounting and followed a career path in bookkeeping only to discover later on that although I was really good at it, I did not love it. I was great at something I began to loathe because it did not match up with what I was passionate about – helping and supporting others.
Your natural skills and aptitudes do not predict what you will be happiest doing as your life’s work.
There’s very likely an intersection somewhere between the two. If there is, that’s where pure bliss lies!
3. Society as a whole. We live in a society that values achievement, financial resources, and personal possessions. We’re supposed to get married to a beautiful partner, have a few kids, and live in the suburbs.
It’s natural to want to play that game, even if it doesn’t quite suit our true nature. It’s nice to have the admiration of society. Our egos crave this type of recognition.
But the type of life dictated by society isn’t a good fit for everyone. There are plenty of people that are highly successful by society’s criteria that are absolutely miserable.
Plenty of people are willing to influence your choice of lifestyle and career. It’s unlikely their advice will be optimal for you.
Be an individual and find the path that works best for you.
Find and follow your own path with these strategies:
1. Ask yourself what you really want to do. If you hear yourself saying “I don’t know”, stop, because you do know. You might just be afraid to allow it to see the light of day. You might be concerned what others think, or you might be afraid that you’re not capable of doing it.
Deep down, you know what you want. You were born with a desire to fulfill and express in this world.
Ask yourself what you would do if you could do anything, and then listen to the answer.
2. Decide that you’re going to follow your path. One of the biggest obstacles to success is failing to make a true decision. A decision only occurs when you shut yourself off to other possibilities. If you frequently change your mind, you’re not making true decisions.
3. Make a plan. Set up a schedule of daily actions that will bring you closer to living the life that you have chosen. You’re practically guaranteed success provided you don’t give up.
Your life is your responsibility. If you find yourself stuck living someone else’s definition of success, you’ll find yourself all alone. The people that influenced you to live this way will be off living their own lives.
Take control of your destiny and find your own path. Your life will be more interesting, more satisfying, and uniquely your own!
With good energy,
Debra Wilson Guttas, HTP, Best-Selling Author, Coach & Life Transition Sherpa™
“Supporting and inspiring women in life transition, and cancer recovery, to craft lives with more purpose and passion.”
Author of the best-selling book “7 Keys to Coping with Cancer – How You Can Feel Good AND THRIVE (from someone who’s been there)