I had a conversation recently with a friend and we were talking about how happy we were to be right where we are in life and doing the things we want to do. I guess this kind of goes back to my previous post where I was talking about decisions that were made and how I spent the summer doing what I wanted to. This conversation went a little deeper than that, and it got me thinking how being right where I want to be and doing just what I want to be doing didn’t happen by accident. It happened through a series of very real and conscious decisions that sometimes, for me anyway, I just sort of let happen in the past.
All of this isn’t to say I don’t have bad days, and yes sometimes there are specific things we as adults need to do(ie DMV, jury duty, or pick your poison), but talking life as a whole, being happy and good with where you are and what you’re doing. That’s an amazingly powerful thing. It’s not easy to get to, but once you’re there it is definitely worth the trip. I’ve heard the trip described as “ruthlessly loving yourself”, or the ability to accept or initiate difficult conversations. Whether those conversations are with others or with yourself, they are hard to have. Seems being completely honest with yourself is one of the harder things to do in life. This initially struck me as counterintuitive, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more truth I’ve found behind it. The hard part comes in when you try to decipher between what you actually want, and what you think others think you should want. Following the herd as they say. Stepping out on your own and doing something different is challenging and it definitely takes a level of courage. I’m not saying all of this to pump myself up, but rather put it in the light for people to consider. It can be done, and my hope is that a person reading this may take solace in the fact that it’s been done before, and therefore they are capable of it as well.
I believe the main ingredient in getting to this spot in life is self awareness, having a good understanding of who you are, what you want, and most importantly, being completely comfortable with all of that. Shortcomings included. This isn’t a free pass on the shortcomings but being aware of them is the first step toward correction. Realizing that we all have shortcomings is also extremely helpful. Realizing these things frees you from the pressures that can be applied from social norms or attempting to “keep up with the Jones’” When it comes down to it, the only person you need to prove anything to is yourself. Look yourself in the mirror every night and be at peace with who you see. Everything else is just background noise.
Once you’re at that point, the rest is actually amazingly easy. Once a person has a clear picture of what they want, the path forward really does open up in front of them. It’s amazing how working toward taking this view on life has changed things for me. Gone are the days of worrying if I am good enough or not. Gone are the days of wondering what so and so thinks, or working to get that next material possession. Now my days are filled with working because I like to solve big and interesting problems, writing because I like to share thoughts and spark discussion, spending meaningful time with the people I love and being present in those moments, and most of all living with a sense of knowing that I am where I want to be, doing what I want to do. Here’s hoping something here resonates or sounds familiar to you. Please forgive the toilet picture…I thought it was funny for this…