I’ve always thought it was ridiculous that our society expects 18 -20 somethings to pick a career path for the rest of their lives. At 18, you barely know who you are. You haven’t had a chance to live life on your own and you most likely haven’t met the people that will influence you most yet.
I’ve come across this problematic expectation many times in the past year or so. Many of my friends are now in their mid-20s and for those who still aren’t sure where they want to go in life, they feel immensely left behind and stuck in rut. It’s so unfortunate that they feel like they aren’t living up to their potential because they haven’t met this ridiculous expectation of having it all figured out.
No one has it all figured out. No one has everything together. Some people are just better at making it look that way.
The only expectation we should have as young people is to continue to make progress and to actively reach for our goals. Sometimes, you find that what you thought you wanted, isn’t for you and that’s ok. There is no life contract binding you to that one choice forever. If you don’t like the career path you choose, change it. If your friends are negative, cut them lose, and if you’re bored in your hometown, move.
I know it is not as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of courage to change your situation but at the end of day your happiness and fulfillment is worth it. In our lives we will probably change careers many, many times. We will see our lives shift to different chapters on a personal level as well. Don’t feel bad about outgrowing things, choices or people.
So you got a little off track; you’re working at a job you don’t want and that will lead to nowhere. What’s stopping you from going after your dreams? The only person in your way is you. Don’t use bills, children, or other people’s expectation as an excuse to remain unhappy. It is never too late to follow your heart. You want travel, do it. You want to go back to school, go ahead. Change may require some temporary sacrifices but know that the sacrifices are worth the payoff.
Be okay with switching lanes. Sometimes life doesn’t stay on the path we intended. Opportunities sometimes arise in places we never expected. That awful job you have has prepared you for better. That negative relationship has taught you what not to tolerate. Remember that feelings of discomfort and failure are just the catalyst you need to go after better. The rough patches in your life are polishing you up for what you deserve. Do not be afraid to change your life. No one else will do it for you.
It takes courage to change, so be courageous.