We all want to do well in life. We all want to achieve success.
In this society, doing well means passing exams, going to university and competing against each other to get a job that pays well. It seems like success is measured in cars, houses, TVs, phones, laptops and clothes. The more money you earn, the more successful you are. The more well-known you are, the more successful you are.
That’s what we’ve been told anyway.
I’ve become pretty content in the past year, so it was strange when I felt stressed about doing well on an assignment for university. I started to question why I even felt stressed… And I realised that the idea has been drilled into me that I always have to do well. Even if all my parents ask from me is to do my best, there has still always been subtle hints from teachers, employers and even friends.
There is a huge invisible pressure to have a life which looks good on the outside. But is it what we really want? Have we reached the point where we settle for a life that we don’t love 100%?
We have been conditioned to believe that it’s normal after all.
I decided at 20 years old that I couldn’t live in ignorance anymore. Ignorance isn’t bliss.
I realised that travel, nature, wellbeing, passion, creativity, relationships, peace, love and harmony are all more important to me than an exhausting routine to earn money. To consume. To essentially turn us into robot slaves manufactured only to work.
We can either choose to acknowledge or ignore the hierarchy of what truly matters to us in life.It took me 20 years of my life, ONE FIFTH OF A CENTURY, to see that I’d grown up only to buy into this massive illusion that I couldn’t stray off the path. It took me that long to snap out of the lie that I don’t have the power to create whatever reality I want.
The truth is we rarely leave our comfort zone of security because we’re scared of failing. Once we understand this fear, we can break free from it. We can start to accomplish goals which actually serve us, and feel liberated while doing it.
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy
I’ll never forget this quote I read on a cafe wall in Croatia:
Strive not to be a success but rather be of value
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know exactly what I want to do in life. But I know that I no longer want society’s idea of success. I know that I want to be of value. I want to help people. Inspire people. Connect with people. Protect the planet. Bring peace on earth.
It doesn’t matter what I do. As long as I am aware of what I really love and pursue that, I’ll consider myself successful.
The key to true success isn’t excelling by society’s standards. The key is to be mindful of your passions and follow them without conforming to society’s standards, or giving up.
I once thought that I didn’t have a choice. Even if I wanted to do something, I came up with excuses that I couldn’t do it. Looking back, I was scared of other peoples opinions. Doubt clouded my thoughts.
But then I realised that I shouldn’t care at all what other people think. Most people don’t even like themselves anyway. I decided to let go of fear, and started to change my mindset to believe that I can do it. It might be hard to imagine actually getting to where I truly want to be, and that’s fine. I won’t get there immediately. It takes time. Just remember, if you can imagine it, then you can achieve it.
Think to yourself, what are your values? What do you love to do?
Then take steps towards having a lifestyle which has all those things in it. Even if it’s only one small step a day.
Whether it’s starting up your own business, travelling, fitness, psychology or being in nature, if you’re passionate about it, go for it. Otherwise, your mind will become dull and bored. You will simply exist, but you won’t live.