People love to tell you how to live your life. Given the chance, most everyone jumps at the opportunity to provide an endless supply of advice out of their own life manual. Telling you what they would do, pausing only to pass judgment on your latest decision, then quickly back to campaigning their next “If I were you” epiphany. The thing is, life is hard, we all need help at one point or another so we listen to the perceived wisdom of those around us. To make an unpopular decision means we have to face family and friends as they demand justification for our actions. So what do we do? We listen to them; we do what they’d do. We make a decision that places someone in our corner, so when life begins to interrogate, we are not alone.
Paths Are Not Permanent
We all eventually reach a moment in life when the path we were on is no longer identifiable. In fact, as we look around we might actually notice that we are not even on a path. When we lose our job, finish our education or unfortunately are presented with a traumatic life event. Whatever it may be, we are standing in a field when just a moment ago we were striding towards something. And that is when it hits, the panic sets in as life has clearly just shown us that we are not as great as we thought we were. Anyone who has ever been passed over for a position, let go from a job or been told they were not good enough has experienced this feeling.
At first we fight those words because we truly believe that we are great, then time goes by. After a while we begin to question ourselves, to think, “Maybe they were right.” And with the pressures of responsibilities never ceasing, we settle for a path that does not allow others to see our full potential; that does not allow us to see our full potential.
Show Them They’re Wrong
I am just as guilty of this as the next guy; we devalue ourselves to the tune of another’s words. But I say no more. You are the greatest, most intelligent living thing on this planet. Don’t ever allow yourself to think anything less than you know yourself to be. Some of us are young, eager to prove our worth only to be met with job openings that require ‘previous experience’ to be considered.
Don’t listen to them, if you want the job, let them know what you think. Experience is overvalued usually by old white-haired men who speak wisely but talk stupidly. I say, nature has already supplied you with the knowledge and instinct far greater than any other creature on this planet and the value of experience is overrated. Experience is comparable to fashion; an action that proved successful today will be unworkable and impractical tomorrow. And tell them that if anyone is really going to impact their company, they can’t approach this job in a way that has already been done before.
You Haven’t Lost A Step
For those who have lost a job and have resumes that include one position in the past 15 years don’t think you have to move laterally. Apply for your boss’s job, I mean who better to lead than someone who has first learned to follow. Why aren’t you a $100k person? Because you got laid off? No, because someone told you that you weren’t, but question this rather than accept it. What makes their opinion valid? Are they a court approved expert or are they just someone who thinks too highly of themselves to think you their equal.
No one has the right to demand justification other than your mother and your partner. Listen to the advice of others but don’t take any one piece as law, how can anyone else know what’s best for you when you don’t even know what’s best for you yet. If you want something, don’t settle for less because it’s easier. Life is what you make it. Let me say that again, Life is what you make it. As much as it pushes us around and knocks us down, we have the power to push back even harder. Everyone loves to tell you how to live your life, but no one will live it for you.
Find your niche, follow your dreams and prove you’re alive everyday.