With graduation on the horizon. You may have noticed, I’m more active on YouTube than here but I want to work to combine the two. Let’s talk about our dreams and this settle mentality we’re all raised on.
Growing up, our parents feed us this idea of what we should strive for in life. Specifically the “American” life: a degree, a long-standing career with a nice car, wife, kids, and a house with a picket fence. Society raises us to hold these ideas as ideals, teaching us to belittle and drag ourselves through the mud if we so dare to stray from the path.
Time changes and as our parents experienced with theirs, we have a disconnect of ideals versus wants and needs. As humans, we don’t need a long-lasting career. We don’t need a large house or even one with a fence. We don’t need kids and we don’t need a partner to find our happiness. While there’s nothing wrong with any of that, what happens is that settle mindset becomes contagious. Our parents settled and we think, so should we.
We think, maybe Jim isn’t so bad? We like him. He has an okay job – one that he also settled for. Oh, just a few more years at this job and I’ll try to do what I really want. I might as well have kids now before I’m too old, which circles back around to Jim. Jim could be an okay Dad. He knows soccer. (Jim is a fictional guy I made up for this example.)
And before we know it, there we are. Our life already passed us as we were busy settling and wait for that “later” that never came.
There’s one thing that needs to be known now.
It is NOT selfish to follow our dreams.
It is NOT selfish to refuse to settle, to refuse to wait. Whether we figure this out early in life or when it’s already passed us by. It is never selfish to live for ourselves or chase our own happiness because no one else can. In fact, if it weren’t for all those who dared to break the normal life “mold”, we wouldn’t be where we are today. My German-Russian immigrant great-grandparents didn’t illegally immigrate to the US during the war just to watch me settle for a half-lived life.
If you just stumbled across this blog, you’ll soon discover what my dreams are. I don’t want to hide them and push them away for sake of security. We all have a tolerance for risk in our life, I don’t believe that risk or the unknown should stop us from living our most complete lives.
If you’ve known me for a while you may be aware of my dreams. So if I’m chasing mine, what the heck are you sitting around waiting for yours? You know that nothing is impossible. We’re never alone in our struggles even if it may seem like it.
Maybe you’ve already acknowledged the disconnect in your life. Maybe, you’ve only just noticed. One thing that’s certain is that you have the power to change that, to close the gap.
I’ve lead so many disconnects throughout my life that I’ve lost track. I couldn’t finish public school due to lack of system support and quality — I have a GED now. I couldn’t hold a job due to anxiety, sensory processing issues, and time restraint as a student. I denied my true passions because I was lead to believe I wasn’t worthy enough. I thought I could only live one path. The list goes on. I can sit and let my failures, setbacks, and excuses control me or I can do something about it. If there’s one thing the last 24+ years on Earth has taught me, it’s that we’re in control of our own lives and destinies. We can let life beat us when we’re down or we can fight back. A strong internal locus of control is the singular most important way of thinking I’ve ever developed.
While I may have settled on the job I currently have to bring in money and pay the bills, I’m graduating in December with a BS in International Business. It’s been seven crazy years in the making. This new job will let me pay off my student loans before graduation, adopt my parent’s car, upgrade my camera, pay remaining tuition for the year, pay for immigration, and save to move. It’s the stepping stone I need to save in order to be okay financially when I launch my business next year. I can’t do any of that with my bank account at $67…or less.
My goal is to launch my business in 2019 so that I will be self-employed using my best qualities. I know I can do it. The city we’re moving to has an amazing creator and small business support system. It’s just not the right time for me yet — which is what happened with my previous endeavor.
And here we are…settling.
I find myself asking, how much of my life I’m willing to give away to “settling”? The majority of it has already been in that grey in-between area where I fought with myself and the system to figure out who I am and what I wanted in life. For now, while it pains me, I’m willing to give up the next year of my life to secure all the years after.
While yes, I may surely fail next year as well, at least I’ll know I’ve tried. We owe that much to ourselves. So I hope that you can follow along with our misadventures this next year.
Tell me, what have you settled for? Do you have any lost dreams and how large is your disconnect?