When I was a kid, I dreamed of being a pilot when I grow up. Now, at the age of 26, I am a young adult who lives on words, photographs, and investments. Safe to say that the reality I am going through now is very different from the expectations I envisioned more than a decade ago.
I am confident I am not the only twentysomething who goes through this experience. We have this sensation that we are supposed to be searching for a calling in our lives. You might have secured your dream job, but you do not have someone to call your significant other or sense that your life lacks something. Conversely, you may already have a significant other who makes you happy, but you are jobless, and that gives a feeling that you are not doing enough in life.
In this time and age, it does not take much to overwhelm us with the idea that there are plenty of things in life that can stop us from seeking our purpose. From this idea, we can take away a key point: it is not worth putting so much pressure on ourselves, and we must swallow the bitter pill; that is, we are now young adults.
If you take the time to reflect on all the things you have done so far in life, you will notice that your purpose changes as you move from one stage of life to another:
- A decade ago, my purpose was to complete grad school.
- Once that is done, it was about establishing a stable career.
- Upon achieving a solid career, the next step was to find love and happiness.
- One day, I will have a family, and they will be the center of my life.
What I believe gets to twentysomethings most is that they think they are the only people who are doing all they can to discover their purpose in their lives. This notion has been brought to my attention more than once. I chat with my close friends, and when I observe their lives, I believe they have sorted everything out. However, as the conversation goes deeper, they began to disclose the truth: where they are now is not where they desire to be.
The more we see our seniors making great strides in their lives, the more pressured we are to have everything figured out as soon as possible because if we fail in our mission, we will stick out like a sore thumb. When we present ourselves as outliers, society may automatically deem us as “abnormal” human beings. And nothing is scarier than being alone and excluded from the community. However, the reality is that the normal we see and feel today is actually abnormalities that have occurred over an extensive period of time. It is all about perception; just because it feels normal does not mean it is. What I strive for and what someone else strives for can be completely different, yet somehow every individual is still evaluated according to society’s definition of “normal”.
Without further ado, below are three habits you need to get rid of in order to facilitate your efforts in finding your purpose and feel confident about your decisions in life:
1. Be decisive.
You need to make decisions quickly and effectively and stick to them to ultimately feel like you have uncovered your true calling. Very often, everyone has a vision, but they cannot tell what they should do next and when to act. Again, given the information you have, do not dilly-dally for too long and come to a decision. Once you have made that decision, follow it. Once you have a crystal-clear mind, you can answer the call with greater focus and make your way towards your objectives that are tied to the calling you have uncovered.
2. Age is just a number.
Obsessing over how old you are will not do you any favours. Playing the “This is not where I thought I would be at this age” soundtrack over and over in your head will prevent you from moving forward and focusing on the things that bring joy into your life. All too often, many twentysomethings have their potential and capabilities shot down, even though they are on the right track, because of that one sentence being played repeatedly in their heads.
If you are paralysed about where you should be versus where you are, you will miss out on life’s most magical moments and uncovering your calling in life because you are more addicted to the “should be” than the “what is”.
3. There is no competition.
As I outlined before, everyone is playing their own game. That means when you compare your life to others’, it blindsides you into thinking that you have failed utterly in life, especially when the person you are comparing yourself with has achieved so much more than you in life. Truth be told, no one has their shit together, and your life is one of a kind, which makes it truly remarkable.
When you start the comparison game, your attention automatically zooms in on what you are missing in life. You then completely neglect all the beautiful gifts that you possess and, at the same time, neglect your purpose in life. So much negativity – who wants to live in a world full of comparison games?
Final 2¢: Always do you.
If there is one more pearl of wisdom I can present to you, it is to continuously stay true to yourself because at the end of the day, that matters most. Forget about satisfying society’s definition of normal, do not dwell over what your friend has that you do not. Again, age is just a figure. Simply keep your eyes on the prize, and I assure you that you will have it eventually.