In the age of college students building billion-dollar corporations from their dorm rooms, we have normalized this stigma that achieving magnificent success at a young age is what we all should work toward — and those that do achieve such success should be praised and idealized.
We live in a society where we are at once expected to be the most ambitious overachievers, while simultaneously being berated as the lazy generation.
This contradiction can be especially anxiety-inducing to those of us that know we want to make our mark on the world, but aren’t quite sure yet how to do it.
Many of us are big thinkers. We have dreams and visions for a better world, and we feel wholeheartedly that we have the ability to solve the biggest problems facing today’s society.
But not all of us are risk-takers. Not all of us are the kind that can comfortably throw all we have into one endeavor, with no assurance that things will work out. Not all of us have the confidence at this young age to trust our instincts and ignore the trajectory of life that society has convinced us we must follow.
I struggle with this daily. I feel obligated, responsible even, to help this world and its most vulnerable people. I know I have the knowledge and ideas and will necessary to make a significant impact. However, where I sit currently in life, I do not feel as though I am making as big of an impact as I should be — but I’m not yet sure how I can make that impact bigger. I watch people all around me moving at a faster speed, finding success earlier and earlier, achieving dreams and making bigger and bigger imprints on this tough world.
But we are all meant to move at our own pace.
For all of you passionate about a side hobby, but not yet comfortable enough to quit your day job in order to pursue it, we must be okay with waiting.
While the time might never be “perfect” for us to take that leap, there should be no shame in having a more cautious approach to life.
I am extremely passionate about pursuing a career that not only fulfills the deepest yearnings of your soul, but one that also puts an incredibly positive energy in the world. I’ve never been one to seek simply self-fulfilling work. While our own happiness is incredibly important, we must also realize our purpose here is much greater.
A little over a year ago I wrote these words:
I want to help. Everyday I see immense inefficiencies in institutions all over the place. From the university, to the government, to the economy, these inefficiencies have created an environment that does not offer equal access to opportunity for anyone willing to work hard.
The answer as to “How?” is that missing piece for which I’ve been searching. This feeling that it is somewhere, floating around in my brain, waiting for the right moment to reveal itself, will not go away.
Despite the “clicks” I’ve felt these past few years, I am still incredibly unsure as to exactly what I want to do.
I don’t want a traditional career. I know that much.
This statement still rings true today. I’ve not yet figured out that how.
So for all of us still nurturing feasible ideas to break out of the mold of the traditional career, can we all agree it’s okay to take some more time?
I know there are so many people, especially in today’s hyper-competitive world, that say it’s best to take risks now, to act instinctively on any idea we have, to ignore the potential for failure and only cross that bridge when/if we get to it.
But for someone so inclined not only to do good, but to do it well, taking risks and throwing caution to the wind is not so easy.
At the end of the day, it’s about finding a balance between being proud of where you are, enough that you can be happy in this moment, while also knowing you are not quite where you want to be, so as to keep that fire burning inside of your soul, the fire leading you on the path of achieving your wildest dreams.