Ralph Waldo Emerson said,
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
It takes an incredible amount of strength and courage to be yourself; to withstand the onslaught of the expectations of others.
I think we enter the years after high school and into college juggling our own idealistic (and yes, sometimes unrealistic) ideas about what we want to do with our lives with the expectations of what others have for us.
Sadly, many of us fall prey to the expectations of others and at the very beginning of adulthood we get on a train that’s heading in the wrong direction toward the wrong destination…just to please someone else. Many of us actually do our best to convince ourselves that it really is for the best; it really is what we want.
But over the next decade or so disillusionment begins to creep in. We start to lose our grip on who we really are…we stop dreaming. We compromise, we sell out. We’re conflicted so we tell ourselves stories to make us feel more comfortable. Stories like “It’s not what I thought my life would be about but hey…at least it’s a job!” We chase after the dollar because that seems to be the only reward.
By our early 30’s we’ve had to take the injection to keep from feeling the pain. We walk through our days like zombies having given into the factory mentality; figuratively standing at the assembly line putting bottle caps on bottles as they slowly pass by. We’ve traded our time and energy to fulfill someone else’s dream, making someone else successful.
Finally by the time we reach our forties, critical mass has tipped and we can stand it no more. Full-on mid-life crisis sets in. We must do something…but what? It’s been so long since we’ve listened to our own heart we no longer recognize the voice.
We’re ready for recalibration but we’ve been in the factory so long we hardly know where to start. We’ve forgotten how to think for ourselves. We look around us and we see very few examples of people doing what we wish we could do. We’re surrounded by the same zombies caught in the same false reality.
This is life. Get used to it. Learn to live with the crushing disappointment that comes with irrelevance.
But something tells us that this can’t be right. This can’t be all there is.
This is it. You’ve reached the critical crux of your life. All the frustration and disillusionment of the past decades have brought you here. As your heart now begins to stir you feel things you haven’t felt in a very long time. You actually begin to dream again. Maybe it can work. Maybe there really is a way to pull this off.
You hesitate to share this new and still unformed dream with others. It’s just too intimate, way too personal. No one else can possibly understand. And you are so fragile at this point you don’t think you could withstand their withering criticism.
These things just aren’t done! You just need to relax and stop thinking those things.
But this is gut check time. You are as certain of that as you’ve ever been. Your life, your very destiny, like a gravitational pull has drawn you to this point, at this time to make this most important of decisions.
Now’s the time for your greatest accomplishment.
To be yourself. To live the life you were destined to live. To fulfill the life mission only you can fulfill.
We need you to be brave and do this.