Life is a really great story and you’re the main character. You also happen to be the author as you decide what happens next.
In order to make the plot progress, you need to get clear on your character’s motivations — your motivations. What drives you, what inspires, what bores and bothers you.
Try to quiet expectations you have of yourself or ones that have been imposed by family or external sources. We can get caught up in believing we’re “supposed” to have accumulated certain material possesses such as a house or a car, or committed to certain relationships including marriage and parenthood by a set age.
Truth is, there is no set schedule. You are unique and so is your life journey. Quiet the external noise of cultural norms, if you can. Get clear on what invigorates you and pursue it. Perhaps it’s travelling to new places, maybe it’s nesting to create a home, maybe its dancing or rock climbing.
You may not be able to support yourself initially with this passion. You may need to work a dull job to save up for your next travel adventure. As long as you are nurturing your pursuits in some way to continue to build yourself up and keep you inspired, you will find that opportunity finds you.
You need to stay engaged and aware of yourself and the opportunities, which might provide the next plot twist.
Don’t be afraid of hard work. Transitioning from one phase of your life to another can require heaps of effort. That’s not to say it isn’t worth it. If anything, you will appreciate it all the more because of the hours you committed to it. You will derive a real sense of accomplishment as well as mastery — both possessions that can’t ever be taken away from you.
You will possess them.
Make sure not to rush or skip to the end, because that means your story and life are over.
Plus you don’t want to miss the journey — that’s where laughter, love, sex, joy and sorrow reside. The stuff that makes life real and visceral and worth it.
If you decide to pursue higher education it isn’t about the becoming a dentist or teacher or lawyer. It is about expanding your mind. Seeing what you are capable of, pushing yourself to see what character development you can accomplish.
Don’t wish your time away, looking to the end. Embrace the experience. Be present to appreciate the success, the struggle and the people you meet along the way.
Remember, you aren’t alone on this journey. You have family and friends who you can ask for guidance from. You can also access professional help. Give yourself permission to ask for assistance, opinions and advice.
As you listen to the guidance you will better understand your own beliefs, what aligns with your outlook and what does not. You don’t need to agree with what the other person says, by listening you will get a more clear picture of who you are and what you accept as true and important and what you want to pursue.
Whatever you decide to do, you won’t waste your time or energy. The process of elimination, of becoming aware of what fills your up and what depletes you, will allow you to have a better understanding of who you are.
Remember that although you are the author of your story, there are other storylines running simultaneously. This means you aren’t in control of other people, places and things. You can only regulate your behavior.
Instead of getting impatient or upset about your lack of influence, embrace it. Take comfort in the fact that you aren’t in charge of anyone else. You can apply yourself, live with integrity, honesty and remain true to yourself.
You may know what you want to happen next in the storyline of your life but you also need to accept the unexpected. The element of surprise.
It can seem like an inconvenience or perhaps an injustice. However when it presents itself know there is a lesson waiting for you in it. There may also be a gift as sometimes we don’t dream big enough for ourselves. We can limit what we pursue because some outcomes can seem too lofty and farfetched.
Let life surprise you while you listen to your passions, you apply work hard, stay present, ask for help, take chances and admit you’re powerless over people, places and things.
You’ll be astonished at what kind of life and distinct story you can create for yourself.