It’s everything! When we’re young we are full of it, full of ambition and dreams. So why is it that when we join the ranks of the working masses do we become so distracted? As time passes we become complacent, we focus too much on paying bills and earning a ‘living’. For a lot of us its survival. Too many people live from month to month, struggling to make ends meet.
What happened to writing that book, starting that company or even pursuing your own hobbies? In my experience, we are taught that as soon as we leave education it’s time to ‘join the real world’. We study something for years, we hone our craft, then when the time comes to put it into practice – we receive a resounding ‘no’. We are suddenly told to not be so idealistic, that there’s no way we could earn a living from doing what we love to do that we should give up that fantasy and get a corporate job.
Our world lies to us. We are told we can do whatever we want, told we are capable of anything. We live in a communion of broken ideologies, out-dated work ethics and corrupt systems. (No I am not going all ‘conspiracy theorist’, it’s a fact.) Out of fear more than anything else, fear of failing, we sell out and push our true interests and ambitions to the back of our mind.
Some people sacrifice the majority of their lives working for a company that do not care about them, that don’t even know their name but expect them to work themselves to the bone to no personal benefit. To make money off others, to leave every working week with a false sense of accomplishment when really they know that what they do doesn’t matter.
Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the killer of ambition: ‘it pays the bills.’
I am not naive enough to suggest that money isn’t important, of course it is. Too many of us get stuck becoming wage slaves, be it at minimum or not. The system that we have in place now makes it extremely competitive to grow inside companies. I am not saying you should give up; you should always stay motivated and hope that your work will shine above others. Realistically, people get promoted who don’t necessarily deserve to be, that’s true of all companies and sectors and it’s a real kick in the teeth.
So how do we not lose sight of who we are and what we want?
We must understand that life is not about bills. Life is not about how much money you earn. It’s not about driving a more expensive car than your neighbour. (Though if you do congratulations…you’ve won.)
Life is about doing something that makes you happy. Life is not about your job, I don’t care how many shelves you stocked last Tuesday, or how much money you made for a business. I don’t care about that bastard who sits next to you in the call centre who keeps forgetting to wear deodorant. You shouldn’t be in a panic because you were one minute late to work and your manager wouldn’t let you hear the end of it. There are much more important things.
I want to hear about the time you went to an evening life drawing class, drank too much wine and couldn’t stop giggling. I want to hear your insatiable enthusiasm when you talk about superheroes. I want to hear about when you called in sick to work, got in your car and just drove to no destination.
I want to hear your excitement when you talk about the future.
We can’t lose sight of what makes us unique, even though since we started school they attempted to squeeze that out of us. We need to trust in our own decisions, be it big or small. We need to know what we want and try not to get sucked into a routine of paydays and weekends. All those wonderful weekends that you don’t remember because you spent half of your wages on alcohol to forget about how stressed you are.
Don’t forget about that goal you want to achieve, that country where you want to live, that job title you would prefer. The moment we lose our inspiration, our motivation disappears, we live life on autopilot and we never truly feel rewarded for anything and everything that we do.
I don’t have a family to support or any risk to take from dropping what I am doing and pursuing whatever I want. So I choose to do this now before it’s too late!
I know I want to earn a life, not a living.