That Tattoo Won’t Change Your Life

by Declan Wilson

photo by Clara Araujo | Flickr

I recently heard a colleague of mine chatting about getting a new tattoo.

I’m not trying to be judgmental, but she’s the type of person who is habitually unsatisfied with her current life situation. I’ll leave it at that.

I get the sense she thinks this new tattoo is going to change her life. It will in a small way. But, a new tattoo won’t bring about the lasting happiness she is searching for. She’s not alone in this assumption.

Tattoos are the new de facto form of self-expression. Nearly 40% of millennials are inked, myself included. I got mine when I was 19 on my left shoulder blade. I thought it was cool. Nowadays, I forget that it’s even there.

To be honest, I could care less if my colleague does or does not get a tattoo. What I do care about is the ever increasing aversion to changing one’s life the right way. Getting a tat is easy. Changing your life for the better, that’s hard.

A tattoo of a Bible verse. Read it instead.

A tattoo of “Mom.” Hug her instead.

A tattoo of “Love.” Live it instead.

Whether it’s a new tattoo, a new iPhone, a new hair cut, a new car, a new lover, a new pet, a new drink, a new job, a new gym, a new show, a new house, a new habit, or an old sweater, it won’t change your life.

The only real way you can change your life, in a healthy and meaningful way, is to inspire other to change theirs. You inspire others by living a magnanimous life, one people can’t help but emulate.

Pass on the self-expression and try living with selfless-expression.


You can find more of my writings at millennialtype.com where I empower millennials to LIVE the life they desire, CREATE the things that matter, PERSEVERE over the impossible, and DREAM of a better future.

My first book, The Millennial Way, will be published this summer.