Any Direction Is Better Than No Direction At All
I am going to preface this article by stating that not much sticks with me.
I can recite the entire “Monorail Song” from the Simpsons, I can say the alphabet backwards, and I still remember the quadratic formula, though it has not been relevant since my grade 6 unit test.
I just turned 23, and decided to write this article to share a couple of the quotes that have actually stuck with me through the years, and the reason why I continue to reflect on them on a regular basis.
“If you don’t start building your own dream, you’ll find yourself building someone else’s.”
- Anonymous (about 50 people have taken credit online)
This quote is pretty straightforward. As humans, we only have two finite resources available to us: time and energy. Our time here is finite, and our energy ebbs and flows, eventually coming to an end, which means we only have a certain amount of each to accomplish our goals. The positive side to this is that as conscious beings, we can choose how exactly we allocate that time and energy. So why put in your time and energy to build someone else’s dream, when you could spend it building your own?
Your dream may not be to start or run your own business…it may be to start a family, or to travel the world. I don’t even know what mine is. At 23, I still feel like I could be as happy being a chef, as I could be running a shoe store. That being said, it is better to be going in a direction than not going in any direction at all. I may end up in politics, wedding planning, or snake wrangling, so it’s hard for me to say “Yes I’m building my dream right now,” however, I know that any experience is good experience, and right now I think that’s as close as I can get.
“Stop saying ‘I didn’t have the time’ and say ‘I didn’t make the time’ instead.”
- Dr. Travis Bradberry
This has been one of the most critical changes I have made in my life over the past few months. Let’s be honest — if you actually want to do something, you’re going to do it. I have never been in a situation where I genuinely wanted to do something, and then simply ran out of time, said “oh well” and went to sleep.
Saying “I didn’t have the time” is simply another way of saying “I didn’t care enough to do that instead of doing x,y, or z.” Saying “I didn’t make the time” adds an element of ownership, and empowers me to say “you know what, I’m going to make the time to do this” instead of surrendering to the absurd notion that I’m not in control of what I do and when.
The biggest benefit to this change is the clarity you’ll achieve when you realize what you actually do or don’t want to do. When you own your own time, you set your own agenda instead of letting others set it for you.
Let’s say your boss asks you to complete a task for the following day, and instead of doing it, you go to the gym, cook dinner, watch Family Guy on Netflix, call your grandmother, read some of your book, and go to bed. In this case, you are making a conscious decision that all those other activities are more important than the task your boss asked you to complete, so if you acknowledge that you had time but you didn’t make time, you’ve just learned what your priorities really are, which will hopefully help to guide you in the right direction.
Like the title of this article says, “any direction is better than no direction at all.” The most important thing is to ensure that no matter where you end up, you have learnings and experiences to bring with you. We all end up going where we were meant to go in the end, so there really is no such thing as a ‘wrong direction’, only an obscured destination.
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on May 14, 2017.