What it is to be lost

To be lost, in my mind, can mean one of two things. The first, and more common meaning, is when you are heading somewhere, you know what your destination is, but not how to get there. This version of being lost, I would argue, is the simpler of the two. Once you know your destination, finding a route is only a function of time and effort. The second, is a bit more complicated. It is when you are heading somewhere without knowing the destination. This second meaning is more difficult to figure out because there is no set formula for finding what your destination should be, that is what I would like to focus on here.

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom” — Aristotle

When I talk to other millennials, I see them divided into 2 groups, people who have their destination in mind, and those who do not. The people who have their destination in mind won’t necessarily make it, as stated above, finding your route and then following it is a function of effort and time (and probably also a little luck depending on what it is). So just because you know where you’re going, doesn’t guarantee that you will make it there. I fall into the group of those who do not know where their heading yet, and this can be both frustrating and liberating. I am by no means lazy, and I believe that this is representative of the majority of people in my age group. So what do you do when you want to work hard, but have no idea to what end? Well to be honest, like most other things, I can’t say definitively, I’m still in the middle of it. I can, however, tell you what I intend to do while I find my way.

I am in no rush to find my destination, why is this? Because I am still working on and cultivating the skills that will allow me to execute on it. Like I mentioned above; just knowing where you’re heading isn’t enough, you must be able to execute on it. In the interest of making this slightly actionable, the skills that I am talking about are really the basics of human behaviour. I am working hard at learning about the process and work that goes in to building trusting relationships, because I believe that who you know, and how well you know them, will help you just as much as what you know. I am working on my work ethic and my hustle, because anything worth having in life will have to be worked for. I am exploring, both the physical world around me (traveling), and exploring myself by always putting myself in new and unfamiliar situations. Potentially the most important, and one of the things that I struggle with the most is working on patience, not doing nothing, but working hard and not expecting to see any result for a very long time.

“Know yourself. Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” — Ann Landers

I, as with most people growing up in the digital age, have trouble with patience. Ever since I can remember, anything I have wanted to know has only been a few clicks away. This has become even more exaggerated in the past few years. Want to watch a T.V. show? You can binge watch the whole thing right now, a relationship? Only a swipe away, a job? Only a profile away, etc... There is no arguing the benefits and efficiency of technology, but with it there is also a downside. I would argue that this downside is the lowering of patience in this generation, relationships, happiness and financial success are things that traditionally take years to cultivate, not hours. Technology, has definitely sped up some of them a little, but it has also made our expectation for how fast things should be extremely unreasonable. Patience is in rare supply and when trying to find our way I would argue it is among the most valuable traits to possess. One day of hard work will never yield long term results. I believe that patient and consistent effort is the name of the game when it comes to anything worth having.

“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” — Napoleon Hill

If I knew exactly where I was going right now, I honestly don’t know if this version of me would make it. Like most people my age I’ve got a lot to work on, and those things may or may not be the difference in determining whether I am successful or not. For now I think it is important to always be learning and growing. That might mean different things to different people, it could mean working hard in school, or working hard on a new entrepreneurial venture, or any number of other things. For me it means working on the things that I believe will be of the most use to me when I do finally figure out where I’m heading, and like a funnel the closer I get to finding my destination the more I will focus my learning. For now, however, I will be always growing. I will continue to keep an open mind about people and about the world, I will take advantage of any and all opportunities that come my way, and all the while I will be patient and trust that I will find my way when I need to.

“Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.” — Saadi Shirazi