Photo by S Migaj from Unsplash
It’s no secret that our twenties are a confusing time for all of us. As long as we’re breathing, we will always have that nagging voice inside our heads that symbolizes the struggle of finding the right balance of things. The moment we reach the second decade of our lives, suddenly a majestic wave of advice and lecture will come at us from “adults” who project their insecurities and doubts on us.
They preach to us what should and what shouldn’t be done, tell us what we’re capable of and what we shouldn’t risk doing. Whether we like to admit it or not, most of these adults are very close and dear to us. These are the people who have known us since we were a baby and apparently have witnessed our journey to mistakes, opportunities, and life-changing experiences. It’s hard to compete with someone who knows you more than you know yourself.
It’s the perception of others, not ours, that makes the whole decision-making process troublesome and problematic. We worry more about pleasing others with our life choices than fulfilling our wants and needs. For instance, the reason we get trapped into associating with the wrong people in our teenage years because we chase the general society’s idea of fun (which most likely involve risky activities such as drinking, doing drugs, cutting classes, etc.)
If we don’t do any of these things, we are labeled as a prude, a child, or a boring person, and as teenagers, we don’t want that to happen. The same goes with what degree program to choose or what job fits well with our skills — everybody can make commentaries about other people’s lives but that doesn’t mean you should. When the joy of choosing for yourself is taken away from you, it causes you to spiral down to your anxious thoughts.
If you want to prioritize your career first then getting married, people will judge you for postponing your purpose as a woman to be a wife and a mother over your aspirations and dreams. Another example is when you choose to start saving money for your start-up business over helping your siblings pay their debts that they are in because of their own accord, you are a terrible, selfish, daughter/son and sister/brother. People love to make up these crazy assumptions that quickly turn into biased judgments towards your choices as if they know what to do if you’d switch places. They don’t even know how to take charge of their own.
SHOULD YOU WORK FOR YOUR DREAM NOW OR WAIT FOR YOUR DREAM TO WORK OUT FOR YOU?
This is the million-dollar question that everyone in his twenties has been finding answers to. Well, to be frank, there is no clear, reputable answer to this question. It depends on who’s asking and at what point in life he’s standing on. But if you’re to think about it, the ideal answer is to: Do whatever is right at its right time. But that’s not so easy to do, right?
How can you possibly know that this particular move is right and exactly when to execute it? How would you know if you’re even ready to do such action at that exact time? A lot of people find it hard to risk is because they think they can wrap life around their little fingers. Most of us think life and its many surprises can be figured out in a couple of years, and that’s why you take it for granted.
“I’M ALREADY IN MY TWENTIES” VS. “I’M STILL IN MY TWENTIES”
This dilemma has been keeping young adults at night even before we were born. We’re constantly conflicted between taking it easy because we’re still so young and we have a lot yet to figure out and doing so much because we don’t want to regret anything when we’re old and grey. The reason we are always in a hurry is we want to make the most out of life while we are young, able, quick, and free. While we’re blessed with so much time and energy, we’re more than eager to prove to our parents or any figure of authority we look up to that we can stand on our own two feet.
Many people in their twenties are conflicted between enjoying it since it will only come around once or take advantage of it by working on their financial freedom. The truth is, there are so many pieces of advice out there that we think we need but actually don’t. Most of these wise counsels just confuse us even more and lead us towards the wrong decisions. It’s incredibly important to find a balance between rejoicing in your youth and not overworking yourself. We don’t know what the future will hold, but it will surely not be a good one if you’re not taking care of yourself since day one.
THE POWER OF PATIENCE
One funny notion about success is when people think they can achieve any dream if they work hard and fast enough before anyone can take it away from them. Build your empire one day at a time. As the cliché line goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you’re always in a hurry to show everyone your potential for success, the tendency is you will breed the poison of arrogance in yourself.
You go way overboard by proving to others that you can perform at your peak every day (and we all know that’s just going to lead you to more harm than good). Patience is the ability to carry out a positive disposition and attitude while waiting. This is a trait that not everybody has, and this is what’s keeping them from being successful. Let time take its course and believe in your efforts to get this far.
WHAT’S MEANT TO BE WILL ALWAYS BE
Contrary to this, it takes more than hard work and speed to succeed. Even if you’re the smartest and most persistent student on the honor list, that doesn’t mean you get to bag the first honor rank. Whether we admit it or not, this is where the infamous idea of destiny takes place.
Even if you don’t believe in such a thing, you might have experienced one or two instances when you knew in your gut you should be the one who won or got promoted because you’re everything more than your opponents, but still, you didn’t. Regardless if you believe in destiny or not, the notion of fate can be interpreted in so many ways, and sadly, because one is obsessed with understanding the ins and outs of the implications of something, they can get carried away.
HARD WORK VS. DESTINY
In this dilemma, there is a duality between the people who choose to work hard and not believe in destiny and those who don’t work hard enough because they believe it’s not all hard work and perseverance. It is important to strike a balance between belief and execution. If you’re the former, remember not to overwork yourself to the point of burnout because you can’t control everything. You can’t dictate what the judges will think of you nor can you manipulate the feelings of other people towards you.
If you do not believe in destiny, then believe that you are only one of the seven billion people living on this earth and you cannot change someone else’s life except yours. On the flip side, if you are the latter who believes in destiny so much that you tend to downplay the significance of hard work and consistency, put in mind that fate can be interpreted in various ways, and if you rely solely on your understanding on the scheme of things, you might not get very far from where you should be.
You think you’re destined for greatness but your mind is not in the present. You’re not showing up in class or at work and you’re setting your priorities straight. Your actions are completely opposite from your mind. No matter what you think, a dream is only a dream when there’s no work involved. If you believe you are fated to be a millionaire in your thirties without planning or executing any action, then spend the rest of your life believing, not being.
THE BEGINNING IS ALWAYS THE HARDEST
Don’t get discouraged by the fraught feeling you experience when you first try out something you haven’t before. No one became a master on his first try, not even on his one-thousandth try. If you want to achieve your dreams badly, it will show in the determination you have in the first few hundred attempts. If you wait for the gray clouds to clear, for everyone to cheer you on and say “you can do it,” you’ll be a sore loser who always needed to have that push in the back. You’ll be someone who never believed in his capability to do the job and his capacity to adjust when he makes lapses.
START PLANNING TODAY
If you have a dream so big, it’s normal to feel like it’s a long shot. You get overwhelmed by the fears that come to haunt you in your imagination, and you let these voices sidetrack you from seeing who’s truly in power here — YOU. People tend to overthink the entire process before it has even started. As a way of preparing themselves for the worst, they intentionally plant obstacles and dwell on worst-case scenarios and finally spend the time which they should be allotted for preparation of new strategies and habits to solve imaginary problems. If you want to get ahead of yourself, you need to start now. Put that plan into action.
Time is fleeting, and no matter what you’re going through in life, it won’t stop for anybody. As scary as that sounds, know that you’re the one always in the move. That means you can change the quality of your day, the acceleration of your speed and efficiency in doing tasks, the way you communicate with other people — everything is under your control. Work now and start building something tangible out of your dreams, but be patient to see results. You may not know when success will happen, but if you’re doing the work, it’s guaranteed that it will happen. Otherwise, if you continue to make excuses by wasting your time on things that don’t matter, you will never succeed.
“One of the paradoxes of life is that being impatient often makes it harder to achieve something. As with any skill, you get better at manifesting the more you practice.”Simon Foster