“Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon” – Brandt
Quotes like these often commence motivational speeches, college graduation speeches etc. … with little to no discussion about how important taking risks and making those big and small choices in life really are.
Throughout high school and college, we are all given a syllabus that says exactly when to show up, what books to purchase, what length of papers to write and in what format. There is so much structure that I can openly admit that i began to rely on a “framework” where other people told me what to do and though my success measured by how closely I followed the rules.
After graduating I soon realized one, very important fact; it was up to me now! My success was no longer determined by a semester-long course and there would no longer be mid-term or final exams to assess my progress, I alone, had to make life’s toughest decisions regarding where I would work, which goals I would pursue, where I would live, how and who I would spend my time with.
With no grades to benchmark my progress and achievements, I now needed to fill this void with the validation and blessing of others in order for me to believe that I was making the right choices. No one could “tell” me what to do. I had to be comfortable figuring it out for myself.
I also became more and more caught off guard by friends, family or coworkers unsolicited advice (who were just trying to be helpful – – I think). Especially when discussing choices for career, jobs, buying a house, guys, travelling, money etc…
Thye would often respond or interject with something like;
“If I were you, I wouldn’t …”
“At my age I look at people like you and wish so bad I could help you choose the “right” thing …”
“WOW! I could never see myself doing that …”
“Really? You’d be better doing this …”
“No one will ever be perfect, you make it work” (WORST ADVICE – – if you have a bad gut feeling about him, ditch him. You do not need to make things work.. there will be someone better, regardless of your age).
These comments are natural but the problem becomes that they can make you think your aspirations, desires and goals are “too” much. So to all of you whose comments have been so openly given, my response …
Your life is only limited to what you see possible or what you’ve seen others do in the past. Hence, why the sky is the limit.
Which causes may people to reduce their and other peoples dreams to what is right in front of them instead of making things happen. The danger with giving power to these people and their approach and thinking is that it rarely makes room for the unconventional or the unknown. You miss out on opportunity for risk-taking and it prevents people from pursuing opportunities and interest that they know and believe will make them happy.
For these reasons – – my biggest piece of advice is to take time to reflect on what is truly important to you and what you want in life. Determine what you think is best for you, to trust your gut and to boldly and confidently run with the decision even when others may not validate or understand your corse of action. We have to push past the assumption that they status quo is always safer than the contemplated risk. We must push past the idea that inaction is always better than a risky action. We must be willing to stretch and broaden the limitations that we allow our minds and other people to set for us!
In the end, it is ultimately up to YOU to make the decisions that are best for YOU!
-be honest with yourself about what you want to accomplish
-be comfortable with the fact that some people won’t support your course of action
-be open that others may not see your vision and goals for yourself