“If only I were…”, “If only I could…” – I’ve heard people say things like that thousands of times. Heck, I’ve said this thousands of times myself! We all want to be someone and something – it’s only natural. Remember how girls in your playgroup wanted to be actresses and models and boys wanted to be pilots and policemen? I bet very few of them (or none) lived up to their childhood dreams. The thing is, if you really want to be someone, you can. I won’t say that it’s all about motivation – blah, blah, blah. No, it’s about figuring out what you REALLY want from life and deciding whether you want it bad enough to make some sacrifices.
What We Think, We Become
This saying by Buddha is spot-on. We become what we think. But we also think the way we do because we are the way we are. Change your thinking and you’ll become a different person. And vice versa – a change happens in your life and suddenly you start thinking differently. And this is why your first step towards getting wherever you want to be is figuring out what you want.
Setting Your Goals
You’ll find a lot of coaches talk about setting your goals, sticking to them and making little steps towards reaching your goal every day. That’s all very well and it sounds easy enough. So why aren’t people becoming what they want to be? My answer is that they set false goals, which are not really their own but rather society’s goals. Find a good job, be successful, buy a house, provide for one’s old age. We all want that, but by no means is that so generic.
I’ve known lots of people who lock themselves in office jobs because they are too afraid to do what they really want. Some of them are talented musicians, some of them always wanted to connect with nature. My classmate worked in a bank, but he always wanted to be a ranger. But everybody agreed that wasn’t a very secure job, so he gave up his dream. He couldn’t stand working in a bank in the end, so he gave up his job and is now unemployed. I wonder if things were different if he’d followed his heart and I hope he’ll find the guts to start doing what he wants to do.
A great example of someone who understood that she was wasting her life in a job she hated is Ann Rea, a famous landscape painter from California. After graduating from art school, she chose to find a boring office job because she was too scared to become a full-time artist. I’m really glad she didn’t stick to that decision because I love her Napa Valley landscapes. Needless to say, she’s making a lot more money now than back in her office days.
So, like I said, you really need to figure out what you want from life and from yourself before you move on. And then Buddha’s principle will start working.
But What About You?
Yes, good point! What about me? Well, let me tell you my story in a few words. I graduated from a music college and started working as a piano accompanist. I loved the job, but the pay was abysmal. Torn between doing what I loved and earning well, I quit and found an office job. I lasted a week and then I left the horrid office. There was a second office job where I lasted three days. I got the gist then and started earning by giving private lessons until I found an ad online for a copywriter working remotely from home. The ad seemed legit and I applied for the job because I’ve always loved writing and got it. As you can see, I’m still in the writing business, plus I started painting and I never gave up music. I have a family, a house, a car and no debt.
So, I think the key is figuring out what YOU want, stick to it and enjoy yourself!