The young man spent his whole life trying to impress other people. He always got straight A’s in school for his parents, worked hard in college to find a stable job for his future family and put in overtime at the office for his boss. At times he would think to himself how much he didn’t enjoy the path his life was on, but he dismissed the thought quickly because he was “doing well” in the view of society.
He kept his head down for a few years staying on track in his career, completing graduate school and putting his life’s energy into a job that he wasn’t passionate about. Some days he would come home from work and feel the need to escape from the reality of what his life had become. He would waste nights thinking back to how much he missed the free time he had in college, watching countless television shows or playing hours of video games. Thousands of dollars would be spent on electronics, trips to see friends and eating out to try and make him happy enough to forget his grueling, boring day job.
The man would lie down in bed after the long day was over and think, “I feel like I am just treading water in the middle of a giant ocean.” His life was not going in the direction that he ever thought it would and he didn’t see any way out. By living a life based on other people’s expectations he had created a life that felt like a prison cell. He was trapped and needed to escape.
He tried to shadow other people’s jobs within his company to find something that he was interested in but he never found anyone that had a job he wanted. He thought about going back to school to study film or trying to learn how to make video games. After trying them both he realized he just enjoyed consuming those things, not making them. The young man felt as though he would be stuck doing the same miserable job for the next forty years if he didn’t escape soon.
Then one day he decided to make a change. All his life he knew his passion was helping people, but he never actually spent time doing it. He would spout off that what he really wanted to do was “make the world a better place” and yet he wasn’t spending any of his time doing that now. How would he ever become the person he wanted to be if he didn’t work on it every day?
So he started helping others. He began to write about how people can improve their lives and shared it with everybody he knew. He started meeting people online that are in the same boat as him and want to escape their own jobs. He always said yes when people needed help with something.
Over time he began to feel like his life was changing for the better. Waking up early to work, he would write his thoughts for the world to read and spend the evenings letting as many people know about it as he could. Weekdays that used to drag on now flew by. There was always something more he could work on to reach a larger audience, write better content or work on something valuable to his readers. When he gave a speech to a small audience of students at a local university on his topic of interest he felt more alive than he had in years.
The figurative ocean the young man was treading water in was getting smaller. He could see the shore and there were many people on it cheering for him to reach it. He was no longer swimming alone, but with others by his side. He was so close to being free of the chains of his cubicle that he could almost feel it.
The young man is me. This is my story. This is my life. I am changing my course and working hard every day to reach the destination.
What is your story? What is your destination? Why aren’t you working right now on getting there? Go. Do what you know you need to do today to reach your dreams. There may always be another time to do something, but you might not always be around to see it.