It’s easy to lose yourself in your travels. You are but one person in a world where only the strong survive. There’s power in numbers, and being a loner will only keep you on the fringes for as long as you live. Solitude will never let you climb the social ladder; get to be as rich, famous or important as you think you deserve to be; nor will it help you achieve all of those dreams you’ve held for so long. We know what it takes to succeed in this world — we see it in the people we place on pedestals: the ruthlessness; the decisiveness without worry of consequences; the willingness to do whatever it takes to make yourself a success.
But does that make it right to become like these people in order to achieve your goals?
There are going to be times in all of our lives where we’ll wish we were somebody else. It’s easy to wish that things were easier for you than they currently might be — we dream of things like having enough money to solve all of our problems, or being high enough on the totem pole at work to make all the decisions needed to make work a better place.
It’s easy to wish and it’s easy to dream — what’s hard is finding solutions to your problems using what you already have and by being who you already are.
The secret to success in your life is already realized in the statement itself — it’s your life; only you can live it and solve your problems. The solutions that worked for your family, friends, coworkers, enemies and the strangers you see might not do the same for you. Life simply isn’t that cut and dry. Instead, life is the sum of innumerable factors, making each and every one of us very individual and very unique. You’re going to have to find your own paths and answers to your questions in order to succeed and make it count.
Which is precisely why following the urge to be just like others are and to do what others do won’t work for you.
So what we must remember is this — for many of us, our teenage years were a long time ago, and we need to stop acting like we haven’t learned a thing or two since then. Trying to fit in at the cost of your own individuality and identity gains you nothing — if you can’t be successful in the world by being yourself, it’s probably not you who needs to change — it’s usually just time to pack your bags and find a new world! I know plenty of people who didn’t really find themselves until after they left high school, or those who found that finding a better job did wonders for their outlook on the rest of their lives.
So if you haven’t defined who you are and the world in which you wish to live, it might be time to take another look at things. There’s a whole world of possibilities out there; why let yourself get bent out of shape over just one???
–Casey E. Palmer