When I graduated high school in 2006, I pictured myself in a completely difference scenario in 2014. I thought I would have a wife, a kid or two and possibly living in a different state. Just didn’t end up being that at all. I’m single, no children and a daily commuter for work. I’m also doing video and photography on a professional level. Way beyond what I thought I would do at age 18. – I wanted to be a recording engineer. – Now I write and record music in my free time and have progressed very well in it.
As much as we want to plan our life, there is an important part of that plan that involves self discovery. We have to pursue things we are interested in not only through our education, but in our free time. We need time to experiment and figure what the heck we are actually good at. Beyond that, what really makes us happy. Even if it’s not our day job.
The Wright Brothers
Most of us have heard the name. The Wright Brothers pioneered flight for the entire human race. We are aware of who they are and that specific accomplishment, but how did it even happen? What compelled them to take on such a risky challenge?
We were lucky enough to grow up in an environment where there was always much encouragement to children to pursue intellectual interests; to investigate what ever aroused curiosity. – Orville Wright
Their journey was one built on curiosity. They constantly were encouraged to seek and understand things they were attracted to. As children their father brought home a small toy helicopter. That was the initial spark of a long journey for them. As they grew up their wonder for how things worked grew. Both of the Wright Brothers actually dropped out of high school to start a printing business. From there a weekly newspaper and even a bicycle company. All those things leading up to finally pursuing flight through years of research, countless experiments and crashes.
They also were not the only people in the race for being the best in aviation. There were patent battles, countless upgrades in technology and many models of planes created to be “the best.” Their journey was full of mistakes, bad choices and drama, but it was one they wanted to endure.
The Wright Thing to do.
So what is the “Wright” thing to do?
It means that we have to live a life of curiosity. Just because you graduated college or have been working a good job for a few years doesn’t always mean it’s what you are destined to do. It also doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pursue things you are passionate about in your free time. Sometimes it takes all of your being to commit to something, but for the most part the payoff is big. It may not be financial, but it changes you. It teaches you that the improbable is possible if you want it bad enough.
It also means that life is never mistake free. Especially when risks are involved. You invest time, energy, emotion and sometimes money into things you are crazy in love with. You have to come to terms with the idea that failure will happen more often than you anticipate.
Where you start isn’t always where you end up. The chances of you staying in the same job your entire life is highly unlikely. So since you may be making some changes, where do you want to be? Where do you want to invest your time and money? Why not invest in something that fuels your curious fire? Plans will change. Interests will evolve. Be willing to adapt and keep moving forward. You can’t do everything at once. Be willing to let go of old things to make room for new ones.
Do your research. Just because mistakes are inevitable, doesn’t mean we can’t prevent some of them. Be smart about what you are doing. If you can save some money, figure out how. If you can do it better or faster make that happen too. Knowledge is power when it comes to getting to where you want to go.
Make more friends than enemies. Try not to burn bridges. Getting help from others can make or break a lot of your success. Sometimes it’s who you know and who respects you that makes all the difference.
Have gratitude. Being thankful goes a long way. Success is a big deal. That’s something to celebrate. Perhaps something could have ended up worse. Be glad it didn’t. When times are good be grateful. When times are bad be grateful they aren’t worse. Be grateful in every step of your path of self discovery. Finding what it is you are destined to do is a path of honor. Not everyone has the courage to pursue that.