Sometimes you’ll find people who are studying to be a doctor or a lawyer because of their parents. This type of pigeonholing has no restrictions to career or profession, nor is it restricted to social class. It happens all across the board. A lot of the time it happens because of stereotypes based on who you are or where you grew up. It’s society’s way of trying to fit you into a little box. DON’T LET IT HAPPEN! Your own individuality is unique, and I’m not trying to pull a Gen X parent and say “everybody is special.” Let’s face it, when everybody gets a trophy then no one is special anymore. But that’s not the argument here.
Expressing your own individuality can be done even if society tries to stuff you in a box. Only you can decide how hard you want to work, how much effort to put into any endeavor and what rewards you want to reap. This philosophy can be applied to both school and work. People who create their own path are rewarded with a sense of being more successful than those who let others drive them in one direction. Here are three basic tips to get out of the passenger side and into the driver’s seat of your own life:
Recognizing that you are not in control at the moment and knowing what you want out of life are important. Self-awareness is the most important key to carving your own path in life. It’s similar to 12-step programs in that admitting to the problem is the first step. Admitting the situation you are in is the fist step.
Step by step detail on how you want to achieve your own goals. If you’re someone like me, you plan steps within those steps just to make sure you’re going to hit the mark. If you’re trying to escape the box of stereotypes, it should be painfully aware to you that it won’t be easy, nor can it be done overnight. Plan accordingly and create options for yourself.
Go back and look over what you have learned from your planning and what you have tried. If something has failed, try to figure out why it failed and learn to make it work. If something was successful, try to replicate that into your next step.
The most important thing you can do however is to be true to yourself. Don’t be afraid to become something society tells you that you can’t be. If you think you have it in you then go for it. Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss you will land among the stars.
By the way, I know it’s not often I get incredibly serious about an entry topic, after all I like keeping them light and humorous. Sometimes, however, it just needs to be said because it actually does happen that people try to control who you are and what you can become. Whatever you do, do it for yourself and don’t let the constraints of society keep you boxed in. Remember these lyrics from the greatest song to come out of the 90’s by R.Kelly, “If I can see it, then I can do it. If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it.” If that song can help Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny overcome all odds and win the ultimate game, then it can certainly help you.
Questions? Ideas or Suggestions? Follow me on twitter @ChrisComella or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image courtesy of Google Images “Career Path”