From the job that we have and the lifestyle we live, to the people we hang out with, why are we doing it? Is it what we actually want to be doing? Or is it what we think we should be doing?
Lately I’ve been having a lot of conversations with people who say they actually want to be doing one thing, but their parents, peers, society or some other external barrier are pressuring them to do otherwise.
That their dream is to be a chef and open their own restaurant, but they were pressured into taking over the family automobile business.
Many people also add that it’s much too late to go after what they really want. That they’ve gone too far down this other path to move in a new direction.
Although the stories vary in detail, the message is the same.
They aren’t doing what they want to be doing, because they feel pressured and expected to do something else instead.
And you know what?
Nobody can know what is best for you, what is right for you, except you.
Nobody can see our dreams and visions, or understand our visceral experience, like we can. Nobody can truly understand our internal state—what we hear, see and feel.
No matter how good of a storyteller we may be or how descriptive we are with our words and speech, nobody can quite comprehend our own subjective experience here.
And it’s time to stop looking around for approval, playing small and pretending that we don’t know.
Because there is no more time to waste living that way. There is no more time to waste living someone else’s dream.
There are also the people who know what they want, and know it will happen—some day, one day, at some point in the apparent future.
And we speak about the future, what we are going to do and where we are going to go with such certainty. But the truth is, absolutely nothing in the life is certain.
Except for the certainty in uncertainty.
We have the choice to always be looking forward to the next season, the next month or some distant day in the future.
Or we can start living the life of our dreams in this very moment.
That said, I think it’s important to dream and envision the future and declare our biggest and wildest hopes and dreams. But doing so is important because it changes the quality of our experience now.
The medicine of goal-setting is that it allows us to see if we’re in alignment with our dreams. If we’re thinking, speaking and truly living in a way that is in alignment with what we want to do and what kind of world we want to live in.
Because if it isn’t, we are able to so obviously see it and feel it. And therefore make any necessary adjustments. Letting go of olds ways of doing, thinking and being, and incorporating and embodying more of what we do want into our lives.
Looking to the future often brings a radical shift by changing our day-to-day, our processes and most importantly our quality of attention to the present moment.
Because when we’re working toward, shaping our future and bringing our dreams into fruition, we’re in a process that we love.
And the end goal, the actual dream, where we may or may not be five years from now becomes irrelevant.
Isn’t that so exciting?
That our happiness doesn’t live in some future job, partner or experience.
That the desired feeling of arrival, of completeness of satisfaction doesn’t exist in future time.
That it truly exists right here, right now, in the eternal unfolding of the present moment.
Without trying to sound overly morbid, any of us could not be here on this earth next week.
Knowing this, the life around us, the people around us, the job we have and the lifestyle we’re living become even more important.
I don’t believe the lack of assurance in the unknown should spark a frenzy of panic, fear or desire to get it all done.
I feel it instills quite the opposite response.
Knowing the future is unknown and that nothing lasts brings so much more light, flavor, texture and depth to our current life experience.
As it’s the only thing that truly exists.
We can cling to the illusion of certainty, and go through the expected motions of our unknown amount of days here.
Or we can show up and speak our truth. We can say no when we need to; we can say yes when it feels right.
We can live, speak and move in a way throughout our lives that makes where we may be in the future irrelevant.
Because when we find a process that we love, a job that we love and a lifestyle that makes sense to us, the quality of our lives transforms instantaneously.
Not everyone’s going to approve of our decisions; not everyone’s going to cheer us on. Heck, not everyone’s even going to like us.
And that’s okay.
Because when we’re in our truth, when we’re in our power, when we’re honoring our intuitive nature, it truly benefits everyone around us.
“As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others.”
~ Marianne Williamson
With that said, check in with yourself, question everything, ask yourself why.
And make sure your answer does not begin with because my parents, peers, society want me to.
In each and every moment we have a choice.
Honour the uncertainty and live intentionally.
Find a process that you love, and live it fully.
Author: Alexa Torontow
Editor: Toby Israel
Image: Used with permission from Grace Brown