Everybody has a ‘thing’. That special something they are good at. That they enjoy doing. That makes them feel satisfied and happy.
Some people are fortunate to have made a career out of their ‘thing’. Are able to earn money from it. At the very least, cover their living costs, at best, bathe in financial luxury.
I say these people are fortunate. I’m not implying lucky. They most definitely have had to work very hard to be able to utilize their ‘thing’ to make it economically viable. To turn it from maybe a hobby into something more successful.
I’m saying they are fortunate to have been able to find a way of making their ‘thing’ work for them. I would even guess that they received some sort of support in pursuit of their ‘thing’. Not all of them. But at least some.
That support, especially in their early stages, can be invaluable.
I guess what I am trying to get it here is that lack of support for most. Especially the younger people, the ones in their teens and 20’s. The time when that support matters most. The time that support could make all the difference. Especially to their future happiness.
When I was growing up the idea was you went to school, got a steady job after, stayed there the rest of your life, and were meant to be happy with that. There was this belief that a ‘secure’ job was the be all and end all. That was the tradition.
Not much has changed now. I would imagine the only difference now is you are advised to go to school, then university, then get a steady job after that. That’s the new tradition. Same as before but with a few extra years schooling, and much more debt.
To me that is a very narrow path. A very constricting path. A path to unhappiness that many young people are being almost pressured to walk. The same people who, when they reach the ages of their 30’s or 40’s, find themselves desperately struggling with the life they have built for themselves.
I understand that path. It’s the one most young adults are strongly advised to take by their peers. Parents, teachers, society in general. That path works for some. Maybe they are lucky that their ‘thing’ actually falls into the nice learning brackets provided by standard education.
That path doesn’t work for everybody. The worst of it is that if you do not walk that path, especially as a young school leaver, you are viewed as a failure. Destined to be a minimum wager. To fill some sort of menial job where you are given very little respect. That sort of early damage can have a long-term effect.
Look, I am not putting people in those positions down here. I worked those types of jobs for the majority of my life. I’m not that far off the wage those jobs offer myself and having a job is better than not having a job.
But if you are working those type of jobs be truthful, at least to yourself, about why you are there. I know I was there because I didn’t put enough effort into doing something about it. It was easy. The path of least resistance. Because I had given up on my ‘thing’.
I understand that anyone who is working that type of job may be doing the best they can do. That’s ok. That might be the ‘thing’ they are good at. We all have different roles to play in life after all.
But if you are there and you know you could do better. That’s all on you. You can’t blame the reasons you had before, the reasons that put you there, forever. If you are living you always have a chance to do something about it.
The point I am trying to make, especially to those still in their development stage. Don’t worry if the traditional route isn’t working out for you. Don’t worry even if you ‘fail’ at the standardised education. Don’t let that define who you are. What your life will be.
You know you have a ‘thing’. You know there is an impulse within you to follow a certain path. Build your life a certain way. Why not follow that?
It’s probably being smothered by everyone else’s idea of what you should be doing. You’re probably being misdirected by those around you. Those closest to you. Those whose opinions matter to you. And they are probably doing it with the best of intentions. They want you to be safe and happy. They don’t want to see you take what they perceive as risk with your future.
Bare in mind though that they have been unknowingly programmed into accepting the traditional route as the only route. As I’ve mentioned that route does work, for some. Not all.
The best advise I would give. That I give and will continue to give to my son. That all people should be giving. Especially the people of influence. Parents, teachers, leaders.
Find your ‘thing’. Work hard at it. Then work harder. Don’t give up on what you love. Keep pushing, be unrelenting. Persist long after anyone else will have given up. There will probably be people who have already made a success of the same or similar ‘thing’. Look at their example. See what it takes for you to get there too.
If your ‘thing’ is really unique. That’s almost better. You have something special to give. Something different to add to the world. For example, when I was growing up there was a guy I remember from tv. His name was Stevie Starr ‘The Regurgitator’. It was the first time I ever saw someone swallowing live goldfish and then spitting them out again, still alive! That man has toured internationally, featured on many television shows all around the world, has made a successful career out of regurgitating various items likes coins or billiard balls.
Can you imagine what opposition he must have received in wanting to pursue his ‘thing’? What his school career advisor must have said to him? What everyone must have thought?
There is a power to be found in your ‘thing’. It can lead to a life that you’ve always wanted. Find it. Live it. There you will find your best chance at happiness, at fulfillment. There lies your best hope at finding some satisfaction with life.
Don’t worry if people even find that ‘thing’ strange or unusual. It’s your ‘thing’. And the thing about your ‘thing’. It’s the best ‘thing’ for you. Just ask Stevie.