The Stress of Finding Your Path

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

The mind of a child is magic. We wake up to a day full of wonder and awe – our greatest stressors being what we’re going to play and whether or not we’re going to be able to eat that ice cream we’ve had our eye on all day. We get asked questions about our thoughts, our wishes, maybe even our dreams for the future. We smile and without skipping a beat rattle off any aspiration, no matter how far fetched it may seem to the adult, because to a child – anything is possible. That goal of being a princess, a writer, a doctor, or an MLB player isn’t a pipe dream – it’s a reachable ambition.

Then we start to “grow up.”  We reach adolescence and our belief that anything is conceivable becomes jaded by the woes of society and the negative thought patterns our peers put out there. And then it hits us. That goal we had of being a writer that we spent the first fourteen years of our lives believing we could be is no longer a prospect … and reality sets in. Well what the hell am I going to be when I grow up then? What goals are, in fact, realistic? Do I go for money? Do I shoot for status? What brings money and status anyway?

This vulnerable period of time in our lives is when we become individuals; we step into the journey of figuring out the ever-feared question, “WHO AM I?” Psychologically we’re forging the path of our existence through connections/relationships, formulating our own ideals and morals, and, once again, devising these goals for ourselves – all however from a more realistic, egocentric space.

The pressure we face to become something GREAT, to prove ourselves to those around us, to make “enough” money some day, may begin in adolescence but does it not carry into our adult lives?

What are your goals?

What will you become?

Are you good enough?

What makes you successful?

What is “enough?”

Man. We put A LOT of stress on ourselves to reach for things that I don’t believe we even really want to reach. And in some cases, don’t even know what we’re reaching for.

During that adolescent stag, having “goals” turned into only establishing a career path, success became having money, and happiness became obsolete. As adults, we work so hard to achieve more and get more and do more … and why? What exactly is it that we’re working toward here? Where is the money going to get us? Where is the incessant stress we allow work to cause going to land us?

I notice more and more that people I come in contact with are so disheveled because they haven’t figured out what they want to “be” – or they know and they aren’t necessarily doing it for a living.

First and foremost – since when is “being” something (career wise) the only goal we should have?  Why is it that “being” something will define our happiness? Aren’t you already “being” now? Even without a career title that’s a pipe dream from childhood?

You’re a person. Who is living an existence with profound potential to do things with your life. But DOING things with your life doesn’t mean it has to be your career nor does it mean you’re not achieving anything because it’s not.

Ever think that working is just a means to pay bills and eat? Why does the job have to DEFINE you?

What about the person who works an entry level job that they tolerate, but when he/she isn’t working they’re building homes for the needy and making it so 100 more people a year have a warm place to lay their head during the horrific winters? Or perhaps when they’re not working third shift, they’re running a program to help kids who experienced trauma find their peace? Why aren’t THOSE goals? To make positive change in others’ lives? Why are the only goals we set around money and where to find it?

It’s our belief as a society that a career title creates a man, and that that career is somehow the only important goal.

My point is – we knock ourselves down so many pegs because we all haven’t figured out exactly what it is that we want to do with our lives – and much of that is based on a job title or career path. Sometime we have to be reminded that maybe the things we want to do in life are far more than that – such as spreading kindness through volunteering, or awareness in a cause we believe in, or fighting for human rights, or teaching less fortunate kids how to read, or picking up trash around our neighborhoods. Maybe our "career" is there as a means of income to support our goals.

Maybe our truest job isn’t the one we get paid to do.

This post is for those of you out there who feel like you’re not where you want to be yet; for those of you who feel like you don’t do enough; or feel like you haven’t achieved anything in your life.

I want you to look at all of the things that you’ve done for others in the past, whether it’s carrying an old ladies groceries to her car, or donating money to a charity, or any seemingly tiny act of kindness. And know that those are the things that are important. THOSE acts are goals. And you should recognize that.

Ease up on yourself for the future – what makes you happy? What makes you feel super good during your day? And how can you expand on THAT?

What is one thing you can do every day to work toward THAT goal – or if you DO know what “you want to be when you grow up” it never hurts to ask yourself each and every day if the things you do move you toward that goal or further away from it.

And if you really want to manifest your heart out – remember what it was that you wanted to be when you were a kid – that magical mind you had that told you anything was possible. You may not want to do the exact same thing, but what was it about that goal that made you wish for it so badly? Because you may surprise yourself with the answers you find there that just may guide you toward the path you’re seeking.

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