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The right path?

Updated: May 4

"After you graduate you have to go to university and then you need to find a job!"

"You cannot fail."

"Doesn't matter, if you like it. You need to pass your exams and get good grades, find a job, and have a bright future."

"You need to go into this degree because that's where you will have a good salary."

"You need to go into this degree because that's where you will have a good salary."

Does any of these sound familiar?

It seems like from a young age we are told what to do and where do we need to go. Our lives are already planned out and it is a path accepted by society. And if we don't get it right the first time, we failed and are met with disappointing tones and/or faces.

Well...that's not how REALITY works. In real life, people try and fail. They sometimes don't know what they want and need to try something out to figure it out. Sometimes they need help from others to figure out what they want. The truth is, no one has it right the first time and there is no perfect and right way to do anything! "The path of your life is not linear". Here are the stages of understanding and living by that statement based on my experience:

Stage 1: The image of the perfect life.

When growing up I was told how life is supposed to go. Graduate high school, go to university, get a job, a house, and start a family. I was down for that plan. It seemed so comfortable, secure, and stable. Why wouldn't I want that? I had it all figured out: I would graduate from uni by the time I was 23, then I would find a job and by the time I am 25 I will have my own business, house, and happy family.

Stage 2: Working according to plan

Fast forward in my life, I was going according to my plan. I graduated high school and applied to university. Got accepted and packed my bags to go. I chose a Marketing program because my mom had studied the same thing and I thought I will like it also. I was very excited and my family was happy. I was starting my adult life and going forward on the path to success. Or so I thought…

Stage 3: Reality hit

Here I am in my first months of university, rolling and enjoying. 2 months in, it turned out it was a lot harder than I thought and was used to. Also, I did not enjoy many of the subjects. One in particular was math. I was not prepared to have math at all and it was a surprise to see it in my curriculum. I had a lot of paperwork to work on and not enough time nor motivation to go on. After the 1st semester, I understood that this program is not for me and knew I won't make it. I didn't tell my parents yet. I waited until the very end of the school year to tell them and in the meantime, I was indulging in parties and socializing.

I ended up changing universities, choosing a different program (in IT), and moving to another city. After my first year in the new program, I understood that this is also not something I like but when I told my parents, their response was "you have to finish it this time and get a diploma". So I persevered and pushed through, got my diploma, and a good job in IT. One year in the job, I understood that I am not for the IT field what so ever and it was affecting me very bad mentally and physically. Then I quit my job.

Which leaves me to Stage 4.

Stage 4: Rewind

I call this stage the Rewind because, in it, I have to go back and re-evaluate everything. I take a deep dive into myself and figure out WHAT DO I REALLY WANT TO DO WITH MY LIFE? This stage also involves other people. This is because you have to tell your inner circle, the ones that were next to you in all the previous stages, that the initial plan does not work for you anymore and you need to do things differently. This can be met in different ways. Some people might act as if they didn't hear you and be surprised every time you want to share news about it. Others will be understanding and supportive. You might also hear from some that this is complete nonsense and everyone suffers in life, so you should too. So it can be hard for you to cope with some of these reactions as you would like for people that are closest to you to understand and support you. Unfortunately, it doesn't always happen.

Depending on how you take these reactions, you could get convinced to go back to Stage 2 and try to make it work. Eventually, however, I do believe that you WILL end up moving forward to Stage 5 When you try to make something work and it clearly doesn't (for different reasons), there will be a breaking point when you will be forced to admit it doesn't work and to start seeking what makes you happy. This can happen either by a "burn-out" or by a forced measure by your external environment (either a person or an event). This is the universe's way to show you that you cannot escape who you are and what you are really meant to be.

Stage 5: Working according to the NEW plan…possibly

This is not the stage where you have it all figured out and you are surfing on the smooth wave in life. Stage 5 is about trying out what you have figured feels right for you at that moment. Here is where you explore the opportunities that you think fit you. Which can have a bad or a negative outcome. That means that you sometimes will "take one step forward, only to take two steps back". And that is ok! What makes it ok is the fact that you are in control of your life and you are putting the effort into your wellbeing. Not because someone told you, but because you chose it. What is most important in this stage is the progress and that you are moving towards something that YOU decide. This also can be a very hard stage because this is where you might find yourself "unlearning" everything that you have been thought before. This unlearning is caused by the clash of your own personal beliefs and intuition with the facts and beliefs you have been raised with. It is a very powerful experience, which you have the power to go through. Let yourself shine and the world will enjoy it.

Also, do note that you cannot reach Stage 4 or 5 until you have gone through Stage 1 to 3. They all are there for a reason and contribute to your development and shine.

This post was inspired by @JayShettyGenius

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