I came to a realization today that I don’t view success the same way that most other people do. My goals seem to be significantly different then those of most other people that I know. This doesn’t make me any better or worse then anybody else…just a bit different. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is purely a matter of opinion.
In my previous post, I talked about living in the matrix, and that you actually have a choice whether or not you will continue to live in the matrix. By ” living in the matrix”, I mean living and conforming to the “rules” of society. I put the word rules in quotations, because they aren’t necessarily written rules. Rather, they are just things that are considered to be normal, hence the term “social norms”.
Some examples of social norms are:
– Work hard
– Get a good job
– Be a productive member of society
– Get married
– Have kids
– Buy a nice home in a nice neighborhood
– Have a lot of nice things
Those are some basic goals that many people aspire for in order to become what society would deem successful. Having the goal to achieve any or all of those things is great so long as those are the things that you truly want.
Realize that what society tells you that you want and what you really want may not always be the exact same thing.
I was on the path to achieving all of the things on that list above, because I was told that I wanted those things. Society told me that I wanted to graduate college, get a good full-time job, get married, have kids, and spend the remainder of my life that way. So why didn’t any of that ever feel right to me? Why did it feel so wrong when I was engaged? Why was I miserable at my old job? Why do I sometimes feel that owning a home keeps me attached to this one area? Why is my answer to the question ‘what would you do if you won the lottery?’ a pretty straightforward answer – nothing really, other then be happy that I don’t have to worry about bills anymore and pick up the tab much more often.
The only thing that I actually really want from that social norms list is to have kids one day. I really have no desire to ever get married, get a good job, have a nice home in a nice neighborhood, or have lots of nice things. I do want kids though, and one day I will. Other then that, I want
I had a great girlfriend who eventually became my fiancee. I was also making very good money at my job, allowing me to buy my own house and pay for it all by myself without the need of a spouse or roommates. Even with the house, my bank account just kept growing and growing. I had more expendable cash then I knew what to do with.
None of that felt right to me though. I had to break up with my girlfriend, because I truly wanted to be single and free again. I eventually came to the realization that I also had to quit my job as well, because it was so extremely unfulfilling and was causing me some serious bordem in my life. It wasn’t even another job that I wanted; I could feel that. My true desire was to become self-employed; it didn’t occur to me right away, but deep-down I knew that was the path that I needed to follow.
What I truly wanted my life to look like was to be a free man with no one to tell me what to do. That meant that I needed to let my girlfriend go. It also meant that I needed to give up my reliance on having a job. Each of those things just felt so right when I did them. Becoming single again after 7 years of being in a commited relationship was a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I felt the same feeling the day I quit my job as well.
Instead of abiding by the social norms, and pursuing what I was told that I wanted. I instead decided to pursue the things that I really wanted. It feels much more right this way.
I really have no clue what lies ahead in the future, but I do know for certain that I’m on the right path.
– My website is coming along very nicely
– I wrote 3 eBooks.
– I spend at least a half hour a day strategically placing links to my website all over the Internet.
– My band is doing great and constantly picking up new gigs.
– I’m consistently training Jiu-jitsu multiple days per week in an attempt to achieve my black belt within 10 years or so. I will teach Jiu-Jitsu once I become a black belt
– I’m going to be signing up for a public speaking group called Toastmasters because I will be doing paid speeches one day in the near future.
All of these things just feel so much more right then the socialogical plan of “get a job and get married like everybody else”. Some of what I do results directly in making money, while some of the other things I do haven’t actually made me a single dollar yet (rather they actually cost me money). Regardless, everything I do makes much more sense to me then what I was doing before.
Doing What Nobody Else Does
To me, the way I spend my days and the path that I am on seems perfectly normal, but it occured to me just how abnormal this path may be perceived by others. I mean, once I started looking into taking public speaking classes, I thought to myself “Who does this? I don’t even have a job, or any reason to develop the skill of public speaking. In fact, I always was terrified of giving speeches and presentations back when I was in school.” Yet, when the idea occured to me to begin taking public speaking classes, I got extremely excited.
My reasoning behind the excitement stemmed from the fact that if public speaking is something I was always scared of doing, then most likely it is something that lots of other people are also scared of doing as well. Considering the fact that my goal is to be successfully self-employed, it makes sense to enter into a field where the competition is low. All I need to do is simply get over my little fear of public speaking, get good at giving speeches, and then find a way to begin getting paid to speak. It has been done before. I can do it too.
Another seemingly abnormal thing that I do is take a serious ass-whooping almost everyday of my life in my Jiu-jitsu classes. My shoulders hurt. My elbows hurt. Today I woke up and I couldn’t really move my wrist. I purposely do this to myself multiple days per week. However again, I have my reasons for doing so. Not only do I find Jiu-jitsu to be a much more fun way to work out then doing something like jogging, but I also would like to teach it one day. In order to become “certified” to teach, it requires me to take consistent ass-whoopings several days per week for close to 10 years. So I show up day in and day out, and I take my ass-whoopings with the vision of the end goal in mind.
How do you know if you are on the right path?
I don’t know if my path is any better or worse then anyone elses. All I know is that I have a vision of one day becoming a guy who makes a six-figure salary through a combination of playing music, teaching Jiu-jitsu, public speaking, and Internet marketing. I could just as easily make a six-figure salary by doing what many others do and simply work for other people. However that doesn’t feel right to me. I just don’t want to do that. Therefore, it’s not the right path.
The right path is determined by what feels right. That’s really the best that I can explain it.
I could be mistaken, but I do believe that the right path is the one that very few others take. It’s the one that deep down you know is right, but everyone and everything in your external world is causing you to resist it. Determine what that path is, ignore the resistance, and follow that path. Not many people do that.