Before anything, I would like to bring something to your attention!
This is literally how today’s young generation feels almost on a daily basis but here is the rather interesting part; absolutely no one imposed this urge of treating life like a competition on us. It is not scripted anywhere that we have to go through this feeling of comparing how fast we are putting things together in our different lives, it is just a point of view that is growing with us and sadly this feeling is subjecting us to unnecessary mental and physical pressure – literally driving us nuts!
“I never feel this way. I never get bothered by whatever is going on in other people’s lives” – Pssh! That is one straight up lie. I admit that occasionally, especially when my plans don’t go as expected, pressure builds up inside of me and there is this constant voice that tells me ‘you are about her age. Look at how far she has gone! Will you ever put your life together?’
Hold that thought for a second!
I have been both stranded and comfortable with my life and career strides and these are two key pointers to what I would say attribute to a good career journey. But hey, these are my views, we definitely learn more along the way, okay?
Do not be afraid to try something different until you find what it is that makes you happy. (The outcome might actually startle you!)
Try this, ask anyone you meet along the way to mention what they think are the top traits they would prefer to have. I bet you will get an integrity, truthful, hardworking, but a magical trait that I bet will change your life, and that is rarely mentioned is ‘open mindedness’.
How many times have you been devastated after something went the exact opposite of how you had planned for it? Trust me, I have an experience with that, you can read about it in the DeKUT Spotlight feature here. But what percentage of us actually get back on the journey with the same energy to achieve the same goal even after failing once (or more than once – you know how life sometimes is)? Not that many of us!
Why do I say that having an open mind can work magic in your life?
Let us think about where it all starts. From a young age, we start thinking about our future, start making career decisions, selecting courses to do and career areas to specialize in. And sometimes, that decision is not always clear or obvious. But hey, no pressure!
Pause for a second, did I just say no pressure! – yes I did – My secret is that this age we are in is where we try and figure out what path our lives take, I call it the Trial-and-Error phase. I bet you already see where I am going with this so let me keep it short. Try it all – and have fun while at it, fail in whatever was not meant for you, and succeed in what was preserved for you.
It’s perfectly okay if you do not know what you want to do yet. But until you do, consider sometimes doing what needs to be done to take the next step, even though it’s not always what you want – but this will not be the case forever.
Robert Kiyosaki, the author or Rich Dad, Poor Dad once said in an interview that a problem with today’s generation is that we are very fanatical about doing what we love and we forget that to achieve ultimate and long term success and beat all odds, sometimes you have to do even what you do not love, as long as it brings some result that you can use to build stepping stones and create a path to your dream. I do not imply that you should give up on your passion – absolutely not! On the contrary, I strongly advocate for pursuing your passion since this only increases your success, but in case, just in case you are not able to get it at first, open yourself up to something else that is achievable and within your reach.
When you fail to get your initial goal, get up, dust yourself and get your head back in the game. Circumstances come and go, but your dream and vision stays with you forever! I know it’s worth fighting for, don’t you believe that?
Your path/journey is not designed to resemble anyone else’s.
Look at it this way, twins (identical) may have everything in their lives being undifferentiated, including outward appearance, life opportunities, challenges, education level, but regardless, they end up leading very different lives. Now, instead of looking at it from a perspective that implies one failed and the other succeeded, how about both of them not failing but just working towards different destinies?
So, back to the “not-a-meme” at the beginning of this article, the pressure that we put on ourselves is uncalled for and here is why. If you ever feel like your friends and age mates are making larger strides in life than you, remember this: the fact that the odds are not fair in life makes it more of your success being due than a failure. Having already mentioned this, let us get further down this road.
Do not let your background or current struggles limit the strides you make in life towards your goal. Here is something inspiring that my mentor shared with me recently: Bernad Mulobi started off as a fisherman and is now a software engineer at Microsoft. There is a great possibility that he saw a lot of his peers leading different lives and what inspires me the most was that regardless, he did make whatever he had work for him at the moment. (Trust me, if you have skipped his story, it’s worth reading 😜)
Bottom line, the life road is not evenly set out for everyone, so do not beat yourself up when person A is making huge unstoppable strides in their lives as compared to you. More important to have in mind is that what works for you, might not work for me at all. So the biggest task is to actually figure out what works in your favor, then dedicate your whole self to take advantage of it.
There is a slogan I live by: “They say do not compare yourself with others. I tend to see it slightly differently. I will most definitely compare myself to others only because that helps me get out of my comfort zone and pushes me to strive to be a better version of me. But once I start getting the feeling that I am not good enough, once comparing myself to others makes me hate myself and I feel the imposter syndrome kicking in – Uh Uh, that is where I draw the line! – Can never be me!”
Here is what I believe: no matter how our generation looks, we are still going to be successful. Not on the same day, not doing the same job, not following the same path, but we will be happy and successful and sharing memes, hopefully not like the “not a meme”, while we are in our 60s and beyond.
By Julia Muiruri
A Tech Mentor and a Co – Founder of Rhions Lab.