As unique as our fingerprints are, everyone is equipped with unique skills and abilities to scale life’s challenges and emerge a victor. We are expected to harness those abilities to lead an exceptional & fulfilling life. But sadly, this is often not the case. Often, we acquiesce to other people’s expectations, get into mundane jobs and end up getting encapsulated in a cocoon of boredom and discontent. But deep down our conscience tells us that there’s more to life; that we should be doing something more fulfilling that resonates with our desires and ambitions. So how can we go beyond the average and live meaningful lives? Here are a few nuggets
1. Follow Your Passion
What burns inside you that you cannot wait to get out of bed in the morning and hit the ground running? When I joined Campus I had no idea what I wanted to pursue, so I settled for what my parents suggested; Mechanical engineering. They promised that it had good prospects upon graduation and so I took it. I loathed going to the labs and operating mechanical equipment at the workshops. The long mathematical formulae, the physics and Chemistry numbed my mind. I didn’t enjoy it one bit. In my third year my sister bought me a laptop. I was so fascinated I slept at 3:00 in the morning tapping away discovering the various features it had to offer. And there, my passion in IT was conceived. Though I graduated with a degree in Engineering, I went on to study IT and finally ventured into the world of ICT. I never looked back. It’s been 3 years now and in retrospect I made one of the best decisions in life. I found my niche and decided to live life according to my script. I followed my passion. It’s what I still enjoy doing and the fire keeps burning. My parents had good intentions but engineering was not my kind of thing.
Elijah, a friend of mine back at Campus, studied Bio Medicine but chose a different path. He’s a visual and graffiti artist. His fervor was clearly evident in the unique portrait drawings that he used to make back then. He woke up to his calling and pursued his passion. To date he’s among the successful artists in graffiti art. I saw his work the other day on social media and was blown away by his artistry. He’s a trailblazer. What your passion?
2. Set goals and Plan
Do you ever dream of being a home owner? Put in place strategic plans to realize that dream. You want financial independence? Save and invest your money wisely. Delay gratification. You wish to have a good spouse? Work on your social skills and personal development. What am I driving at? Plan and stop wishful thinking. Sadly, many people are deceived that somehow things will out work. That one day they’ll wake up to a paradise and all that success brings, but it doesn’t work that way. We must have a plan of achieving what we desire. Architects come up with drawings of a building before they embark on the ground work. They scrutinize every measurement, study different elevations, and ensure all pieces fall in place. Afterwards, the real work commences and brick by brick the building rises up to completion. People fail for lack of proper planning. Have long term and short term goals Break the long term goal into small manageable goals that you can keep track on. Have deadlines. Jot down your daily or weekly targets in your diary and ensure you follow up with matching actions.
3. Jump out of the comfort zone
According to Roy T. Bennett, “The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure. You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
It’s easy to sit back and get comfortable with what we know. Our brains are wired to be comfortable with the familiar. Subconsciously what we don’t realize is that familiarity slows us down and denies us many opportunities for growth. The inventions we have today are a product of diligent scientists who went beyond the familiar to discover something new and etch their names in history. Take risks. Travel. Visit places and meet new people. Go beyond the usual day to day living and stretch your wings. Believe you can do it even when you are unsure of the outcome. Learn a skill or two. Acquire a new hobby. And you’ll be surprised at how much life has to offer.
4. Learn from your Failures
Things do not always go as planned. It could be a business that didn’t take off, a failed relationship that left you crushed or an investment that dealt you a huge blow financially. It’s painful especially if you had heavily invested your time and emotions. It takes you a while to shake off the dust and pick yourself up. Some people do everything in their means to avert failure; they avoid taking risks, become complacent and end up leading mundane lives. The truth is, sometimes, failure is inevitable. Nothing major was ever accomplished without failure. Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before inventing a light bulb.
So chin up and do things differently this time around having full knowledge of the pitfalls along the way. Learn from your past mistakes and let the lessons learnt be a stepping stone to success.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the pressure that comes with striving to achieve the best in life. Once in a while cool down and recharge. Attend a music concert and scream your lungs out. Go hiking, mingle with mother nature. Take a holiday to a pristine beach & enjoy the cool breeze. Take a road trip, enjoy the sights and sounds of the countryside. It’s never that serious. Sometimes brilliant ideas stumble upon us when our minds are at ease.