It takes a different mindset to make it look like you have your shit together versus actually living a life you love.
It’s the difference between rushing to hit all the celebrated milestones (graduation, wedding, housewarming, retirement) and enjoying the milestones that aren’t celebrated: starting your side hustle, investing in your personal growth, being a positive influence to those around you, building relationships that give you superpowers… the list goes on.
In my last article, Don’t Live the Same Year 75 Times, I talked about the magic of reinventing yourself. How living a life of continuous improvement can eliminate many of our modern anxieties.
The worst of which is rushing through life. Rushing to find our passion. Rushing to find our soulmate. Rushing to have a million dollar home.
Wishing away perfectly good years because the journey we’ve found ourselves on is not the one we hoped for. And we think that hitting those milestones—even if we don’t actually want them—will make up for it.
Smashing goals should be the icing on top of an already delicious cake. If there’s no cake—you’ll get sick real fast from only that icing. (Yes, it’s my birthday week. Yes, I have cake on my mind.)
So cut out those pointless pressures, stop rushing towards milestones for validation, and start living the life of your dreams—not the life of your neighbours, friends, or community.
Because here’s the thing—there’s an indefinite number of levels in life. No matter what you achieve or how fast you achieve it, there will always be another level staring down at you, tempting you to reach for it.
It’s what makes success a bit of a double edged sword. As we start to achieve higher levels of success, we become the best in our current environment and simultaneously get hit with how little we actually know. It translates to this: you will always be in a state of working your way to the top. There’s no final level to reach.
Being on a journey we love lets us handle the ups and downs with more enjoyment and resilience. It’s when we’re in the wrong lane that we dip our toes, panic, and retreat. Forever choosing a life that looks good over a life that could be extraordinary. So pay attention if you’re too concerned with your status or ranking—there’s probably a better lane for you to switch into.
Build the confidence to enter new environments where you’ll be starting from the bottom. Focus on mastering new skills, following your curiosity, and most importantly, continue to reinvent any area of your life that’s not fulfilling anymore.
In my own life, I’m surrounded by so many friends running their own businesses that I could easily let it overwhelm me. But I’m not rushing it. I’m soaking in my current environment, feeling grateful I’ve made it to this level, and know that the more I play in it the more it will pull me towards my next goal.
Instead of rushing, let’s soak up each stage of our life.
When the only person you’re competing with is yourself, you stop caring about what others are doing. The Joneses can keep on Jonesing.