Let’s face it.
You’re tired of the existence you’re living and you decided that it’s time to partake in the revolution.
You decided that what you’re living now is a lie, that it’s so exhausting and draining that you’re formulating your strategic plan to evacuate.
Except no one’s got your back.
Your parents don’t say “yeah, it’s time to stop living a life that sucks and embrace the unknown doing what you want.”
Instead of your friends saying “Hell yeah that sounds like an epic journey,” they give you that cockeyed look and go “Really? Good luck with that…”
Your closest friends and family, rather than choose to support you, view you as the misfit (and a misfit you are) of the family that is sort of “figuring things out” or “being a wild child.”
You still hear the “find the best paying, safest job” talk from one parent. And you still hear the “go back to school and embrace higher education” talk from another.
And it’s right about that time at dinner that you roll your eyes, excuse yourself, and wonder if stabbing yourself in the face with your utensils might be more productive than the 400th broken record discussion with your parents.
Why your parents, friends and family don’t understand you
“Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’d hazard a guess and say the following: most people who changed the course of human history probably were misunderstood.
And the follow up isn’t rocket science either.. drumroll please.. those people changed the world because they did things differently, right?
And doing things differently inherently makes people suspicious, or at least curious, of what’s going on.
Chances are, you’re doing something wildly different than your other siblings. Than what your parents did. Than what most people your age are doing.
If your parents always had jobs, maybe you’re going for self employment.
If your friends have lived in the same spot their entire lives, maybe you’re moving across the world.
If you come from a family of doctors, maybe one day you realized you hate medicine and are in fact an artist – and would rather starve for as long as it takes to make it while doing something you view as worthwhile.
In any case, the cause is the same: your people either don’t understand you and think you’re dumb and naive, or they’re envious of what you’re doing and the potential you have to realize dreams they never pursued.
So your family and friends think you:
A) either aren’t cut out for it (you can’t do it) or
B) they’re envious because you have the balls to finally create a dream life — something they were too afraid to do.
So where do you go from here?
You know what you want to do, you know you don’t want to go back to what you were doing, but you also know that no one’s got your back.
The fix ultimately is pretty simple. Grow some stones and do it. (That’s the motto of all successful people, anyway).
That’s obviously a simplistic, myopic answer. But at its essence, doing what others just talk about doing is the way to get support from your friends and family.
If you wait for the support of others you’ll never start.
There is no best time. If you wait, you’ll never find a good time go. You’ll find a million excuses to stay and keep loathing your daily existence.
So it’s time to show that it’s worth it.
And that there isn’t really a choice in your mind. Going back would suck, and you’d rather burn all forms of retreat and hop into the vast unknown.
It’s your chance to prove how badly you really want it.
It’s your chance to finally entertain the possibilities of what might happen if you couldn’t fail.
And it’s your chance to finally destroy the potential of living a mediocre, boring life, comparing your lawn with that of the Jones’, envying your corporate friends who are trading their life for money, all the while saying “I wish I could do that.”
That won’t be you.
And when you do reach the other side, you can show others that yes, it really is possible. And no, it’s not as scary as it looks from the other side.
You can tell them that you don’t want to die feeling like there was still so much stuff you wanted to try. (The #1 regret of the dying)
You can tell them that you’re tired of comparing yourself to your corporate friends that work 70 hour weeks and spend the rest of their free time drinking.
And you can tell them that what you’re doing is perhaps the most worthwhile thing in existence – the deliberate crafting of a meaningful life that is fucking awesome.
Mediocre living and thinking are comfort food for most people.
It’s easy, it’s predictable, it doesn’t require much to keep it going.
They don’t want to invest the effort to create an extraordinary one.
And now that you’ve consciously chosen to make a decision that you want to create a life that looks like it belongs in a movie, it should come as no surprise that 99% of people won’t understand you.
Some will hate and doubt you.
Some will envy you.
Some will just shrug and say “Uhh, go for it.”
Some just plain won’t understand you.
Some will say “prove it.”
Regardless of what they think or what they say, you gotta tell them “Gotta go, work to do, history to make.”
Because ultimately you’re doing the stuff most people just talk about doing.
Your doing the stuff of legend. The stuff people will talk about. You’re the one people want to live vicariously through.
The world needs more people like you.
Photo by GGGM