“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
Last Tuesday, I was watching morning news on television where they discussed a topic about being an adult. If you are asked, what does being-an-adult mean, what would be your answer?
Prior to the discussion with the author of a book, related to the topic above, the producer decided to ask some 20-somethings what they think it means to be a successful adult — four young men and women were a part of this survey. One said, “I am a grown-up, and I take care of myself as much as I can. And to me, that’s being an adult.” Another one said, “Once I moved out on my own … I just make sure I maintain my bills. I just make sure I don’t rely on my parents anymore.” The next one said, “I think I have tangoed with the idea what it means to be an adult, what it means to be independent, what it means to be successful, and I am realizing that it’s not really a clear line.” Then the last one said, “There are really no checked boxes, it’s just understanding what is required of you to succeed in life and to just survived and choosing to do it.”
What crossed your mind when you were reading those answers? I felt I was brought back to moments of my growing-older pain. I have heard similar things from some of my friends. Those with young children in tow sounded even more stressful. Does life make it so challenging that growing older looks so dire? I remember as a pre-teen, I could not wait to be an adult, especially when my parent asked me to do something I did not want to do. Then that time arrived, it is certainly unlike what I had imagined.
I am curious, though. Decades have passed since I arrived in the land of adulthood with such thoughts. How come these new adults still have the same understanding about being an adult? In a nutshell, they considered being an adult equal to finishing school, leaving home, finding a job, marrying, and having children. Those seem to be the markers, which most probably will repeat themselves as the next generation inherits the program. In other words, that is life! Really? The sequences may be correct, but can we not make the journey more enjoyable? I recently read the result of a survey that indicated, in general, only about 20% of human beings are happy. I can understand that, because up to 15 years ago I was quite discontent with life.
Now that I am here, here’s what I conclude … I was then not equipped to embrace life and adulthood (with all its responsibilities and obligations). I was using the plans I saw my parents, and most everyone else, demonstrate for me as they were living their lives. There was no school about life, I was expected to know it by living it. Just like the last answer shared above — there were no checked boxes, it was just understanding what was required of me to live life and do it. Before long, the joy of living started to dwindle. Birthdays, New Years, and other important days did not seem to be as surprising and welcomed with anticipation anymore. It started becoming like one of those days. I started to live a year of life repeating itself again and again, every year. Everything went through a familiar cycle. And that was when life became predictable.
I shook myself out of it 12 years ago and decided to be curious about resetting my life. It took an awareness of not wanting to be on a journey of prolonged discontentment. I became curious about bigger causes I could be involved with that allowed me to wake up in the morning feeling grateful. I was seeking with curiosity. That pursuit brought me to the many teachers and mentors I am grateful to have met along the way.
I no longer try to figure out what the world needs or push myself to get the answers that pleases the world. I no longer hit wall after wall to the point of almost giving up. I stopped that familiar track a long time ago. Instead, I went within and nurtured a connection with myself; what I am, what makes me feel alive. I am on a mission to entice others to do the same, to listen to their wise voice from within. The answer is within each one of us, if we allow ourselves to listen.
It can be challenging to figure it out by yourself. This is not about figuring it out. This is about being clear about what you are inspired to and love living. Let me guide you. Let’s chat — https://ingemaskun.com/contact/
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