We all have visions for our lives—we envision our future selves living in a particular way and achieving certain purposes and goals.
We create plans to chase these visions sometimes, only to find that the way of living we once fantasized about is not what we expected it to be. Everything we worked toward simply isn’t giving us the satisfaction and serenity we formerly thought it would.
We are faced with a turning point—a decision.
Do we completely change the course of our lives and risk the fear of feeling like a failure for not completing something we had started? Do we quietly “stick it out” and continue on the same path in hopes we will soon have a change of heart? Is there even a way to change course and not feel incapable and down on ourselves?
As a young girl, I made my way through school in hopes of pursuing a certain purpose. One of which I thought would undoubtedly lead me to success. My plan was to do well enough so I could graduate and move on to a traditional four-year college. I would then seek an enjoyable job that would allow me to live comfortably. If I could just achieve this, I would be content. I had everything figured out—or so I thought.
Upon graduation and eventually moving on to the traditional university I had once dreamed of, I found myself torn. Torn between the sense of pride I knew I should have been feeling for finally reaching this significant triumph and the discontent I was actually feeling. I felt unfulfilled and off-course. Quite the opposite of the feelings I had once foreseen myself having at this point
As time passed at this school, I felt as if I was drifting father and farther from my truth. I knew it was time to make a change. To re-direct the course of my life. To go against this plan I had worked so long toward. Every bone in my body was itching for a new direction—but there was one problem.
If I was going to give up the dream I had spent years working on—wouldn’t that make me a failure? Not finishing something I had started would make me a quitter, right? How could I even change the course of my life after spending so long working toward one particular pursuit? Doesn’t that mean all of the years I spent envisioning myself and pursuing this path were just a waste of time?
After listening to my intuition, I left this school to follow a more non-traditional path of self-discovery. In doing so, I found peace. I found creativity. I found happiness. I discovered truths about myself. Passions I had yet to discover and freedom to design my life the way I wanted.
But what I also found was a desire to seek answers. Answers to give me an unquestionable validation of my decision, and answers that would explain the feelings of failure and doubt I was reluctantly facing.
After diving head-first into the devotion of answers to these questions, here is what I discovered:
Adjusting the path of our lives is anything but a failure.
Rather, it is a sign of our progression and evolution on a greater journey to seek our truths. A change of course in our lives symbolizes awareness and courage. Awareness to recognize that the path we are on is no longer vital to the overall picture of our lives and courage to make the decision to boldly turn down this new road.
Changing directions does not mean that the time and the effort spent pursuing our original goal was worthless. It is that exact time and effort that leads us to the point of recognizing a direction that may be more rewarding and necessary for our success. It is the action of the pursuit of the original path that leads us down this winding road of greater self-discovery.
If we are fortunate, we have 80 to 90 years in our bodies. In these 80 years, what is it that is our ultimate goal? Maybe it’s adventure. Maybe it’s to whole-heartedly impact the lives of others. Or maybe it’s just to be happy and to be loved. Whatever it is, this is ultimately the only desire that will matter.
All of the paths we journey down throughout our time are simply just getting us to this larger overall picture. So when these paths change, time after time, remember that these changes are all an imperative part of our evolution toward our definitive purpose.
“A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.” ~ Walt Disney
Author: Natalie Lucci
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina