Updated: Nov 21, 2020
The exciting mystery that lays ahead of us, we can all recall the go getting spirit of youth when you want to finally break away from the nest of our upbringing and the rules that restrict our itchy feet. Once we leave education and go into the world trying to kick start our soon to be career and long sought independence, the preparation never quite adds up.
Like most, we only realize later that we go into the vast sea like the ambitious titanic not realizing that there is more than one iceberg out there to chip away at us, yet we steam forward undeterred with a hero heart thinking like the architect of that ship that nothing can sink us. I remember I didn't feel pressure at that time, for so long you want to earn money and have that freedom living in your own space that the unknown doesn't come with worry or negative connotations. I remember moving from a smaller town into London when my Girlfriend and now Wife and I decided we wanted to pursue our relationship and didn't want distance between us when she went to university. It reminds me of the optimism of choices in earlier years compared to the weighty, cautiousness of choices today.
Back then the goal was all I could see, living with Toya and no pressure of a new job nor any army of new bills and responsibility could stop me.
So what changes today? Why do we later in life lose our spring, is it the knowledge after years of making choices that we know they come with consequences? Is it that we know life isn't perfectly structured like a Hollywood movie we fixed in our projected minds during formative years?
People look on at those crazy ones who aim for unknown heights, intrigued, maybe a little judgmental on the surface that its just too much for their level, but how can we determine the depths of our capabilities?
The consequences were always there, but they don't have to outweigh the leap,
Why do we have to be so cautious and serious at times and let the battle of life's course harden us? People carve out their dreams into reality all over the world but they do tend to be those who cannot be shifted from their vision, they are set and the journey doesn't deter their course.
It seems as though the journey people assume in their minds prior to a choice is what affects their plans and diverts them from the decision they actually want to make in their hearts.
Diverting from our desired choices or dreams are aborted ambitions, pages of your book you looked forward to reading most but they were permanently ripped out. Diversion of the right path is hope deferred, stopped by a ceiling limitation, who places limitations on us?
Perhaps the only limitations in front of us are those placed on ourselves by ourselves.
Albert Einstein could have said "darn this ADHD, how can I achieve anything", but the rest is his history, who cares how mad you may look pushing yourself on to bigger goals.
Yes there are factors and elements that can make a choice difficult but anything worth having is worth working for and the truth is if things came easily we wouldn't value them half as much. People like to know they have earnt any achievement in their life because the fact of the matter is, everybody loves a story, a hard fought triumph, being a protagonist in that builds faith and dares us to try again on a grander level.
Smith Wigglesworth said “Great faith is the product of great fights. Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests. Great triumphs can only come out of great trials.”, well I say yes and Amen to that and ask you to tap into this too.
Everyone's life can look similar if you force it and in parallel everyone's life can look very different but each one has a unique purpose. I've found that it is fine to be still at times which can look like months or more but you will know when time permits opportunity to move again.
Through hardship, mistakes, trials and errors its clear to me now that we should anchor our happiness on our own identity and not those ever changing things around us.
No matter your age, our identities are who we are in all seasons, mine is in Christ, in being a Husband and Father, my identity is not in my occupation, its not found in how much money I have or from any kind of acceptance from others. Those things are everchanging and if that is the thermometer of our happiness then it goes up and down or can even disappear along with for example the finances when someone is declared bankrupt.
I look back at the decisions made and realize that they seldom only determine that particular season but they set up the formula for chapters yet to come in our lives. I'm sure you have made decisions which felt small at the time but led to unexpected doors opening as a result, doors that would have otherwise never been revealed had you not made that small step previously.
After our London move and long days climbing that ladder, we would then have boldness to go one step further 3 years later and fly to live in Hong Kong with 2 weeks notice, no savings but enthusiastic hearts.
5 years of Hong Kong is not easy to skip over but I shall share more on that at a later date. Again in a similar fashion small decisions would be made with an element of risk but powered by faith and a move to Barcelona would take place however this time with quite the load as a family of five.
When you hit your 30's I believe it is the stage in which your analytical brain goes into overdrive, we start looking around at where we are, where we are going, who we are and there is a natural tendency to compare your life so linearly with others. This is totally wrong, but we all have done it looking for some kind of measurement as to our success or direction, it's a false indicator and the effects this can have on our souls (mind, will, emotion) can be very damaging.
The world we are raised in loves to plan, it forces stereotypical planning on us (good job, savings, mortgage, marriage, children) so very early on that people think they have to have so many milestones ticked off by a certain time that it is bound to bring the anxiety, fear and depressive baggage that it does.
If only we could tell our younger selves not to think inside the box, not to determine all things by logic and think so closed mindedly but the issue is that we only realize later that conditioning and programming are things that we unknowingly walk into.
Referring to putting our trust in assumingly trustworthy institutions, the news/media, governments, education included, not all bad but tipped to tip you in a way of thinking by presenting one option and masking the others.
Ken Robinson covers this very well which I highly recommend you read when he discusses "changing education paradigms", it gives a very insightful view into how the public education system is largely outdated vs the modern day, it was set up in the industrial revolution where people were needed more so for industrialism and therefore put into boxes. For you personally this will open your eyes and if you are a father reading this, Ken's book will be revolutionary for how you see your children, their skills, character and quirks helping you to develop end encourage them rather than discipline the potential out of them.
Wirth regards to the system, very straight shooting calculations, the rich are intelligent as they have access to the tools, the poor didn't have that access to learning materials and therefore would be less able and better used in hard labor.
A sad state of affairs because as we know it, if you put everyone on an even platform, the results would show up rather different and this is exactly how life can be approached.
Life is not linear.
If you don't want to dive into the spiritual realm we can give a scientific analogy, it is an experiment in which you are under the microscope, we are all so capable of many things and like particles being mixed with an outside force, we are capable of reacting with diversity in taking many trajectories.
We determine our boundaries and we can architect how far we can walk into our vision. Pastor Chris says
"the extent of your vision is the boundary of your blessing".
And so back to our methods, we have never set our limitations by other people's statements and fear led advice, we don't buckle to the fearful thoughts that always try to accompany the ambition. If you don't feel resistance, then you are not moving, but much better to be in motion than safe yet discontent.
Neither season came easy but all came with adventure, irreplaceable memories and personal growth which has helped us to LIVE life so far rather than SURVIVE it.
The process can be a beautiful thing, not just the end vision, I've found that getting excited about the journey ahead helps aligns your expectations.
If your expectations are set correctly to begin with then the disappointments are low comparably with the times our eyes are firmly on the prize and ignorant to the hard work it takes to get there.
What small decision did you make that led to greater things?