Do you ever think about how you got to the place where you are now? Location, career, relationships, satisfaction, fulfillment… How did you get here?
When we’re young, we have dreams and aspirations– usually grand– of a future full of fame and fortune. That’s the American Dream, right? We set out to mark a path from Point A to Point B, seldom consciously realistic about the many obstacles that are sure to present roadblocks along the way.
One thing I try to tell the students at school, particularly the ones that want to go into the performing arts, is that it’s about the journey. It doesn’t matter where you end up, as long as you do your best, follow your heart and enjoy the path along the way.
I believe wherever we are, whatever we experience and wherever we end up– is exactly where we are supposed to be.
I’ve spoken with several former students that expressed regret that their paths changed course– as if they let me down, or were a disappointment. My only question to them is: “Are you happy?” That’s all that really matters, isn’t it? For most, they’ve only started their journey. At the age of 49, I feel my journey is far from complete. It’s so much more than just location or career or family and friends. It’s about the whole of who we were, who we are and who we will be.
I never had a clear path or grand plan for my life, so perhaps in some ways the road has been easier to travel. I think people with too many specific notions or desires for a successful life are the ones that have the most difficult time finding fulfillment. I believe you have to be willing to take a different path, endure the many bumps in the road and not be afraid of the detours.
I also believe education is a tool, not a solution. We should all be lifelong learners. I know more people that are happily successful in areas that did not require a specific path of higher learning, or ended up finding themselves successfully content outside their field of study. To get there, they still had to learn and acquire the necessary skills and experience to allow for their success.
The growing number of unmotivated college graduates frightens me. I’ve seen so many students float through school, move back home and do nothing, if their parents let them. In many ways, I think the generations since the baby boomers have done their children a disservice by giving them everything. In doing so, they’ve created ungrateful, unmotivated young adults with no comprehension of what it takes to achieve success. Life has been too easy for them. Parents who should be empty nesters, moving on to a new phase in their lives, find themselves continuing to support their children far in to adulthood.
Children need to take a trip. They need to be taught how to work, use their imagination and discover a world of their own. When children are given everything they want, how do they ever learn what they really need? More important, how will they learn to survive?
I see a generation of unemployed college graduates, whose parents gave up so much to give them everything. Somehow, the children were lost along the way.
It’s a lost generation, stuck at an intersection, with no value or understanding of the journey. So they sit… looking left, looking right, looking back… without the ability to make any decisions and follow the path ahead.
We have to help them find their way.
Yesterday’s Pic of the Day: I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and started taking down my Christmas lights, only to discover the pesky squirrels had already started. So much for LED lights that were supposed to last 10 to 15 years!
Today’s Pic of the Day: Full Moon 5:30 AM. Both pictures were taken with my new Canon S95. (Thanks Dad!)