Wednesday, July 1, 2015
From Point A To Point Z
I know exactly five people who planned out their lives, followed the plan, and achieved the result (or damn close to it) that they wanted.
Exactly five. I know it is five because I have kept track. I have either asked everyone I have ever known if they had made deliberate plans for their lives, or I got to know them well enough to observe whether or not they had made deliberate plans.
Five. Out of hundreds, if not thousands of people, that I know or have known.
The vast majority of the people I know or have known had an idea of what they wanted to do with their lives by the time they were in high school, and a large percentage of them made serious efforts to make that idea happen...but somewhere along the line their plans got derailed - they got distracted, or disillusioned with the idea, or something new came along that seemed like a better deal.
There are also a large number of people that I know or have known who have never really had an idea of what they wanted to do with their lives. They went through high school, and possibly through college, with only the thought that something would eventually come along that grabbed their interest or provided them with a decent income.
For most of the people I know or have known, that course of action has actually panned out well. I know a good many people and very few of them are unhappy with how their lives have turned out.
With a few glaring exceptions, and each and everyone of those exceptions share a few things in common.
Probably the biggest common denominator among the group of people I know that didn't have real plans for their lives and are unhappy with the life they now have is a debilitating addiction of some sort, primarily drugs or alcohol.
Running a close second though has to be a pronounced tendency to give up, to just stop trying - to just accept whatever "Fate" has doled out for them.
The importance of perseverance seems to be unappreciated by those people. It confounds me to no end when I hear excuses for why they give up - everything from "It won't work out, just like it has never worked out, so why bother?" to "It must mean God has different plans for me."
One person I know is fond of stating that all those stories of people who persevered, withstood rejection after rejection until they finally succeeded, are the exception, the rare 1% who make it. The overwhelming majority, he says, try and try again for their entire lives and never get anything for their efforts - just a whole lot of disappointment.
To which I say, bullpucky. Any person who consistently tries, who perseveres against whatever forces keep pushing them back, succeeds on some level. Hell, if anything they develop the habit of persevering, of continuing to make an effort.
That right there is a valuable trait to possess in and of itself, for even if you eventually achieve whatever you set out to do and find it unsatisfying, you have developed what it takes to pursue another plan of action, one that may be much more fulfilling.
As opposed to developing the habit of giving up, which doesn't allow for pursuing much of anything but...failure.