Have you ever found yourself doing something mundane where your mind had time to wander and for a split second thought, Wait. This isn’t right. This is not how my life is supposed to be. What am I doing?
There’s a scene in Seinfeld where George and Jerry have this “who are we?” moment. It starts at 1:55 of the video below if you want to jump to it:
Their moment is a bit more light-hearted than most peoples’. Truthfully, I think all of us have felt like this at some point in our life, and it’s not a pleasant feeling at all, which is why we do our best to shove it down as much as possible. Far, far too many people spend the majority of their lives trying to avoid admitting to themselves the extent of the disparity between what their life is and what they wish it was. As Thoreau said, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
Side note: If this is not you (and it may very well not be), then this post is not for you. But be aware that most people are unwilling to admit that they fall into this category. Be honest with yourself.
This is the part of the post where I start talking about motivation and making your dreams come true and blah, blah, blah. You’ve heard it all before. At the end of the day, the only thing you can ask yourself is why not?
- Why not quit your job and travel the world?
- Why not go back to school to get that degree that you dreamed of?
- Why not allow yourself to be vulnerable and ask that crush out?
- Why not risk everything to start that business you’ve always dreamed of having?
- Why not be brave enough to share your art with others?
I can give the answers to every one of these, and they’re based on simple odds. The truth is that the odds are against you. You will probably fail. Traveling will likely not be as romantic as you think and the financial burden of not having a job will probably make it worse. That degree will probably not be as interesting or as helpful as you think. The crush will probably turn you down. The business you start will most likely fail. The sad reality is that your art is probably not very good and most people won’t like it. Most things that you try at, you will fail at. If not, you’re not stretching yourself very far.
But why not try? The truth about failure is that it hurts. Badly. But it also makes you realize something: it usually doesn’t hurt as bad as you thought it would. You can start another business, ask another crush out, paint another picture. All is not lost. And hopefully you learned a few things the last time around. If you never try, you know where you’ll be in a decade? Right where you are now. Right where you are now. Look back a year. Five years. Ten years. Did you think this would be it? Did you think your life would look like this?
Why not just do it? Right now.