Deciding where your life is going.
Everyone likes to ask what you're going to do with your life.
The most common times: Graduation from high school or college.
Or perhaps in your late twenties, if you aren't married yet.
A family member will come up and ask you what's up in your life.
Or if your career isn't progressing as fast as you (or someone close to you) expects, you (or they) will add pressure.
And that's really the deal — pressure.
This is a question filled with pressure, expectations, and judgment.
Like you are supposed to know everything right now... today?
Seriously? WTF? How can you know EVERYTHING?
And if you don't know and can't answer, you feel like a failure.
Like you're missing an opportunity.
Like you're supposed to already be married (because they said so).
As if you're supposed to have kids by this point (because they think you should).
Like your career isn't moving along as quickly as it should be.
Like you haven't done the right things or achieve your Life Plan. (You know... that internal dialogue that tells you that you suck all the time?)
All this means that you should have arrived.
It goes with the thought and presumption that life is a destination.
But it's not.
Life is a journey. It's a path, and paths aren't always straight.
Paths curve. They bend. They fork.
And... there are various destinations along these paths.
Different directions to go.
And that highlights the critical point here:
Life is comprised of two pieces: the Path and the Destination
You can't usually control both. You have to choose one.
Please understand. You need to pick a direction for your life. But trying to control your journey and where you will land precisely is not only impossible, it's a waste of your energy, focus, and effort.
Because both the Path and the Destination will change at various times in your life.
And this had not only a detrimental impact on your individual life, it affects anyone with whom you are involved.
And here's how it works:
If you choose to control the Path, you are consciously planning your journey. You don't know precisely where you will end up, but you have a direction and know where you're headed.
Example: "I'm going to college to study [insert subject here]. Then I will put in for a job at in [insert subject matter here]. I'm not sure from there,"
Staying on that Path means have a direction, but no preconceived notion of where that Path will take you.
If other potential paths come up, you might take them and veer from your course. Maybe different major in school might lead to a different job opportunity. Maybe you meet someone in college. Maybe you travel to a different country. It's open territory.
Otherwise, you concentrate on getting to the Destination.
Making it to the Destination means you don't care how you get there... you just need to get there!
Example: "I'm going to be married at 30 to a man who is 6'2", brown hair, and brown eyes. I'll have my first child by 33, and my second by 35. I'll live in Chicago in a two-story house. I'll work part-time and my spouse will..." (you see where this is going.)
Nothing wrong with having a plan. But choosing this method of life means that you will pass by opportunities — other paths, as it were. Being focused on the goal means no other potential goals exist. You just do whatever you have to in order to achieve that goal.
And what does that me for your love life?
Pick the Destination, and you are only focused on your end goal.
That's not a problem... provided your partner is on the same page with you.
They don't have to have the same end goal as you do, but if they are going to arrive there with you, they need to be onboard.
Here's what I need you to do:
Make a fast list and start evaluating your journey thus far.
- Are you focused on your Destination or your Path?
- How open to veering off your course are you — Path or Destination?
- What if you don't hit your targets?
- What happens if you constantly take new Paths and never hit any destination?
- What happens if you fail to achieve your Big Plan?
- What does this mean for your potential partners (or current partner)?
- Are they onboard with your approach to life?
- Have you communicated your life path?
These are the questions that no one talks about in relationships... until it's too late.
It's what leads to disconnection.
It's what leads to dissatisfaction.
It's what contributes to divorce.
Perhaps most importantly, these are the questions you should be asking yourself.
For your life.
For your own personal satisfaction.
For your happiness.
And by sharing your Path with yourself and your partner, you change things.
Your create an atmosphere of awareness and trust.
Awareness for where you are going—and why,
Trust between you, which allows you to get there together.