For nearly 20 years, I have been assisting persons of all ages, to find education and career paths that will hopefully bring them long-term happiness and fulfillment. If you ask me what is the most common barrier I have seen others raise, I will tell you there is not one, but two, that are absolutely crippling: 1) dwelling on the past or thinking about the future, and 2) judging things as good or bad. Here are the most common things I hear people, of all ages, say, at some point in the process of education and career planning:
- But I have no education or experience doing this. I can’t compete with people who have years over me.
Here, we are focusing on the past, and judging it negatively. ‘I have no education or experience’ is focusing on the past, and judging your past education and/or experience as having no value. Instead, focus on what you have that others don’t, and then get busy filling in whatever gaps there might be, and remember, employers pay for present results, not past ones.
- I’m xx years old. I can’t start all over again.
Here, we are talking about the future, and again, judging it negatively. The future is an illusion, because we have no idea how much time we have, nor what the future will bring. All you need to ask yourself is if you want to do it now, today. Remember, tomorrow is just another today, so there really is no such thing as tomorrow. That’s a fact.
Stop dwelling on the past or stressing about the future
If you want to achieve something worthwhile in this life, do yourself a big favour, and stop thinking about the past and the future. Decide what you want to do now, and always focus on the immediate task at hand, giving it your undivided care and attention. Don’t think about how you have never done it before, how old you are, how nobody in your circumstances has ever done what you are doing, how little time you think you have, how everybody around you is younger and has more experience than you.
Instead, focus on the journey
Don’t do it for some big reward you think is awaiting you down the road. Enjoy the ride, savour every moment of the journey. The most successful people don’t waste any time celebrating their achievements; they’re always thinking about their next project, and they always reach a little beyond their grasp, to make the journey worthwhile.
…and don’t judge - Not all that seems bad is bad and not all that seems good is good
Good and bad is always based on perception. I know people who lost their jobs and thought it was the worst thing that could possibly happen to them, and then, years later, said it was the best thing. I have read about people who won the lottery, and years later, said it was a curse, and they wished they had never won. Nothing is good or bad; everything just is. Accept everything and keep moving forward.