“The most important journey we will go through is the journey in ourselves.” — Cara Delevingne
As children, we all have aspirations about what we want to be when we grow up. As we get older we come to grips with the world around us. Our dreams get pushed aside as we begin to unconsciously construct a mental reality where we are bound by the limits we set for ourselves. The value of money and material goods gets forced down our throats until nothing else seems to matter. We are told that beauty, fame, and fortune will lead to happiness. Things get loved and people get used. Popular trends get the attention, while timeless values are ignored. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is changing our world more than ever.
Countless people feel stuck in jobs they hate. Some people even get their dream job, with generous salaries and benefits, only to find out that it doesn’t satisfy their expectations. We keep thinking once we get the new job or the new gadget we will be happy. The problem is, that happiness quickly fades away so we set a new mission to work towards and repeat the cycle. When people get stuck in this mindset their lives become miserable and they wonder what went wrong. Stress and dissatisfaction continue to build up until it seems that there is no other option so they keep going down the same path. Their life becomes filled with regret, wishing they could go back and do things differently.
There is still another path. We have options. We can stay true to ourselves while achieving a level of success that is true to ourselves as well. People tend to go the popular route because they are persuaded it must be the right one. After all, everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn’t we? Everyone wants success, but not everyone is successful. If we want to be successful, we have to pick a different route. Having the same habits, actions, goals, and practices as everyone else and expecting to be more successful than the crowd is like following the same directions on a map and expecting to arrive at a different destination.
In order to be successful, we have to stay true to ourselves. Staying true is difficult because fame and attention are addicting, and we want to do whatever will get us the most praise and approval. Continue this habit, and you will become a slave to the approval of others. Follow your values, and do what is right. Write the post, give the speech, take action and stand up what you believe in. If everyone just followed the crowd we would not have progressed as individuals, communities, and nations.
Taking the path to fame might seem easier and faster, but taking the path to fame doesn’t feed our true desires and purpose in life. When we stay true we show people who we are and send a message to the world. Real success gradually builds and comes from the genuine progress we can be proud of. The hard work, time, and dedication we put to our goals can be recognized. We know that it’s real because we didn’t let the shortcuts and gimmicks get in our way. Our success is respected by others and we become role models for those around us.
Next time you are given a choice, stay true. Remember what your values are and the appreciation that comes from earning the credit you deserve. As your work is seen by others, those that support you will come around and you will see who really appreciates what you are doing. Those are the relationships to keep. Life is too short to be anything but true so make sure it stays that way.
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