Apparently, to quote TLC ‘This is how it should be done’.
People often say that your twenties are the best time to take risks and explore life.
You’re young, for many you don’t have as many responsibilities like a mortgage, home repairs and children, you might still live at home so you have a lot of expendable cash etc.
People say that your twenties are the time to do things like travel, try different jobs, move to a new city, start a business, basically just go out, find yourself and figure out who you want to be and how you wan to live.
In some ways it’s a lot of pressure and being in that age group, I ended up taking the opposite approach.
I’m almost half way into my twenties and so far I’ve been focused on things beginning with the letter S like saving, structure and stability.
In a lot of ways that’s great but on the flip-side it’s meant that I don’t often have room to take risks and explore.
But I’ve noticed my desire for those things growing and so the balancing act begins.
People make careers out of their ability to influence others.
There’s whole branches of psychology and sections of NLP about how to influence and sway people in whatever direction you desire.
In fact people have the ability to make us feel as though we desire the very thing they have to offer and we believe it so much that we follow that feeling.
We spend money on things we’ve been influenced to buy. We follow the lives of strangers who influence the way we live our lives, the places we go, the way we dress and the products we use.
And sometimes it all seems calculated and sleazy.
You start to question if you really want anything at all.
But I can’t help but wonder, is it so wrong to be influenced?
I think the answer is no.
Of course if you’re spending all your money trying to be like someone else buying things you have no use for and generally have no sense of self you might need to take a step back.
But if you were influenced to read a book that taught you something new or opened your mind up to a new perspective, I think it’s okay.
Once I started earning enough money to buy my own things I realised that my purchases were heavily influenced by a variety of factors, not just people.
Often it’s about how we want to feel or be perceived and the person we are influenced by is likely to resonate that.
I think that in searching for stability you don’t give yourself enough room to explore and take risks. You align yourself in things that feel safe and reliable then convince yourself that it’s what you truly desire.
The pursuit of stability is often about fear and control. As human beings one of our core needs is survival which is linked to staying safe.
But in pursing something that doesn’t have outcome certainty it brings up risk of jeopardising safety and therefore survival.
Perhaps you wanted to make art for a living, but you chose to be a HR assistant instead. The idea of making and selling your work for a living has risk because it might not work. What if you don’t make enough money, you can’t pay your bills, you have to move back with your parents or move with friends, you get evicted, you have to sell all your possessions blah, blah blah
The inner monologue is amazing at getting carried away. You can go from one small inconvenience to thinking your entire life is over. And I think that there is a string need for an awareness for that so that we don’t end up listening to that voice.
You don’t want to end up wishing you’d taken a chance in your twenties, thirties or forties because you decided to live your life in search of stability.
But you don’t have to go in the opposite direction either. Go for what brings you joy, what you care about or what interests you.