Sometimes Not Knowing Is Better Than Having All the Answers
An inspiring life vs. a predictable one.
Out with the old and in with the new.
For years a predictable life was the goal to obtain. A life representing what society dictated. A decent job, getting married, a house with a white picket fence and preferably two kids - a boy and a girl.
If a person achieved such great success in ticking all the boxes, they were seen as having done well for themselves. They were seen as being happy - regardless of what was actually happening behind closed doors.
While many people no longer have an actual white picket fence, several are still striving for this predictable outcome.
There's a fear of stepping outside of familial and societal expectations.
There's a willingness to suffer in silence. Dwelling in their own unhappiness. Maybe even dragging a few others into it with them.
But why? What's so wrong with leaving predictability behind for the unknown where inspiration and creativity live?
Well, first of all it can be scary as hell. This fear is what's keeping you in your box of predictable in the first place. Yet, as Eleanor Roosevelt so kindly put it:
If life were predictable, it would cease to be life and be without flavour.
Life is meant to be unpredictable. It's what gives it meaning and makes it colourful.
For years, I too strived for the predictable life. In all honesty, I didn't even know there was any other way. FYI, there is!
Sure, I went off on some different paths and did things in a different order than most, but essentially, I ended up in the same spot - a good job, a house, a husband and 2 kids (oddly enough, a boy and a girl).
But, as Eleanore so eloquently said, life becomes flavourless. It's boring and well, for lack of a better word, predictable.
You can all but map out when you're going to die. Though some may try.
This thought dawned on me not so long ago while I was watching the oh so bad, it's good Emily in Paris on Netflix.
While the show on itself is predictable and things always work out for her, the storyline is about Emily leaving her cookie cutter life for the unknown.
She meets new people, lives in a different country - Paris if you didn't get that from the title of the show - has wavering job security, no relationship and the list goes on.
The sum of it all, she's happier and more inspired!
Yes, I know this is a TV show and let's face it, TV is a poor representation of reality. However, this shit is true.
Here's an example from my own life about the benefits of ditching predictability.
Just over four years ago I left the corporate world and swore I'd never return. This left me with total uncertainty.
The only thing I knew was I wanted to start my own business. Yet, I had no clue in what.
I was 7 months pregnant with my daughter. My son was 16 months old at the time and my husband's company went bankrupt a month later. Shit, what was I thinking?
Luckily, I received two years of full pay when I left - thank you redundancy [insert party emoji here]. It was the kick in the pants I needed to finally get going.
Naturally, I figured I'd have things all worked out within two years. Haha, was I wrong. Apparently, I was more fucked up than I thought. Not to mention the addition of a newborn.
There was a time when I didn't know what was going to happen next or where the money - my money at least - was going to come from.
It didn't matter though. As humans, we adapt fast. I knew a different life was out there for me. I had now felt what it was like outside the standard, ordinary version and I wanted more.
It's taken a while, but I'm finally getting my shit together. Woohoo!
Leaving the corporate world never to return and venturing out of the norm was the absolute best career move. There have definitely been ups and downs. As is life. That being said, I've never been happier. I'm carving my own life. It's inspiring and so freeing.
Albert Einstein once said:
The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.
These are your places. Your area of inspiration!
We are not meant to follow the herd, but instead to create our own path. To discover who we truly are, without the noise from the outside world.
How to discover your inspiring life
Start asking yourself if you want more from life.
If the answer is yes, look specifically at what area(s) you want to change/get more out of.
Free write, pen and paper, all that comes to you. This means to write without correcting what you said. No scratching through sentences. Allow everything that comes to you to flow through your pen. Write for as long as you can. Pages even.
Take a short break then review what you wrote and see if there's a pattern.
In the coming days, try to sit quietly or go for long walks in nature (by yourself). Think about the area you want to change. Think about what you wrote. Then go as silent in your head as you can.
Allow the answers to come to you. What keeps popping up? Write these down. These are your answers. It's likely you know them already, but deny them for fear of breaking from the norm.
When you're ready take baby steps forward. One small act is all you need to start moving towards the inspiring life you want.
Seek help from others. Hire a coach. Go to a therapist. Surround yourself with like-minded people.
The more you connect to what you truly want, without external influences, the easier the answers will come. Your true self is within you waiting for you to listen.
Stop sitting around imagining what life could be. Instead, go out and start creating the inspiring life you're meant to be living.
Once you do, your life - the one you were born to follow - will become clear. All you need to do is slowly step into it.
Inside you know you want more. You know you have more to offer yourself and the world. It can and will be scary at times. Stepping out of our comfort zone and the predictable life is quite often terrifying. It does get easier.
What you should ask yourself is what's more terrifying, living a life based on other people's expectations and constraints or living your inspiring life based on your own hopes, dreams and aspirations?