I’m recording this a couple of days before my 29th birthday, and as I’m entering the final year of my 20’s, I feel compelled to share one of the most important things I’ve learned and am admittedly still working on in my life and career, because I know others will be able to relate as well.
My hope is that as you hear this message, no matter what age you are or what stage of life you’re in, you give it some deep thought, and take it to heart, because it can save you from a lot of uncertainty, pain, and frustration, but only if you actually believe it.
For me, learning to trust the path and timeline of my journey has been a hard lesson to truly accept. Like a lot of people, I’m ambitious, have big goals and dreams of how I want to impact other people, provide for my family, and live generously, and even when the successes are recent and real and great, I still often feel frustrated, and wish things were moving faster, or would magnify somehow.
We can’t ignore that we live in a very connected world now. If we’re not careful, we can spend more time watching other people live their lives than we do living our own. And let’s not forget about the very real dangers of comparison and envy.
I’ve spent way too much time and energy in my 20’s looking at other people’s successes and feeling jealous. Feeling angry at the world when I was trying so hard to reach a certain milestone and I would see someone else reach it much faster and with less or no effort at all. Wishing I had the careers of others because on the surface it appeared to make their lives better than mine somehow, when in reality I’ve been blessed with more in my life than I could have ever asked for. An amazing wife, supportive family, deep friendships, a healthy mind and body, a hungry spirit, and so much more.
The reality is, the more time you spend looking at other people, the more likely you are to veer off course. Once I realized that life isn’t just about being the best or the biggest or the fastest or the coolest, it became much easier to focus on my journey instead of the distraction of comparison, which causes a lot of unnecessary feelings of anxiety and jealousy.
I’m beginning now to see the bigger picture of how things compound and come together over time when you’re consistent. We can’t always control the timeline or all of the circumstances we find ourselves in, but we can control our resilience, our consistency and discipline, developing the proper mindset and skills. Anything we can control, we should be bold enough to give our all at.
And remember that just because you can’t always see the next step in front of you, doesn’t mean you’re not on the right path. Sometimes it just means you need a brighter flashlight.
Things won’t always go your way either. You’ll have more struggles than you’d prefer, and more moments of weakness than you’d hope to have. So appreciate the peaks, learn from the valleys, and rest assured, persistence beats resistance.
My journey is my journey. Your journey is your journey. Each is unique in nature, and is not replicable. So when you feel the urge to get off track, to derail or change course because you think you see a foolproof shortcut, or want to copy someone else’s path instead of paving your own and continuing forward, remember that no two journeys are ever the same, and you are the only person who can complete yours. The world is counting on you. Trust your journey.