Looking to the Future

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There is one question that everyone, at one point or another, gets asked, and it always stumps me. And my answer usually takes more explaining than either party was prepared for.
 
Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years? X number of years?
 
My first reaction usually involves a momentary brain choke. Some people may jump immediately into panic mode. It seems like such a simple question but it forces us to stare straight into the great unknown and that can be terrifying.
 
There are some people who have their whole lives planned out. They know exactly what they want to do, exactly who they want to be. They make those of us who aren’t like that wonder what we are doing wrong.
 
I wondered that myself for a while. I wondered if I would ever get anywhere in my life.
 
It took a while, but I finally realized something. There is nothing wrong with me.
 
I just look at things differently.
 
You see, part of why the future is so scary is because of the unknown. Often times in stories the most powerful character is the one that has the ability to see the future. We want to have some sense of control over our lives.
 
The unknown doesn’t have to be scary, though. It can be wonderful.
 
Things in life rarely go as planned. Life is complicated. It is weird. And above all, it is chock full of the unexpected.
 
Its okay if you don’t have all the details figured out. Its okay if all you have is a general idea of where you would like to eventually be. It’s okay.
 
Right now, at this point in my life, given all the variables, I have a general picture of what my life could look like in five years. That is assuming nothing changes.
 
That assumption is what gives me hope. Because things change. There is no telling what amazing opportunities will wander into your life on down the road.
 
If you had told me five years ago that I would be sitting here, working on this blog post after finishing a Twitch stream (and the game I was streaming), with a YouTube channel, a few freelance gigs and plans to launch a podcast or two…I would probably have started laughing after the first few items. I never imagined that my life would turn out this way, but I am so glad it did.
 
Of course, I have plans for the future. A list of things that I would like to have accomplished and a picture of what I want my life to look like. It is all very general, though. Because I want to stay open to whatever comes my way.
 
There are benefits to being flexible, being adaptable. I learned a long time ago to go with the flow because you never know what will happen. Even when it seems like everything is falling apart, you have to find a way to keep going forward.
 
Now, I am in no way telling you to not chase your dreams. By all means, chase it. Even if it seems impossible, never stop chasing your dream.
 
Your chosen job/industry may be hard to get into. I know mine is. It may feel impossible. It is possible, it might be difficult. These things take time, patience, and a fair amount of networking. Find something that will keep you afloat in the meantime. Use that income to fund your dream, and keep your eyes open for any unexpected opportunities.
 
You never know what life may throw your way. Keep your mind open and be ready for anything.
 
Never stop dreaming. And never stop hoping for tomorrow.

Never Forget Your Mission

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Everyone who sets out to chase their dream struggles with this. Whether you are diving headfirst into your dream or it is something you do on the side, you will undoubtedly encounter this moment.

You hit a wall. You feel stuck. You feel lost. You question your decision to follow this dream. You find yourself wondering if any of this is worth it.

It is this crippling anxiety that you will never make it coupled with a deep sense of failure. You are afraid to let go of your dream lest you lose it. Yet you also fear that your dream is nothing but a fool’s dream.

Everyone around you tells you what kind of job you should be looking for, what you should be doing with your life. Some consider your dream to be silly, but some support you. Either way, it is easy to be bogged down by everyone’s expectations of what your life should look like.

I have experienced this myself. The anxiety. The self-doubt. I spent a fair amount of time struggling with this until I came to a realization. There is a way to fight this.

Whenever you are in this situation with your back against the wall, questioning whether it is worth it, as yourself a simple question.

Why?

Why are you doing this? Why does this matter to you?

Sometimes the easiest way to keep going is to remember why you started.

Sometimes you need to take a step back and reevaluate. Is what you are doing now getting you closer to where you want to be? Are you doing it because you want to or because someone else told you that you should?

Take some time to think through what you want to do. Create a mission statement. Figure out your strategy. Even if you never show this to anybody else, this can help you keep focused.

Remembering why you are doing something can help you keep going when times get though.

Another thing to consider. If something truly matters to you, it will matter to someone else.

Remember why you started and never give up.

You may just change the world.