What I Learned When My Dreams Didn't Pan Out
Sometime during my junior year of college I decided what I wanted my life to look like in the next 5-10 years. I had some pretty big dreams and decided to set some goals to pave my way to a successful life:
Land the dream job
Conquer the dream job
Build a social media platform at a Blake MyCoskie (TOMS) level
Start a rad apparel and print line that had a positive impact on other people’s lives
Go on a missions trip
Have a kid (or two)
Buy a car that doesn't sound like a squeaky semi truck coming down the road
I just turned 29 last month. I made it to the dream job and I got engaged — I don't own an apparel line, my idea of photography is taking pictures of my dog on a phone, I’ve never been on a missions trip, I don't have a mini-me running around (unless you count Pete), and my car legitimately sounds like a squeaky semi truck.
To top it off, four months ago I felt bitter, helpless, stuck and I didn't know who I was anymore. I was still working at my dream job but I felt lost and my goals completely unattainable.
I felt hopeless.
Shortly after I left, I began to dream again. Dreaming transformed into hope, hope transformed into planning and somewhere along the way I gained a better perspective for what I just went through.
Here's what I learned:
- Successful people aren't just the ones with the perfect plan or the one that seems to catch every big break.
- They're the ones that refuse to give up despite the countless times they have failed because they are resilient, disciplined and adaptive.
- Successful people understand that there is so much more to life than individual achievement.
- Most importantly, they understand that people matter — that it's not about the end game, it's about the way they live and treat those around them along the way.
My life does not look the way I thought it would at 29 — it's so much better. At some point in the last four months my understanding of success changed and my priorities shifted.
I will strive to be the type of wife, mother, friend, co-worker, employee that does the job well and lives in a way that makes everyone around me feel valued, loved and important.
If I achieve that daily — it will be my greatest success.