When I was growing up, it was not uncommon to be asked what you wanted to become in life. Surprisingly there seemed to be very limited options to choose from. Those born ahead of us made us think that you could only grow up to become a Doctor, an Engineer, a Nurse, a Pilot, a Teacher, a Journalist or a police officer. It was the status quo.
Limited and shaped by the opinions of those above you, there seemed to be no any other career other than what they told you. The soul aim why you went to school seemed employment. You could always immerse yourself in the fantasy of a problem free life once you got your dream job with loads of money.
There was no room for free thinking and lack of information conformed you to living other people’s dreams. If your parents ever wanted to become doctors but never did, they would want to raise you to become a doctor even when it was the least of your interests.
Giving more attention to co-curricular activities like music, sports, drama or arts was considered a waste of time. You were supposed to spend 95% of your time focused on your academic goals. Talent was something you could always deal with later on in life after your education not while in school.
Those who defied the status quo and went ahead to pursue the desires of their hearts other than the formal education were considered rebels. Some were disowned by their parents. They became the black sheep of their families.
But since old habits die hard, it became difficult to embrace the fact that you can grow up to become something else other than what you kept singing you would become in your younger years.
Later on in life, you discover there are loads and loads of other things that you can engage yourself in to make a living. But since you were not brought up to be open minded, you refuse to see all the opportunities that lie ahead of you. You want to stick to that which you think makes sense to you even when it doesn’t.
They say old habits die hard, just as it is hard to scrap off the old values that were instilled in us as children, it becomes hard to do things differently even in our older life.
There is a pattern in the way we are used to doing things. What we do today is what we will do tomorrow, soon a week goes by a month and before we know it it’s a whole year.
All is not lost though, there are things we can learn to let go, things that are of less value and there are things we can learn to embrace. Habits we hope can create a positive difference in our lives.
As the year begins, you can opt to do things differently from what you did last year. If you want to have different results, you have to break the status quo. We all have to agree that we are going to have it different this time round.