Being Young Is a Gift: Make Plans and Go For It

DSC_0205Young people, now is the time to chase your dreams and reach for the stars. I know this sounds like a lame “you can do anything” statement. I know it sounds cliche’, but I’m being honest. The older you get the more the world begins to get smaller and responsibilities become greater. If you don’t have kids you can live your life for yourself. When you are young you can fail and you can learn without worrying about ‘five years from now’ you can’t retire.

This is the time, right now to build lists, develop ideas, form cowork relationships and form groups. If you are working a job/jobs or/and going to school that’s great, but capture these years in a bottle and drink them in. From 18 to 29 if you don’t have children and you know working a 9 to 5 is killing your creativity you need to seek out mentors and groups and figure out a way to pursue some goal that looks ridiculous. Once you have children your life is lived for your children and you shouldn’t resent that. It’s beautiful to see your child chase dreams, but it becomes harder to take risks.

Stop waiting young America to try shooting for the stars. Stop weighing yourself down with car notes and confining jobs, marital styled relationships with non dreamers, and impressing your friends. Find something you love, create a how to do this list, write a pros and cons list, seek local things that fit that dream and test it out. If it doesn’t fit write a ‘how to build your own’. If it requires like minded dream builders create groups. Don’t be afraid to ask your parents for help. If you have an old school parent that values work over dream chasing, get enough of a job to pay them rent or buy groceries, but continue to push forward…with a plan. Live your life creating a path, so when it’s time to give everything to your children you can look them in the face and tell them you once had a dream. You can tell them you chased that dream and it was hard, but it was amazing. Tell a new story of struggle to the next generation. Don’t wait unless you are prepared to risk everything, and I mean everything, later in life.

Why I wrote this post: I originally posted this on my wall on Facebook. It was a response to one of my former students. He posted on his wall that he was working nights at Fed Ex and working the days at another job, and that he was tired. I saw this and it bothered me. This young man had graduated in 2009. Here it is 2014 and at 22, 23 years old he had been working like an old man providing for a family. He wasn’t talking about traveling, or visiting even local places to discover his own town. He wasn’t talking about trying something new or learning more about himself. He was talking about work. I realized that this is what we do to our kids. We don’t push them to strive and dream or plan or work on projects that enhance them or make them better people. We tell them to work, to move out of our homes  to be men/women. I was crushed for this kid and for other kids I’ve taught or coached. My soul felt broken for him because when I looked in my students’ faces, I always wanted my students to be greater than me. I wanted them to see the world, or at least America; and to discover things and become more well rounded people. I knew that they would have it hard, but I hoped that my stories about being in the military and seeing the world would inspire them to look beyond their small part of the world. Seeing that post and realizing that the majority of the kids I’ve taught have become exact copies of their parents who are working themselves to death and living just to die, made me sad. Although these are words, words can become actions if we find a way to make things happen. In finding our way that’s where we learn who we are and begin to really love this life.