What guides us along our path?
As we get older we begin to get a handle on our lives and have a better sense of what we want to do. This takes time, experience, failure, self-doubt, patience, and, above all, determination. These moments help lead us towards a life that we strive for and are passionate about.
Taking a quick trip down memory lane, I have been reflecting on where I am today compared to where I started in college. It has been a complete transformation. I knew that I wanted to be in the arts but wasn’t sure if it would be culinary or design. After scratching off being a chef, I set my sights on being a fashion designer. I was going to attend school in New York City, start my career, and open my own design house. Living and working in the big city was my dream. Once entering SCAD, and realizing that fashion design wasn’t quite for me, I turned to photography. On my first day of class, I had the overwhelming feeling that I was right at home; this was where I was supposed to be. From that point on I knew I had found my creative outlet. I had found what I would share with the world.
My path might seem pretty cut and dry, but it was quite the opposite. Thinking back to where it all started was during my childhood. I always enjoyed art whether it was painting, drawing, or creating anything. I liked to express myself, with my mind and my hands. I had immense support from my parents and family. My uncle, the other fellow artist in the family, is and has always been a constant source of inspiration for me. Viewing his paintings, looking at his fashion sketches, and discussing the art world showed me that I could be an artist too.
Whether we have support from friends, family, or within ourselves, this helps motivate us to achieve greatness. Words of encouragement, inspiration from people we admire, and books that make us reflect on our outlook on life, can impact our journey.
There is no wrong or right answer on how to navigate the world. However, the one question that is difficult to answer is:
How do we know if we’ve made the right choices for our lives?
There is no direct answer. A simple yes or no would be ideal, but it depends on each individual person. We know when we have made the wrong choice but can we ever know that we’ve made the right one? One major way we can tell is if we are genuinely happy. This is the age old question that really boils down to your own personal definition of happiness?
Do you wake up everyday wanting to go to work?
Do you love what you do?
Does your work fulfill you?
Are you itching for a change?
Does your work feel like work?
Yes, yes, and yes, than you’re happy right? Not necessarily. It is simple to seem like we’re happy but this is a constant facade that we all hide behind. We need to dig deeper and be honest with ourselves about what makes us happy and how to fulfill it. Applying each of these questions to your life everyday will help develop your definition of happiness. Once we have an idea of what it means to us, then we can focus on how to adjust things if we are off balance; another way we can tell if we’re making the right choices.
When I have not been creative and am feeling inner frustration, I know my work-art balance is off. Finding the time to devote to my creative pursuits gets my mind back on track. This is when I know I am working towards my goal of inspiring people to get out, to explore their surroundings, to travel, and to remain curious. I’m driven by helping people realize their greatness and to actively pursue their goals. As I travel through my journey and am constantly learning and reading motivational text, I look forward to sharing this information with everyone. It’s difficult to embrace all of you who you are and feel confident in that, but if it was easy then everyone would be doing it.
My father always told me: “Honey, life is a series of decisions.” For a while I agreed but with hesitation. Now I see what he meant and understand that our decisions help forge our own paths. We can decide whether we will embark on the path everyone has traveled or build our own. Understanding this power that we all have within ourselves is a force to be reckoned with. We must not underestimate our ability to achieve what we put our mind to, we must not forget our strength, and we must not forget our ability to adjust to change.