Where are we running to?

'I don't know where I'm running to, I'm just running on, running on, running on empty.'

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

In a world where there is plenty of information about everyone’s life, as young people, the one thing we all have in common is the desire to be exactly like the successful people we all follow.

Everyone is happy to share that one picture of having gotten their dream job, or that picture of them at a tropical island for that dream holiday.

It has gotten so bad that everyone else who is not there yet feels like they are not doing enough. We measure our progress by how far someone is with their own life and end up becoming very anxious to “Have It All”.

Being from Lesotho makes it more challenging because youth from other countries have better resources, better connections and evidently succeed faster than we do. We end up desiring to become Prime Ministers overnight forgetting that we are supposed to cultivate who we are first before we become these “successful” people in the corporate world.

Without any further ado, allow me to pose this question to you, yes, you who is reading this; WHERE ARE YOU RUNNING TO?

Former USA President Barack Obama once said in an interview, “It is great that youth of today are so hungry to succeed so quickly, but I am afraid that being successful and fulfilling your purpose are two different things, and many do not know how to merge the two.”

On hearing this, I realized a lot of things which are wrong with wanting to have it all at such a young age. First, the maturity to handle the challenges of being in the corporate world has not yet grown. Second, my purpose is not fully established because today, I want to be a Director for a company and tomorrow, I want to be a Civil Engineer.

After realizing these two aspects, the most shocking revelation came to my mind, which was, “What am I going to do with these positions when I have them?” It blew my that I wanted something that I was not sure of, and worst of all, like many people my age, I did not know what path to follow to get there and what I would even do after getting what I wanted. It broke my heart when it dawned on me that I was running on an empty tank and was bound to crash.

The primary thing you are thinking of is that you are going to make money when you get that position. That makes perfect sense but it does not change the fact that you will not be satisfied with it. If we run to wanting the success, the car, and the beautiful lifestyle, we fail to get those behavioral traits that make people last in those spaces.

Our judgment is clouded by the desire to get more, hence Barack Obama’s words that we do not know how to merge purpose with success. It so easy to desire something, to run and want to get. All these are easy, but good things need maintenance.

The big question now is, “How do I know that I am not ready for what I am running for?”

The following are behavioral traits that you might see in yourself if you are not ready;

  • You complain, yet do nothing about things,
  • You hardly introspect about what you do wrong and constantly blame everything,
  • You fake your progress to lessen the blame you take for things,
  • You are not willing to do any work but expect rewards,
  • You are not honest with yourself,
  • You contemplate about who you are.

As easy as it is to realize what you are doing wrong, what do you do to start cultivating yourself in preparation for the real world?

  • Read a self improvement book once a month.
  • Get a journal and introspect as frequently as possible,
  • Start identifying what you feel you purpose is and ensure that you merge it with its corresponding behavioral traits.
  • Look for community service projects to do that align with what you want to be.
  • Investigate the challenges present in the field you are going into and evaluate whether you can handle them.

Conclusion

Purpose and success should align to be content in life. Maybe you realize that you are not as far as your age mates are, so what? That you do not have pictures to post online to show the world that you are successful does not mean you are not going to get there.

In your waiting period, work on yourself. Cultivate who you are and be grounded. One day, you will have that business and thank goodness you are not going to give people bad service because you will be very content with who you are.

I live you with these words, “BEFORE YOU RUN TOWARDS SUCCESS WORK ON WHO YOU ARE SO THAT YOU HANDLE IT WELL.’’

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Grace is an uprising youth activist who uses her voice to inspire and inform. She has worked internationally as the Deputy Secretary General with Model UN Impact. This is where she advocated for youth inclusivity in the implementation of the SDGs and further launched projects such as PHAHAMA MOSALI. She is currently the youngest SDGs Ambassador for the internationally renowned Global Citizens Innovative Solutions SDGs Challenge.