2015 is slowly coming to a close. And just like every year around December I look back and compare myself to the person I was a year ago to this date. See the progression. See the growth. Identify the lessons. Acknowledge the setbacks. I guess you can call it a self-check. In the midst of this self-check I'm also setting those goals for next year to hopefully conquer with the correct preparation. The toughest part is making those goals realistic. With today's society, economic state and the pressure to "make it" is there an overly hyped sensation of being "successful" so soon? It appears that the millionaires of today are getting younger and becoming our peers rather than older individuals. Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and countless others were in their 20s when that lightbulb clicked and they seemingly overnight became household names and billionaires. It's like if you don't have a mortgage, car note, cable bill, college diploma(s), and a dream job that you are falling behind in life. It's the pressure of being a young adult. Not knowing whats around the corner. You gained a college degree but no job in your field. You start to wonder if those 4 years of stress and many years of debt ahead were really worth it.
A transparency moment from your illustrator, a huge reason I joined the army was not because of the benefits. Not because I could travel the world. Not for the experiences but because I was afraid of "success" becoming further and further away from grasp. I wasn't in school at the moment and hadn't been for about a year and half. It felt like the walls of life were closing in on me. I was the kid that always had something going for himself. I held multiple jobs since 16. I once worked 3 jobs at one time because I loved making my own money THAT much. I had a sense of NEEDING to be independent. I never asked my parents for anything, and if I wanted something bad enough I always found a way to get it legally. I don't know why but I automatically assumed that we weren't in the best financial state because we didn't own certain material things, live in a certain neighborhood, or drive a certain vehicle. My parents could have 6 figures in the bank but I was a prideful child. I didn't like asking for help. I felt like I would've been a burden for my parents. I was asked often if I needed anything. My answer was constantly no. Back to joining the military, I saw time passing. I felt the pressure to make a move. I personally felt as if I wasn't progressing with life at the rate I should've been based on the people around me. My mind wasn't growing at the rate it should have been. All my friends were graduating. My peers were landing these dope internships, and getting hired at these corporate jobs and here I am. "Falling behind." My hand was forced. Something had to shake! and SOON! The Army was always an option for me. It initially crossed my mind immediately after graduating high school because I hated studying so much I just knew I wasn't the college type. I loved to learn but I hated to be tested/quizzed on it. Realizing that the Army decision was time sensitive and every other avenue I could choose wasn't, I prayed for the sign that it was the right decision. The sign came. Next thing I knew I was in the recruiter's office picking out my occupation and counting down the days to basic training.
Looking back my biggest lesson to myself and something can share with others is that "success" isn't always made in your 20s. It's the trial and error stage. It's not the "now or never" stage that I perceived it be. I am now a quarter century old and if it's in God's plan I'm aiming for 100 so that means I have 3/4 of my life left to be "successful". I'm not even half as old as I plan to be so.....whats the rush? As long as you are continually growing daily whether it be in conversation, reading books, or working towards perfecting a craft make sure you are not keeping your mind idle. THAT is how you fall behind in life. Take your time. Find happiness. Continually grow in mind, spirit, and in health.
Soundtrack: "Apparently" by: J.Cole