When we are 5 years old and want to be an artist, or an astronaut, or a postman; our parents smile and tell us we can be anything we want to be.
Why is it that when you’re 25 years old suddenly that unconditional support is withdrawn, and you hear ‘are you sure that’s a good idea? Isn’t it time to settle down and get a REAL job? Start a career?’
You’ve no doubt experienced some version of this in your own life, perhaps a stronger version (you will become a Doctor because that’s what we’ve always done) or a watered down version (are you sure that’s a good idea?). These statements are generally made by those closest to us, and are generally well intentioned. No one would surely say these things if they realised just how damaging they can be.
My question is:
What changes between 5 and 25?
Why is anything possible at 5 years old, but no longer possible at 25?
I was reading the The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss (here’s his amazing blog) and he was covering this exact topic. Tim believes it’s harmless telling a child they can be anything they want to be, it’s like telling them Santa Claus is real. However if an ‘Adult’ comes up with idea’s of living a life outside of the norm, they are shut down. Told to become a Doctor or Accountant, buy a house, have babies (where you’ll teach them to do the same thing) and suffer quietly without ever acknowledging that something is dying inside you.
But for majority of the world this is called ‘life’.
Does it need to be this way though?
Personally I don’t believe so. In fact I believe it must be our highest priority to create a life which is rich with experiences now – not deferring happiness for some point in the distant future once you have slaved long enough to earn your freedom.
That’s what Tim’s book is all about, I highly recommend everyone read it if creating a life you want to live is a priority for you.
There are so many gems in this book that I will refer back to it in future blog posts, for now, this simple idea will have to do.
For myself personally, I’ve made a lot of decisions which were viewed by the rest of my world as a mistake, like dropping out of University (twice), trying to hitchhike to China on yachts from Australia…during cyclone season, sailing from Tonga to New Zealand on a 3 man yacht…without ever being on a boat before, losing it all in risky share trades, joining a network marketing company, dating the wrong women.
And yet, these have been some of the best decisions of my life!
I feel that’s what being a Type 5 person is all about.
I’m curious, have there been things you have chosen to do which others couldn’t understand, or viewed as a mistake? Things like leaving your high paying job, buying a one way ticket, speaking out when others were silent, taking the leap while others hesitated?