The society we live in is seriously messed up. How come? Why are there so many people who hate their lives? Why are there so many people who find themselves in their 80s with nothing but regrets? The reason is – we are programmed by the society to think in a very specific way. We are all pressured by the society to follow the tradition. Our minds are formed into this sheep mindset, just do what others tell you to do, follow the crowd, get a good education, work for 40 years of your life and you’ll be set. But will you? The reason why most people never really question this mindset is, they simply ask the wrong questions. They look for the “What” and the “How” ignoring the most important question there is – the “Why“.
As I went through my basic education and high school, I have always thought about what I wanted to do and how I will get there. Education was always the answer. Get a good degree, find a good job and you’re set, is what I had embedded in my mind. I finished my high school in Beijing, China where I had the privilege to attend an international school. I saw this as a major boost in my potential in the academic and the employment world. A European guy, who has traveled around the world, studied in 3 different languages and reached a great level of success in his education – this is what I thought would make me successful. And I reached exactly that – I got an offer from a few of the best universities in the world. This was something I was particularly proud about. I was the first one from my family who reached this level, the first one who studied abroad, the first one who could speak Chinese, the first one who had such a great potential. What I missed was the bottom line of everything. I never really asked myself “How do you want to live your life?” I never thought about the “Why” behind what I was doing. What has happened then completely shifted my mindset. One of the unis I had a conditional offer for declined it and I thought to myself “This is it, I am done with.” I was really stressed for a period of time. I decided to hide it because I didn’t want others to see me fail, I didn’t want to be a nuisance to others. What I didn’t understand back then was that this event was a blessing. I started looking for a way out of this crap. I started reading loads of self-development books, I started learning new things about myself and I really started focusing on my own personal development. How come? I still ask myself this question now. Maybe it was Rich Dad Poor Dad that has changed my perspective, maybe it was something else. Either way, shortly after this has happened, me and my friend started The Real Life Education. We were set to help others reach their goals through the journey of self-development and self-education – we wanted people to understand that the traditional education is not even close to the actual self-growth. Why? Because we learned it the hard way. At this moment of time, I have also met my current business team and mentor who have truly changed my mindset. They taught me to understand that whatever we do, we need to have a strong why, a strong reason. This was something that completely blew my mind back then, because I was never taught this lesson. Nobody ever asked me – “How do you want to live your life?” The only thing I have been asked was: “What do you want to do when you grow up?”
Asking The Right Question
So what have I learned? Why are most people so depressed and regretful? It is exactly because they have been asking themselves the wrong questions throughout their lives. Many of us look to be investment bankers, accountants, financial asset managers, etc. But when we’re asked: “So why do you want to do this?” We are clueless. Actually, most people say that they really enjoy the job. REALLY?! If they would not pay you, would you still do the job? That’s what I thought… Absolutely not. We need to start asking ourselves the right questions! Why am I doing what I am doing? How do I want to live? How does my dream life look like? We need to set the final goal, the destination where we are going first. As Friedrich Nietzsche put it: “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” We need to understand our purpose first, then we can look for a platform to reach that. Most people are climbing their ladders and they’re climbing them fast. What they don’t realise is that they are climbing the wrong ladder! Make sure your ladder is the correct one! And if it’s not, don’t just stop and climb down. You need to jump and look for a new ladder now!! Your time is precious, make it count.
Where to Start?
You start at the beginning. Sit down, forget about anything you’ve been taught. Take a pen and paper and write/draw your dreams. Be as specific as possible. Do you want a house on the beach? Draw it out, look up its picture and print it out for yourself. Do you want to help underprivileged kids? Write it down and identify what you need to do to be able to do that. Visualise your dreams, visualise your WHY.
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