David Whyte asks the question, would you rather fail at your life or succeed at someone else’s? So, whose path are you on?
Our lives have porous boundaries. Often, it’s unclear if what we do and value are chosen, suggested, or implanted. Maybe your dad, mom, sibling, or friend played hockey or danced or debated or painted or studied law. Before you know it–before you even understood the concept of free will–you are playing hockey, dancing, debating, painting, or studying law. You do these things initially because you want to be with or like a family member or friend. At some point, though, you are the things you do. You are a hockey player and debater perhaps. Or you find yourself on a path to Yale or Harvard or into the military, law, or medicine. These paths are comforting–not just because family and friends support them or suggested them–but because certainty is comforting. You’re certain about where you’re going and what you’re going to do, or you think so anyway.
When you follow others’ paths or their visions for you, you may lose yourself in the equation. You might mistake your practice for talent or desire. And, at some point, you might feel unmoored or misled.
What is it you love? What drives you? What are you passionate about? What would it take build up escape speed to break orbit from the gravitational pull of your established life?