Pressure to Be Amazing, Innovative, & Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams
…and you’re how old?
Have you ever cooked a meal you’re really impressed with, took a quick picture, and then examined it and felt like it fell way short of how it “should have looked?” Rather than sending it to your friend (or your mom) to show what an exquisite dish you cooked up, you delete the pic and eat your meal feeling it was more of a Pinterest fail than a culinary masterpiece?
Maybe you helped your aunt create a website for her dog walking business, and she was so impressed with your mad skills that you got to thinking about starting a web design company? Because today, a person can’t just have some talent or a hobby, or even passion, for anything without the (usually self-inflicted) pressure to turn it into a multi-million-dollar idea! Love cooking? Well, it’s time to dethrone Gordon Ramsey! Know how improper it is to use prepositions at the end of sentences? Then you must have a YouTube channel on writing!
Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to be successful at such a young age?
In a poll we conducted with over 100 high school students, when asked the question, “What is the number one quantifier of success?” 89% responded with “money.” Not just money, either. When asked how much money defines their idea of a successful future career, 73% said at least six-figures, while 11% bumped that expectation to a million dollars annually! What is going on? What happened to finding a satisfying career doing something you love, cultivating strong personal relationships, and finding ways to enjoy life that don’t involve “grinding,” “networking,” and “strategic marketing?”
The issue isn’t chasing success, or even money. The problem is when kids think they have to become Insta-famous before the age of 30!
A lot of extremely successful people across all industries achieved success much later in life. For example, did you know that…
® Steve Carell was 43 when he landed The Office! Until then, he was struggling to pay his bills, working multiple odd jobs
® Sia didn’t get her first #1 single until she was 41! Imagine if she gave up and we didn’t have songs like “Titanium” and “Chandelier!”
® Harland Sanders (Colonel Sanders of KFC fame) didn’t become a millionaire until the age of 74
What about people who live more modestly, but still have a meaningful life that touches the lives of others in immeasurable ways? For example, imagine a world where we didn’t have the following professions because everyone was off chasing their fame and fortune…
What if people stopped becoming…
® Day Care Workers
® Music Instructors
® Physical Therapists
® Dog Walkers
® Construction Workers
Now imagine an even scarier world: one where everyone was so busy grinding that there was no one left to collect your trash, make your sub, collect your ticket at the movie theater, clean the hotel room on your vacation, or service your car when it needs an oil change? I’m not suggesting you abandon your education and become a garbage man (unless you want to!), but what I’m saying is that industry has a place for everyone, and each job has value.
Maybe we all need to take the pressure off ourselves to become rich, famous, influential, and legendary by thirty…or ever.
We might be destined to be millionaires, bur we might be meant to have incredibly satisfying careers where we enjoy what we do and get paid well for doing it. What if that’s it? What if we just have a good job that allows us to live comfortably? What if our hobby is only ever a hobby, not a way to make money? What if our meals smell great, taste fantastic, and nourish our bodies but don’t photograph well? What if we have the most comfortable recliner chair that man ever invented but it’s not “aesthetically pleasing?”
So let’s take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy the steps along the way. We don’t have to get rich quick (or at all). We don’t have to be the next Jeff Bezos for our lives to have meant something. Comparing our success to others is a recipe for low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. When those things set it, most of us just give up anyway.
It’s not a race to see how fast you can reach success! You have plenty of time.
To quote the great Ferris Bueller:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”