As someone in my early 20s, I followed the “plan” like everyone else. I learned a valuable trade, got a steady job and began putting money away for retirement. I was on my way toward the dream of a well-planned life, and I was happy.
Or so I thought. After a few years of 9 to 5 workdays, I did what every rational young person would do in that situation: I quit my job. It was hands down, the best decision I’ve ever made.
Like every 20-something, I've been navigating life's litany of trials and tribulations, while trying to maximize every possible opportunity for happiness. I've also had sneaking doubts that, through it all, I knew there was something more. I knew deep down that the life I was creating for myself was not aligned with my passions.
These doubts came straight from my gut and they are something we all encounter. They tell us that something just isn't right with our lives and that our future looks brighter if only we have the courage to listen to our passion and reach for something true to ourselves.
My passion took me back to school for environmental science. It's not the most immediately glamorous field, but for me it doesn't matter because I love it, and I will never forget the day I decided to just go for it.
For all 20-somethings who know inside that there is more to life that what is currently at hand, there has never been a better time than now to take a leap of faith and trust yourself to do right by you by following your passion. Honestly, no one knows better than you about where you should be going in life.
Whether it's going back to school for something you actually love, starting your dream business or letting go of that significant other you know you're just leading on, you are going to have to trust yourself and take that leap. It will all be worth it.
It doesn't matter how comfortable you are now, what sacrifices you are going to have to make and it sure as hell doesn't matter who you're are going to upset. In fact, it will actually help weed out those things and people who really don't matter in your life anyway. Again, it will all be worth it.
Once you make the decision to follow your passion, you will be liberated to a level of self-actualization you have only ever imagined. You will realize your bonafide talent and feed that inner drive you always knew you had, but could never find.
New doors will open and amazing opportunities will present themselves. People will follow you, and all other areas of your life will begin to fall into place. Most importantly, you will be happy. You just have to take that chance.
By now, most of you reading this are probably experiencing that inner dialogue between what you know is your passion, and the doubts that keep suffocating the life out of you.
For all of you, I say, be selfish for once and let yourself be who you are. After all, that inner dialogue is your heart telling you what you already know.
For me, I couldn't be happier with my decision to quit my job. Fast forward only a year, and I found myself on my way to starting my own nonprofit while still an undergraduate.
Fast forward another year, and now I'm traveling to amazing places for business, working with inspiring people I only before looked up to, talking about my passions in national radio publications and helping others start their own companies.
I can't get enough of it, and it's all because of a decision I made to follow my passion.
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