There's been too many times in my life I looked at someone else and thought "man, they got it all figured out, what am I doing with my life?"
Boy am I glad I, at some point in my adult life, realized no one has it all figured out - not even me.
What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?
In high school, I felt like all my friends had colleges picked out, essay's written and their future all sorted out. I was thinking about girls, prom and track practice. I only applied to Boston University (where I eventually went) because all my friends did it.
In college all my friends had internships lined up in the summer - I was still going back to Footlocker pushing the latests J's. Everyone else knew what they wanted to major in, knew where they wanted to work, resumes ready, portfolios polished, and a big grip on life. I was skipping class to play video games.
In my first job all my friends had their career path all planned out, 5 year plans to the T, 401ks filled up, investments going. They had goals all figured out and were on their path to crushing them. I was trying to figure out how to sneak in naps during lunchtime because I stayed up too late playing Call of Duty.
It always felt like people around me had it all figured out. Looking back on it, that wasn't the case.
Sure when in high school i didn't know where I wanted to go to college or what I wanted to be when I grew up.
Looking back - I was only 17 when I graduated, how should I know what I wanted - 17 is suuuuper young to have your life figured out! And turns out most people didn't have it figured out, they were just applying to colleges and programs their parents told them to.
Sure I skipped classes in college, but looking back on it, I skipped classes I had no interest in and aced classes I loved. I just didn't realize I was finding my interesting and gravitating towards things that caught my attention, and was moving myself away from things I had no interest in. I was finding myself I guess you can say.
And when I started work, sure I was staying up late playing video games only because I was coming home late from putting in the extra hours at work.
It's All About Perspective
My friends throughout the years could have been thinking:
"Man Cole knows how to live live, he's crushing in on the track team, and has prom all figured out; I'm stressing these college applications."
"Man Cole knows how to enjoy college - he goes to classes he wants and plays video games and chills the rest of the time; I'm worried about getting a job and not enjoying my college days"
"Man Cole has this work thing figured out, he's staying late putting in the work; I'm filling out this 5 year plan and to be honest, I'm not even sure I want to be here next month."
We think about the times we missed out more than the ones we lived. This happens a lot in today's world. It's easy to look at someone else's Instagram and Facebook and think they're living it up while you're on a couch in sweats, pizza slice in one hand, scroll through pics with the other.
Thing is, it goes the other way too - lots of people out and about at parties are thinking they want to be home on the couch, pint of ice cream and the only person asking you questions is Netflix - "are you still watching?"
The Grass Is Greener Where You Water It
Take the time to look at your situation and see what you got going on - guaranteed there's dope stuff happening in your life right now.
In high school I may not have been on top of my college essays but I was loving being part of the track team, I would go to the mall and work at Footlocker afterwards, and I would kick it with my boys. Life was cool and I was doing what I enjoyed.
In college I may not have figured out my major until junior year but I got to explore all sorts of areas making me well rounded. And when you jump from major to major you meet sooo many people - new friends new experiences and if we're being honest, that's the real fun in college - kicking it with friends.
While I wasn't working at a fancy internship I was getting a great experience selling at Footlocker - one it was fun, two you learn how to sell and communicate with strangers, talk to them, develop a rapport. My friends didn't get that getting coffee and fetching print outs all day (suckas!).
In work I may not have had a 5 year plan, looking back on it I'm glad I didn't - all that means is I didn't lock me into something I wasn't sure I wanted to do. Again I got to explore and grow and try new areas. All my friends who locked in too early regret it - too soon, junior.
And look, it's not right or wrong either way. Your path is your path, your journey is your journey. Where you're planted is where you'll blossom.
Everyone's figuring things out. Just as much as you look at someone thinking they have it all figured out, they're looking at someone else, maybe even you, and thinking the same.
One more time:
As much as you look at someone thinking they have it all figured out, they're looking at someone else, maybe even you, and thinking the same.
Everyone is dealing with issues, everyone is dealing with problems, everyone has ups and downs. We may only see the ups but the downs are there.
RIDE THE WAVES AND HAVE FUN
I'll never have it all figured out - it's not the point. Life's one wild wave, constantly changing, ups and downs and this wave can go sideways if it wants, it'll feel like it's the best wave ever and other times it'll crash hard.
And the waves come and go, some bigger and more fun than others, some crash early, some crash hard. No one knows exactly how the wave is going to play out, you just have to ride the wave and have fun.