A great topic regarding this phenomenon is the typical decision to go to college. It seems that we can easily make the decision to do what the majority of the population is doing, without question, then meet our goal, despite all the hard work, money, and effort involved. Strangely enough, it is rare that I meet someone that makes this decision when they actually know what they truly want to do. In some cases people get into over $100,000 of debt, but those same people may find it ridiculous to put that money (and time!) towards pursuing their own true dreams such as starting a business of their own or traveling. Our society and brain patterning seems to tell us that challenging these norms would be risky and dangerous, and that we would be unsuccessful. I am certainly not saying that going to college is a bad idea in general, but I believe that it is extremely important for our fulfillment, both as a society and personally, that we pursue our dreams. Sometimes that means waiting, and questioning what it is we truly want. When we do what we love, we do a better job at it, and contribute to the whole in a much better way.
I have to admit, I pursued a career in Occupational Therapy, despite there being that little voice in the back of my head telling me that it wasn’t my true passion. I knew something wasn’t right (Oprah has referred to the fact that when something is out of flow, the thoughts to cease it start with a whisper but get louder to a scream or even a hit over the head if we don't listen) but I continued to pursue my goal, and now I have some insight as to why. I saw most people around me going to school for a very general degree that they weren’t really sure how they were going to use yet- by comparison I felt that I was being responsible by choosing what I did. Come to think of it, I guess I felt more secure in choosing such a specialty that was in high demand. At any rate, I was following the expected path, and I was only able to adjust my objective within those boundaries. I ended up getting my Master's degree and working in the field. It is crazy, yet inspiring, to think of all the potential and possibilities vs. what we choose and why. I believe it is important that we focus our effort in a direction that fulfills us. I believe in the power of the mind, and that once we consciously and courageously begin our pursuit in any direction we have the ability to make our goal a reality. It is about catching and questioning our fearful beliefs and patterns as we make decisions.
I was reading a brilliant blog entry today about the reasons why you shouldn’t get a job (http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/07/10-reasons-you-should-never-get-a-job/). Steve Pavlina discusses the fact that most people go to college and then get a job simply because it’s what everybody else is doing, but that that doesn’t make it a good idea. It is a pretty direct article and even harsh at times, but it really made me think, which I always appreciate.
With recent life changes of my own, I continue to be amazed by the number of times fear is the first thing to surface when considering taking an action: in going to a dance class, taking a road trip, pursuing a job, talking to a person. If we were to always see these fears as truths, it seems that that could easily result in living a very mundane and unfulfilling existence, that paradoxically is not so easy.
Attached here is a video on my thoughts about deciding to leave my job 8 months ago :)