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There Ain't No Crystal Ball

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So many of us are concerned about our futures. We are restless. The lucky few have mapped out exactly what they want to do with their lives. They know what they want to study, what they want to be after their studies, and what area they want to live in.

Key word: want.

Want. That is all they can do. Our life will most likely not go in the way we imagine it. I'm 15 now and 10 years ago this is not at all how I thought my life would be. If my thinking and my morals can change this drastically in a matter of 5 years, who's to say how much can change in 10? My idea of success has changed drastically.

I am learning more and more about life every day. Two years ago if you asked me what success was, I would tell you it would be having a big house and an amazing car and everything like that. That was my dream. You know, it was my dream 5 months ago even. Something changed, though. I came into this place where I had no idea what was going on with me. I was mad, I was sad, and I was angry. So, so angry.

We'd just moved to a new town, and all I wanted to do was go back to my comfort zone -- a place of familiarity. But I was confused about where my anger was coming from. It was like a tidal wave crashing down on me. I couldn't handle it at all. All of a sudden, I saw my future sprawled out in front of me: this big scary thing that I had no idea how to navigate.

Even more confusion arose. I doubted myself like crazy. I was scared and did not think I had it in me to make my dreams come true. I didn't even think I knew what my dream was at that point. All I could think was, "I have to be the best. I have to make my mother proud." I was obsessed with the word "success." The first half of my summer was spent silently stewing and brooding over everything. I would sit and just think. When I look back at it now, if I'd let it go on, it might've turned into a mild depression.

I told myself something had to change. I could either choose to live in this mindset, or use this as an opportunity to learn about myself and an opportunity for me to grow as a person. I decided to do the latter. I started to realize that my success may be different from another person's. Just because people tell you what they think you should be satisfied with, doesn't mean you have to agree. An individual's success is more often than not defined by those around us and their ideas of success. For me, it was my mother. She said to me at a young age that I should put education first. "Get yourself an education in order to live comfortably. Go to school, get a degree, meet the perfect spouse, get married, and have beautiful children," she said. That is her idea of success.

Incidentally, the Olympic Games also took place this summer. These athletes worked most of their life for that moment. They kept their eyes on a goal, and they did every single thing they could in order to manifest that dream.

"There ain't no crystal ball, the magic is inside of you."

I had never understood that quote by Dolly Parton until I thought about the Olympics. Everything you need to create your success is inside of you -- every ounce of bravery, strength, and intelligence. You should do what you love, do what you're good at, and make it matter. Inspire people. If you've inspired one person to be better, to reach further I think you've done a lot. Pursue excellence and ignore success and all of that. Whatever you do, make it matter. Find your greatness.