I Will Never Be A Forbes 30 Under 30
A few days ago, I turned 30 and I spent my birthday doing something I had never done before:
I reviewed my old journal.
After reading each and every entry (starting with February 2, 2014), I realized that 30 has become a little more sobering than I thought.
I jotted down the following list of takeaways from the past few years:
- I have an apparent problem with self-control
- I don’t review my thoughts nearly enough
- My actions don’t always align with my words
- I tend to ignore what is right in front of me
- I haven’t (successfully) solidified my long-term goals
- I haven’t reverse engineered them into short-term steps
- I make a lot of excuses
- I unfairly project onto others more than I realize
- I consistently repeat the same mistakes
- My ambition constantly gets the best of me
- I haven’t fully grasped what it means to “live with intention”
- I fall in love with ideas too easily
- I shoot myself in the foot by not saying, “No” enough
In case you couldn’t tell, I can be fairly hard on myself.
The biggest red flag from this exercise was the fact that I continuously wrote about the same problems day in and day out but never did anything about them.
Isn’t this the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?
Looking back, I’m nowhere near where I thought I would be mainly because I wasn’t 100% sure where that was in the first.
Maybe that’s the problem.
As someone who has tried creating my own path since before I graduated, I have made a living illustrating posters, building brands, laying out websites, designing apps, writing articles, throwing summer camps, and pretty much everything else in-between. I’ve even been paid to make weird sounds with my mouth while five other guys sing. True story.
Throughout all of this, I’ve never truly had a tangible measuring stick that told me whether or not I was succeeding.
Combine this with the fact that one of the biggest issues with creating your own path is the inherent lack of recognition from others and you have a recipe for frustration.
I’ve never had a full-time job which means, I’ve never had a boss tell me I’m doing a great job and that I’m on track for a promotion. I’ve also never been able to share small wins with coworkers because, for the most part, I work alone.
This entire time, I thought external validation would help make this path a little more palatable, but I’ve recently learned that I don’t need others to tell me I’m successful.
Sure, some doors (like 30 Under 30 lists) are now shut, but there are still so many more that are open.
Hell, some of them don’t even exist yet.
For all of you out there who might be struggling with the same feelings, just remember that even the most “successful” of us have their flaws, regardless if they are on a magazine or not.
Moving forward, all we can do is our best.
And only you can decide what that is.