Focusing On Myself In My Early Twenties
What will be your Everdays? What will be the legacy you leave behind?
If you asked me this question when I was in my 20s, my answer would have been much different than it is today. In my 20s, I was chasing after personal achievements. My focus was precisely aimed on myself which meant furthering my education, my career, and my personal happiness.
I sought more money, so I could buy a house, take trips, and acquire stuff. When I achieved a goal, I took a shot of joy and fulfillment, but the high was temporary. It exited my system as quickly as it entered until I stepped up onto the next rung on the endless ladder. At that time in my life, my Everdays – my legacy – looked like professional accolades and material success.
Chasing My Children’s Happiness
Then, I married and had two beautiful children. My focus widened, but only a little. I was concerned with bettering the lives of three people instead of only one. This meant making enough money to afford family vacations and buy them stuff. Their achievements were my achievements; their happiness was my happiness. My Everdays became the “American Dream”.
Suggested Read: Our Children Need Us Now More Than Ever
Living Life With More Awareness
I anxiously awaited my next shot of joy but dreaded the crash. Similar to the fall from a sugar high, the “joy” crash can be dizzying. It leaves one feeling empty inside and questioning, “Is this all there is?” Chasing happiness becomes exhausting and eventually depletes us. Then, we stop and get off the treadmill.
These days, I’m much more aware of the tenuous nature of life and fleeting existence of time. That awareness has forced me to ponder some existential questions like:
- Why are we here?
- Am I doing my best with the amount of time I have left?
- What truly brings me sustained happiness and peace?
- When I finally leave this earth, will I be able to say I did the best I could?
Suggested Read: How To Let Go And Live Mindfully
What Will Be Your Everdays?
I remember sitting in mass one morning paying half attention when Father John Menner’s words caught my ear, “Your job is to bring joy to others.” I originally didn’t understand the profundity of his very concise statement. I pictured a person with a perpetual smile on his or her face desperately trying to please everyone ad nauseum. Now, I get it.
Life is about interdependence, not independence.
When we volunteer; do things for others; work for a greater cause or greater good; and try to make all lives better, we drink a big, full glass of joy that, like water, sustains not just our bodies but our souls.
I hope in the end, my Everdays is about making a difference and leaving this awe-inspiring planet a little bit better.
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What do you want your legacy to be?
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