This One Time In High School…
In tenth grade, I went to a charter school that was built into a local community college. My classmates were chosen at random to attend the high school. About seventy kids in all were now about to enter a world filled with adults, college coursework, and professors (not teachers).
Our ambitious class consisted of brainiacs that made near-perfect scores on the SAT, creative-types that played multiple instruments, future business leaders who already had interns lined up (at age 15), and philanthropists that planned to volunteer their brains and services to their favorite non-profits overseas.
Class of 2013, sophomores, had dreams, ambitions, passions…, and timelines.
These timelines went along the lines of:
- Graduate High School with a College Degree by 18 (or 17)
- Graduate from Grad School by 22 (or 21)
- Start New Job by 23
- And then retire wealthy and satisfied by 25.
This mentality wasn’t only molded into the minds of high-achieving high school students.
Most people can agree they have similar goals; making tons of money, having success in family life, and also retiring before dying.
The only problem with timelines is that life doesn’t give a flying flapjack what you have planned out! You just need to learn how to solve problems before the next one comes along.
My timeline went downhill towards the end of high school when I realized I hated chemistry way too much to major in biochemistry or pharmacology for that matter. I quietly snuck out of my high school graduation with an A.A. degree and a job at a local insurance company.
Mind you. I still had a timeline. I wanted to be promoted to…, something! I wanted to make so much money, that I could afford a car of my own. And, yet, time was passing me by, I was getting older. At the ripe old age of 21, I realized that I’m kidding myself.
Timelines suck the joy out of life:
They make everything feel like it needs to happen now. That’s why people complain that this generation suffers from “instant gratification” syndrome, and the reason why all TV’s need DVR or it’s not worth watching.
Timelines remind you of all the things you failed at:
Why do people need to go on the TV show Married at First Sight? Because their marital timeline told them they’re supposed to be married at a certain age.
Get real. You can’t put a timeline on love (though it shouldn’t be dragged out). So, why get stuck with the wrong person at the right time?
Same thing with the idea that you need to put a timeline on your career. If your boss hasn’t given you a raise in two years, and you’ve been working your butt off. Guess what? Find a new job, ask for the money you want, and quit the old job. Or better still, start your own business, and walk off the job.
Life passes you by really fast:
And, when you put a timeline on it and then reflect on it, you feel like a loser. You ruined your life by not following the timeline to a “T”!
At one time, my brother was not as enlightened as me.
He had a timeline:
- Graduate from school by 18
- Get job by 18
- Move out by 19
- Look for wife by 19
Dude! Give me a break, how about enjoy being 18 and then pray that you live to see 20. (He listens to me now, so he’s enjoying being almost 20.)
Point is, timelines shouldn’t be placed on our lives, they need to be removed. It’s funny to say “I can’t wait for Friday”. On a Monday, but again, as I mentioned in another post, you just wished away four other days that you would’ve been living to the fullest.
Now I’m not going to keep kicking a dead horse.
Timelines are good for some things:
- Giving you an estimate of how long it’ll take until you reach a project deadline.
- Finding out when to take a Hot Pocket out of the microwave, before it explodes.
- Making sure your baby is cooked through and ready to be born.
But, don’t force timelines onto things in life that YOU DO NOT control. I’m not screaming at you: A-Type, perfectionists, who need to control the air you breathe. But, I’m screaming at everyone I know who puts a timeline on life, myself included. I know you do it.
I know you do it.
And, it’s hard to remove the “timeline thinking” once you started.
But, just remember this: you keep putting a timeline on life…
…Eventually, it’ll run out.
And, no one wants to see their timeline run out.
You’ve made it to the end of this article. But, now make some time to sign-up for The Life Major Exclusive list and get information on something more important than a silly timeline.