“Children see magic because they look for it.”
When we were kids, the world seemed so wast. Our dreams could take us everywhere and our minds felt truly open. We would do what we wanted, not bounded by fears, the judgment of other people, or society. As we grow up, we are getting shaped by the environment. We learn how we are supposed to behave and that life is not all about the fun, but about the tedious tasks, our parents or teachers order us to do. I remember how I hated the fact that I had to listen to other people telling me what to do and how I wished for me to grow up fast. In my young mind, I had this vision of freedom, that when I finally grow up I don’t have to listen to other people’s shit anymore.
I’m turning 30 next year and live my „adult“ life. When I was a kid, I felt like all the adults had life and all that figured out and that the gras is greener there. I don’t know if it’s a generational thing, but I feel like a lot of people around my age are lost or live a life that they just tolerate. Or that they don’t have ambitions to find out what they really want or really like to do. I don’t judge it as something negative when people aren’t interested in doing it. I’m just wondering if life is meant to be that way. Because damn, I don’t have my shit together at all and I’m still not ready to take on all the adult responsibilities. Adulthood sucks. My naive self didn’t believe it when people told me back then.
„Happiness is a fleeting emotion. I just need to accept how things are. I don’t need that much to feel satisfied.“ These sentences make so much sense to me, that’s why I’m asking myself why I can’t stop struggling and just be content with a „normal“ life. Doing a nine to five job, finding a monogamous relationship, having a socially acceptable hobby, and just be grateful for it. I stopped idealizing those things for a while now, freeing myself from those expectations. Even with a more anarchistic approach to building my life the way it fits me the best, I’m still conflicted sometimes, thinking about how my life could be easier, if I would be a toast or if I would have ideals that match society standards. It’s this war of going back to the comfort zone or fight the way out of it.
„Are we doomed to lose our potential as we grow older?“ My short answer would be: „Not necessarily.“
I don’t think it’s about losing our potential, it’s more that we stop drawing out the potential inside us. We lose the curiosity we had when we were children and start to live on autopilot. This happens easily because life is happening. Do you remember all that free time you had as a child? Then you go to school, maybe university, or start a job. As the responsibilities in life start to add up, we have less time and even energy to actually spend on our personal growth or things that we were once passionate about. Life becomes that loop of stuff we need to do in order to maintain our lifestyle.
Is it a bad thing? Depends on your mindset and what you are expecting out of your life. Are you feeling stuck? Do you think your life feels like an endless boring routine? It could be a sign that change is needed. If you are looking for inspiration on how to tap on your potential, here is what you could do to bring new excitement to your daily life. This list is just meant for inspiration, not as a step to step guide you have to follow.
- Learn a new skill or language
- Try doing voluntary work
- Start a new hobby and join a local community
- Read (more) books
- Create something
- Travel in a way you didn’t before
- Talk to people outside of your circle
Freeing up space in your life and mind can be really liberating as well. There are different approaches to how we can do it. Sometimes we just have too much clutter that weighs us down.
- Get rid of things that we don’t need anymore or don’t spark joy (Marie Kondo‘s philosophy)
- Digital or/and dopamine detox
- End toxic relationships
“By leaving your comfort zone behind and taking a leap of faith into something new, you find out who you are truly capable of becoming.”