You Are Not Supposed To Know

What am I going to do when I grow up?

What is my future going to look like?

What am I working towards?

What will I do with my life?

Guess what? It’s good that you don’t know the answers because they are not even the right questions for you to be asking yourself.

If you were to have a clear image of what will make you happy and what your ideal life looks like, it would be an illusion. The image of your desired future is merely a construct made up of other peoples’ dreams and present situations, social conditioning and programming and your own false beliefs that are built upon your past experiences. You cannot possibly know what will ultimately give you the feeling of happiness and fulfillment in the future, because you have not experienced it yet. So, if you are following some kind of path that you believe will lead you to your happiness, it is someone else’s because it is already there to be followed.

I love the part in the movie Ex Machina were the two main characters are talking about Jackson Pollock’s painting. Nathan asks Caleb what would have happened if Jackson Pollock would have not painted anything without knowing exactly why he was doing it, to which Caleb then answered: ”He never would have made a single mark.”

Letting go of trying to control were your life is taking you and surrendering to the process of growing, progressing and learning every day is very difficult. For me, it feels almost impossible. I have always loved predictability, stability and comfort and I have cultivated that false feeling of control by carefully planning my life, performing my daily tasks and forming rigid images of my future. For some reason I have always needed to see the end result in my mind and to know for certain that I will succeed, in order to have the courage to take the first step. Only recently have I realized, that I can never truly see the end because it changes with every breath I take. By demanding certainty I am setting myself up for nothing but frustration and disappointment in the future.

In today’s world having a clear path to follow and knowing what your purpose is - having a five or preferably a ten year plan, has become a crucial part of being an acceptable, worthwhile member of society. Of course there’s no denying that it is necessary to have some plans in order to make arrangements and be able to commit to them. However, it is imperative not to let long-term goals and visions become limiting structures or measures of success or failure. 

So, it is good not to even pretend to know exactly what kind of person you are going to be or to constantly try and squeeze yourself into a certain box. The idea of having one defining relationship, career path or world view is outdated - if your path seems like a perfectly straight line, you haven’t questioned yourself enough. Life can actually be seen as a series of pit stops, wrong turns and detours that make each journey unique but ultimately lead to the exact same finish line. Everyone will take their last breath and that is all the certainty any of us are offered at the moment. Surrendering to not knowing, gives you freedom to point your toes toward fears and stretch the boundaries of your existence, to ultimately forge your very own path - a path that will probably end up taking you places you never could have imagined.

So, if you think that you have the answers - you are on someone else’s path.