I have always considered myself to be a very “career-oriented” person. Sadly, I have realized that my source of motivation actually comes from fear.
Fear of not having enough.
Or not being taken seriously.
Fear of being a failure.
Or an underdog.
I have been hard on myself and tried to develop a tough skin to excel in my studies and career development. But I knew, in my heart, that climbing a career ladder, building a million-dollar empire, or becoming a “boss” are not the things I aspire to do.
Instead, I just want enough freedom and independence to have more options and choices than my ancestors could acquire.
I just want enough money to sustain my life, enjoy my hobbies, and possess some small luxuries.
And I just want whatever dignity and respect I can earn by contributing the knowledge and skills I have developed over the years.
I knew that to achieve this kind of life, I did not necessarily need to have the highest position in the company (or become the CEO). Moreover, the experience of burnout made me realize that relentless career development is not the only value I hold in my life.
One winter, I paused and took a break from the intense working environment to reflect and dive deeply into my inner world.
I was able to nurture my creative energy, connect deeply with my community, and release the tension I was holding by moving my body to music.
Those were the activities that made me feel alive. That helped me recharge and refresh my soul. And finally experience a sense of inner peace.
So, I would like to let you know that maybe some of us are not meant to be highly productive members of the community. Ones who contribute to society by tirelessly working as “professionals.”
Maybe some of us are not meant to be in a place of constant growth and gain. A place where you keep pushing yourself to be better at every step.
Maybe some of us are not meant to be in the competitive world where we always look for the top. Where it’s all about becoming number one.
Maybe as human beings, our growth is not meant to be linear but more like a loop. We are allowed to go back to the same space. We are allowed to stay there. And we are allowed to take the time to heal. We can go through the same cycle over and over again, like the beautiful seasons of the year.
It is okay to be able to enjoy a simple life.
It is okay to be able to earn just enough to survive, thrive, and have fun.
And it is okay to love, support, and care for yourself first.