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Read This If You’re 23 And Lost

So youre 23 and you have no idea what comes next.

First of all, congratulations. You’re ahead of the game.

Do you know how long most people wait to realize that theyre lost? Do you know many people never do? Do you understand how many people go through their entire lives aimlessly floundering; only to realize at the very end of it that none of what they did was what they wanted? Its a lot more than youd think. And most of those people thought they had it all figured out at twenty-three.

After all, its not so hard to be found when you are twenty-three years old. There are infinite hoards of people who will tell you what to do and where to go. There are endless opportunities for you to make money and prosper. All you have to do is let go of what you want for yourself. You just have to subscribe to living someone elses dream.

If you are lost at twenty-three, you are exactly where you need to be right now. I know that it is not where you would like stuck in the middle of uncertainty and failure and your own inconsistent desires. I know its not the place you thought youd be when you screamed, Cheers! on your 20th birthday in anticipation of the next exciting decade. I know that you would rather be just about anywhere but here except you cant figure out where to go and it is driving you slowly up the wall. I know what its like to be twenty-three and lost. I know that its the worst place on earth.

But the fact that you are lost right now tells you something. It tells you that your life as it has been is not your life as it will be. It tells you that youre not the kind of person who settles for okay or sort of good enough. The fact that you are lost tells you that you would rather be living in the middle of uncertainty than dead-set on something that makes you consistently miserable. And Im not sure if you realize how rare that really is. How few people still give a shit about doing something meaningful with their lives. How many more people we need who are just like you lost and reeling, yet still pushing themselves to do better.

You are lost because you care. Youre lost because youre passionate. Youre lost because you know that there is more inside of you than what youre currently offering the world and that is a brilliant thing to know.

At 23, JK Rowling was broke. Tina Fey was working at the Y.M.C.A. Oprah had just gotten fired from her first job as a TV reporter and Walt Disney had declared bankruptcy. None of these wildly successful individuals could have predicted what was in store for them next but the one thing they all had in common was that they knew that there was more to them than what they were doing at the time. And thats what you have in common with them, too. You know that theres a bigger, better version of yourself to bring to life. You just havent gotten there yet.

So lets look at where to go from here. If your life is lying splintered on the floor, which pieces do you want to pick up and keep? Which do you leave? What do you choose not to re-create now that youre given the chance to start over? Because that is exactly the chance that you have at twenty-three. You get to strip your life down to its bare bones and build the whole thing back up from scratch. Its not the easiest thing to do. But its the best thing. The bravest thing. The most rewarding thing and the kind of thing you only get the opportunity to do through being lost.

So right now, let yourself be a little bit lost. Because you dont get found by staying comfortable. You dont get found by running away. You dont get found by fighting your deepest impulses and you definitely dont get found by hiding out. You get found by doing exactly what it is that you are doing right now which is delving right into the heart of your life and fighting like hell for what matters.

If youre never lost you never get found.

And youre the kind of person worth searching for.

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