What prevents us from achieving our optimum growth? It’s the hardwired rules the society—and mostly by what our parents—had taught us when we we’re young.

You are made to believe that older people are always right and it means punishment if you disobeyed their rules. It can be misleading to your younger self that it could mean that the older you get then you’ll have the privilege to be always right.

Do this. It’s the only way. / Listen to me, I’m the parent. / Study hard. Get good grades. / Get a stable job so your future will be secured.

What is not taught is that there are other skills that will greatly help you in life than being a good boy/student/employee.

The people around us can also indirectly wire us to follow the norms they also follow. The traditions, subculture or even the television may also mislead the youth.

As kids, you were trained to obey rules and follow the norms. These are hardwired to your brain, to function as what the society expects you to be. In school, you are awarded if you consistently follow these rules.

But in the outside world, things are different. You start questioning why but you still keep obeying rules. Then comes a time you fail greatly that you began blaming your parents—or your friends—because you all did was listen to them.

Often times, these are difficult to break. It’s already there, why removing it? You have lived your life thinking they are right all the time.

People are bent to seek answers from the outside and are assured that it is right because it’s what others do. We also tend to point fingers to protect ourselves.

What is difficult to do is to begin asking yourself. Start questioning every aspect of yourself. Is what I’m doing will benefit me in the long run? What is my purpose in life? What are my goals? Do I want to live like this every day of my life?

You might think you already know yourself, but the deeper you connect with yourself, the more you enlighten yourself with who you really are. This time you will stop seeking assurance from others.

“I will change. I will stop living a life defined by others.” But does this means stopping from listening to others? Once you choose the destination you want to go, you’ll start to find the best path to walk in.

You’ll realize each person you interact with is important. The words they say and the actions they make can help you decide to whether follow them or not. Being polite but frank is a skill to be sharpened.

Find people who can help you grow and can offer you insights on what to do. Start finding a good mentor, read books and join workshops. Begin doing what you really want. Set bigger goals than your current ones. Start doing things differently.

It’s a difficult road to pass through. People don’t like the word different. Some will laugh at you, some will question you and others will pull you down.

It is also inevitable to fail many times. Keep going. Learn from the failures and rebuild yourself. Never forget to seek advice from good mentors. Fine-tune their advice to fit you. Weigh decisions properly. Think in long term.

Is money your goal? Is it your motivation? Stop. Money shouldn’t be the goal—but it could be the result! The goal should be to become a better you and to start doing what you are passionate about.

If you’re great at what you do and you are passionate on it, you can use it as a tool. You can monetize your talent or skill. But money should never be a goal.

People can only see the good in a tree when it starts to bear fruits. But their vision can only be limited to the fruits itself and not the hardships it overcame in the background.

Remember, someone will never understand what he doesn’t want to know. Someone can’t comprehend what he doesn’t want to hear. Your purpose is not to prove yourself to others but to continually grow and make yourself better.

Ever heard about, “It’s better to give than to receive.” or better “The more you give, the more you will receive?” But others discourage the act of expecting of something in return. You don’t need to expect because it just happens, not now but as soon as possible.

What you give can be in any form. You do not give to expect tripled returns but you give because you can. When it becomes a habit of giving, your brain will begin to change the way it works. It will start to think that you are capable of having more than what you currently have—and soon you will.

Success has no single meaning, it’s a word defined by you. It is defined by your purpose. It can be the journey itself and not the destination. It can be the sacrifices and not the outcome.

Start doing it now. While you sleep, make sure you wake up better—or richer—the day before. Wake up every day with a goal in the mind. And in between those hours, do what makes you an inch closer to your goals.

Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash
© 2017 Onie Maniego and The Paper Drafts

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