Deviation and Standards
It is commonly accepted that people have different likes and dislikes. However, I have noticed that as we reach our thirties we become more steadfast in those likes and dislikes. Priorities tend to change accordingly, and we settle in to who we are and who we will become. The concept of our legacy becomes an ordinary thread that permeates our subconscious and affects our day to day decisions.
I’m sure we have all stood by and watched our friends make seemingly poor decisions. I’m not talking about standing by while your friend develops a cocaine habit. I’m talking about a decision to move somewhere that makes very little sense or to always put work ahead of their social life.
In light of my frustrations, I have tried very hard to understand people and their motivations. I believe that most people fall into one of the following three groups:
1) Evolvers: This is a group of people who feel that there is a specific time period where it appropriate to do certain things, and then they move on to something else. This group might have enjoyed attending a keg party in college, but by 25 years old they were over it. This group has many interests besides starting a family and settling down. But those interests change regularly and are not meant to please anyone but themselves.
2) Extraordinaries : This is a group of people who want to leave their mark on the world. They want to be able to look back at their life and have some very interesting stories to tell by anyone’s standards. Whether it be telling the story of how they invented a product or dated a celebrity, they want their life’s story to be worthy of a memoir. One of the most important features of this group is that they feel like they are serving the world in some way by living an interesting lifestyle. After all, somebody has to be the next reality star or socialite featured on Page Six.
3) Family Brick Roaders: This is a group of people who’s time at the clubs was always intended to be fleeting. Drinking and partying hard are not their forte deep down. They long for the life that they consider the American dream and can’t wait for their 2.0 kids and 1.70 pets per household.
Which category do you fall in? That is up to you. I don’t think that most people consciously make a decision to live their lives in accordance with one category. Rather, they just gravitate towards specific traits and values that they identify with per their upbringing and life goals. If you take one person from each category at age 19, you would be hard pressed to tell them apart. In fact, a Family Brick Roader might be the hardest partier of them all since the Family Brick Roader subconsciously feels like there is an expiration date on partying so hard.
Look around at your colleagues and friends. Are they Evolvers? Are they Extraordinaries? What will be your own legacy?
Bright Lights, Big City.