Ask a high school student what their plans are after they graduate, and many will likely tell you that they will go to college, get a job, start a family, and someday, probably around sixty-five years old, will retire. The reason they say this is because this is what they know. This is what most everyone they know does. This is the way it’s always been done.
Most of our lives run on a kind of auto-pilot. We tend to just go with the flow, doing things the way they’ve always been done. We have an ingrained belief on how a teenager should act, what marriage should be like, how we should view work, and what we should feel like as we age. We come into our adult lives with pre-conceived notions about how everything should be, how everything should go, and what everything should look like. And here’s the worst part… it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. And we end up living the exact life our limiting belief system laid out for us.
I want to introduce to you a two-word question you can ask that just might change the entire course of your life… Says who?
When you ask family, friends, or yourself questions, you will get very confident, firm, and matter-of-fact answers. These answers are dictated by the belief system of whomever you are asking (including yourself). If you ask one student if he or she will go to college after high school, they might answer with a resounding “yes,” while another student would answer with a resounding “no.” The difference? Their personal experiences, their beliefs, and their world view.
If one of them comes from a long family line of blue collar workers, all working in a particular line of work, and not a single family member ever having gone to college, then they are much, much less likely to think that college is even an option. Now ask the student whose mother is a doctor, father is a lawyer, and three brothers and sisters before them are in college, and college is a given. In his or her mind, not going to college isn’t even an option.
One student will say, “I could never go to college,” while the other says, “I must go to college.” Until one day, one of them asks… Says who?
Who says I can’t go to college? Who says I must go to college? It isn’t until we start to question our beliefs and dig in to why we think what we think that we will see dramatic change in our lives.
We have preconceived ideas about everything in our lives. How should we feel in our 20’s, 40’s, 60’s, and 80’s? At what age should we retire? How should we feel about going to work every day? What should marriage be like after ten years, thirty years, or fifty years? You don’t actually think about the answer, it’s programmed within you. And all of our answers come from what we have seen our whole lives, what we have been told over and over, and what society has ingrained in us through the news, magazines, and television shows.
The world changers you read about are the ones that are told what to expect, how to behave, or what they should do, and ask… Says who? They don’t buy into doing things the way they have always been done. They break the rules. They jump off the well-worn path and forge their own.
How about you? Have you accepted a life that’s been laid out by others? Are you doing things the way you do them just because that’s the way they’ve always been done? You do not have to dread work every day. Your marriage can be fulfilling and passionate after thirty years. You don’t have to be thirty pounds overweight and feel miserable just because you’re fifty. If you think things like that are normal or the way they should be, then ask… Says who?