Get Off The Train

The lucky ones figure out their path in life early on.

How that came about is sort of irrelevant if you’re on the right track where everything seems to be happening ‘for you’ instead of ‘to you,’ despite all the challenges you have to go through.

On each train, there’s at least one lost soul who got on board by mistake. Sometimes it’s their parents’ doing, forcing upon them some kind of an educational and vocational path. You can’t fault a person for wanting the best for their kids. Maybe something safe that guarantees esteem, job security, and high income; like a doctor, an engineer, or a lawyer.

And then there are those who are well on their own path, accumulating degrees, experience, and a level of mastery doing something that doesn’t excite them for one bit. Their every move along that path is extremely difficult and feels forced because their heart is somewhere else completely. It’s the doctor who really wants to be an author, the engineer who secretly wants to be an entrepreneur, and the lawyer who is ashamed of their hate of practicing law and really wants to be a cartoonist.

For some, it’s a whole different type of being lost. Going about life exploring each path for a short period, never getting committed to anything, never attaining career capital, experience, or mastery in any discipline.

In the Grand Station of life you have a choice of getting on your train of choice. It’s really a set path on iron tracks with specific stations that you’ll pass along the way. You’ll always see people get on and off the train at different times and places.

There’s a first-class, a second-class, and a third-class on each train. Money, status, and power are all riding first. Compromise is on second class. The third-class is reserved for the dabblers.

Everyone wants to be in first class. It’s the most sought-after place to be in every profession, every organization, and every hierarchy. It’s the top of the mountain reserved for those who make all the decisions, set all the trends, and steer every ship.

There are a lot of ways you can have a first-class ticket. You can inherit your ticket, get it as a gift, steal and cheat your way into it, or you can actually work your ass off with determination, persistence, discipline, focus, and excellence. This is where mastery matters. This is where being “so good no one can ignore you” matters the most and it allows you to purchase your own ticket the decent good old-fashioned way.

A person is defined by the room they’re in. It doesn’t really matter how you got into the room, just as long as you can hold your own and act like you belong.

I know the question that you might be having in your mind right now and the answer is: “Fair” has nothing to do with it. Fairness is a perspective, an opinion, or a type of cognitive bias. Your ego fuels your sense of entitlement and it can make you feel like you haven’t been treated fairly if everything isn’t promptly given to you.

Second-class is where you’ll find people who sold out their dreams for the sake of appeasing parents, or who exclusively sought money, power, or status with no actual interest or talent for the work. They can buy their tickets with a lot of time and effort, but they can never be good enough for first-class no matter how hard they try.

The dabblers in third are those who don’t care much for the destination of the train because they’re not really sure where they’re going or for how long they’ll be able to tag along for the ride. Sometimes they just get off the train at the first stop. Some other times they like it there and decide to upgrade to second class, and a few might actually have what it takes for first-class.

The main point is that you must figure out for yourself whether you’re on the right train. The sooner you figure that out, the sooner you can find your way to the second and first class compartments.

The wise ones know from the get-go which train to take and they get on the right platform at the right time with the fees at the ready to pay the conductor. The lucky adventurers get on the right train after a couple of rides on the wrong ones. The rest are just doing their best playing the hand they were dealt.

If you’re on a train and you don’t really like where it’s going, you better get off and find the one you really want to take. The ride is long and unpleasant most of the time and it really does help if you know you’re going somewhere nice.

Choose wisely.

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