How to Know You’re On The Right Track When You’re No Longer On Someone Else’s



Jul. 10 2014, Published 9:59 p.m. ET

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Up until a certain age, all of the decisions that have affected your life have been made by someone else. And even into the phase of adulthood, some decisions in your life are still made by entities larger than you (the government, your boss, etc.). But for the most part, the ultimate path of your life is determined by YOU. Even with outside factors, you choose the way you want to navigate.

But how do you know you’re on the right path? Even if the path you’re on isn’t the way you imagined your journey would be, there are key ways to tell if you’re on a track to success, even if your current situation looks desolate.

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1. You’re Making Decisions, Keeping Your Happiness in Mind First


Everyone wants to make parents, friends, and loved ones proud. However, ultimately every decision you make can’t be an attempt to please others. Sometimes, the things that are best for your life won’t always win over the approval of those around you, and that’s okay. If you constantly allow others to dictate and make decisions regarding your life, you’ll never learn how to experience and enjoy life for yourself. Find your own interests, have your own job, your own place and experience your own journey. It may difficult and even frightening to take the first steps on your own, but once you get the swing of things, you’ll find the complete happiness you’ve never known because you’ve been hiding behind someone else’s decisions for your life.

2. Your Path Is a Little Rocky


No one’s life is easy. Even the richest and most successful people still run into troubles and roadblocks along the way whether it’s a financial issue or a sudden change of life events, no one’s day-to-day life is perfect and goes exactly the way they imagine. If you’re taking the easiest route possible by planning to continuously live at your parent’s home (not worrying about rent or bills), working a redundant job (that you hate), and not leaving the city that you find boredom in (because you already know everyone and everything in the town) make the change! Even if you’re afraid and everything isn’t totally together, if you have a plan of action, you will be able to adapt and adjust. Be open to stepping outside of your comfort zone.

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3. You’re Generally Optimistic

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We all have days where we’re down, or maybe experience a situation that is totally detrimental. But having an overall positive outlook on life and seeing the learning opportunity in negative situations means you have an optimistic outlook on life. Having such a perspective is important, so you won’t be as easily discouraged and ready to quit like someone who is always seeing life through a negative lens. Seeing the bright side means you’re living in the moment with overall happiness, and you’re excited for your future.

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4. You Accomplish Your Goals

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When you set small goals for yourself, you reach them – whether it’s completing your week’s To-Do Lists or finishing a workout challenge. When you begin projects, you complete them (maybe not always in the time you had thought, but they get done.) When you’re able to push yourself to finish what you start, it means you’re dedicated to the tasks and that you’re up for a challenge. A long term goal could be getting your degree or starting the small business you’ve dreamed of owning. By setting goals and working towards accomplishing them, you can flesh out your interests and learn new things. When you constantly start and stop something, you are always changing paths and never really making concrete plans or decisions.

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5. You Realize Your Time is Precious

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No one will say they like for their time to be wasted, but there are a lot of subtle ways in which we may allow our time to be wasted that we’re aren’t quite aware of. For example, being stuck in a job you hate is wasting you’re time– you’re not growing professionally, and all the time you spent on the clock can never be gotten back. While it’s good to be making money, invest your time and energy into a career that in the long run you’ll be happy with. Staying in a relationship that is constant stress is also another time waster (either friendship or romantic relationship). Yes, not all interactions are smooth, but if you spend more time defending the relationship than having one, maybe it’s time you move on to people who don’t seem to thrive on dramatics. Why spend a majority of the time fighting and making up and fighting again? It may be time to move on from particularly dramatic relationships so you can focus on uplifting ones.

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