How to kill your dreams

by Elliot Lyons

I’m an underachiever.

I’m not an underachiever because I haven’t accomplished anything, but because I’ve been settling when it comes to my potential.

This has been a hard thing to admit but at the same time a relief. The relief comes because I no longer have to fight reality to uphold a positive self-image.

One of the most painful things in life isn’t realizing that you’ve wasted time, but that your present actions prime yourself to continue wasting it.

I kept telling myself that I was doing something because of what I had accomplished, and although I knew that I was stuck in life—felt it in every fiber of my being—I couldn’t admit that I wasn’t where I could have be because I was getting in the way.

It wasn’t that there weren’t things outside of my control, I just wasn’t maximizing those that were within my control.

And it was the little things that were holding me back, refusing to do things I didn’t want to do because they weren’t where I wanted to be. I wanted to live life in straight lines because that’s how it happened in my head. I wanted to get where I wanted to go how I wanted to get there, not how I needed to get there.

But things are changing because I’m focusing on the little things. What accelerated my change was the sudden death of my father; I felt the shock of the end of his life in an urgency to live mine.

His death made me contemplate the death of my dreams at my own hand.

If everything had ended then, could I have really said I gave it everything I had, or was I just tired because I was treading water when I should have been swimming towards the shore?

I was treading water and I was exhausted, and I didn’t start to regain energy until I decided to move.

And now I move like I don’t have any time left.


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