Three Numbers You Need To Forget About
You are defined by a lot of things in life. Sometimes by choice, sometimes not, sometimes by yourself, and sometimes by others. I get it, I do it too, and I let others do it to me. But there are some things (well, okay, a lot of things, but will start with three) that you shouldn't be defined by.
I believe the sooner you own these numbers which, in my mind essentially means you do tell people them. (Because you are not ashamed to tell them.) You say them out loud, and then you forget about them. Why? Because they do not matter.
Shall I explain? ;)
The Three Numbers You Need To Forget In Life
1. Your Age
This one is probably the hardest one for myself and that's why I've put it first. I obsess about age. Mostly I think I'm too "old". I'm only 24 but for some reason I feel as if I've lost my youth and time to accomplish things.
Let me tell you a few things I've learned about how wrong that is.
I recently read the book "Do Hard Things" which is all about teenagers rebelling against low expectations and taking on responsibilities that people don't expect them to handle, and then basically rocking them. It's about taking away the stigma society puts on you that "you're too young" to do something. It's demeaning and inaccurate. You're not too young for any responsibilities, dreams, jobs, goals, or the hard work and discipline that those things take!
On the flip side of that (and where my problem occurs) you are not "too old" to start. You are not too old to start trying, working, practicing or learning something new. You are not "too old" to work on yourself, learn from others, chase dreams or change paths. Age is just a number! In life you grow if you are constantly learning, changing, exploring, etc. not because you hit another year.
Don't be embarrassed about your age and avoid the question or make jokes. State it like the fact it is, own it, and move on. Your age is a statistic, not a definition. Let's treat it that way.
2. Your Weight
I want you to walk away from this section with two key facts: Health is important and matters, a number on a scale is not and does not.
I know this number can be close to us. We can become obsessed or defensive over it. But can I tell you something? Nobody cares about that number but you.
We can all agree that health is a good thing to have. We can also probably all agree being active is a good thing. However, a number on a scale does not dictate these two things. The only reason we are ever concerned with a number is to use it to tear ourselves down. That is so far from doing anything good for us! Even when you are trying to eat better or exercise your focus should still not be on that number. It does not dictate your progress.
Yet here we are in the twenty first century and weight is considered one of the taboo topics to bring up. "You never ask a girl what she weighs!" Right? But why? Because we think so low of ourselves that you asking will make us assume you think we are overweight? Because it is assumed we weigh an amount that is embarrassingly too high or low so we obviously wouldn't want to share it?
Don't worry you're not alone! There are times when I'm in a group and weight randomly gets brought up. I start to feel that heaviness of, "We don't talk about this!" But then I think why? By not talking about it, by not saying, "Hey! I weigh 145lbs!" I'm essentially saying that I'm ashamed of that number. That I shouldn't weigh that much. But more importantly what not talking about it says to to others is that they should be ashamed too. And that's just not something I'm okay with.
Like any topic, the moment you open up you are telling others it's okay for them to too. When you do share a number like that, that we are used to hiding, you again, are owning it and saying I'll share it because it doesn't matter. It doesn't define me and it certainly doesn't define you.
3. Your Wage
I had wanted to write a whole post on this and I might still one day, but I knew I needed to include it in this post. It's something I'm passionate about and part of my mission in writing this blog, to teach about money, it's worth and yours. Which are entirely separate.
So the last number you need to forget and another taboo topic in our society: is how much you make for a living.
Again I'll start by asking why?
Why are we so open about so many other aspects of our life, but when finances get brought up we are a zipped lip? Why is it uncomfortable? Are we embarrassed? Do we not want to boast, thinking we make more than others? Or do we think we make too little and people will judge? We tie ourselves to these numbers so much so that when the topic gets brought up we put on our poker face and back away slowly as to not show our hand.
While money, an income, is a wonderful thing to have and a vital tool to being able to live, it is not an end all be all of life. Success is not defined by how much you made last year. And if you are connecting your wage to your success or to your worth as a person, you are going to be disappointed.
There will come a time in your life where you won't make that much money. Most likely right after college if you didn't major in a money making degree. If you want to pursue a dream or a fulfilling job (which you should) you most likely will be "poor" longer. I have never made more than $12.50/hr (Washington's minimum wage is high) and while I strive to make more money in the future I know that I'm doing that in order to have a house, travel, and start a family, not because I think that will make me successful.
Your wage is simply the amount you've agreed to be paid for a job you will do. Nothing more, nothing less. Again, let's treat it that way.
I believe the longer something stays in the dark the bigger it becomes. We are told to keep these numbers hidden, to not discuss them. But when we don't openly talk about these three numbers they become bigger and bigger inside us. When really they are merely facts/statistics and hold no real value to our character.
So talk about them! Own them! Then, forget them!