“Is this how you want to live the rest of your life?”

Cue existential dread.

We may have heard of this question already, written in self-help books, asked by motivational speakers, or printed in an ad on the subway, broadcasted everywhere. It clings to you, disturbs your peace of mind, and attaches itself to the back of your head, like tree branches beating against your window at night—repeatedly, persistently—until you go a little insane, and can no longer ignore its existence. 

We have seen and heard it all. Success stories of self-made millionaires, people who didn't need to finish their undergraduate degree having a much greater income than those who did. Underdogs in movies who were actually “the chosen one”, awakening their super cool powers and ending up a hero. Clark Kent with the glasses, a not-so-Average Joe, who saved the world a bunch of times. You may never admit it, but at one point in your life, maybe even now, you thought you would be just like them. 

But then, you awaken from your daydream and face the reality that you are no Clark Kent, but the other guy, that extra blurry character at the side, someone not that important to have a name or even a face.

“Is this how you want to live the rest of your life?”

Wake up.

The question once again rears its head and refuses to go away.

To be fair, one doesn’t need to conjure up a long, complicated answer, as there are only two choices: “Yes” or “No”. The tricky part is, what do you do if your answer is “No”?

Wake up.

You are running, heaving, struggling. You open your eyes and see that you are running on a hamster wheel, around and around you go, with no destination in sight. You are an Average Joe, running on autopilot. You start the day with the bitter taste of coffee on your tongue and end the 40-hour workweek with a bitter feeling in your heart.

Many people try their hardest to disassociate themselves from the dull and mundane, to be extraordinary. But really, is there anything wrong with being average?

Raj Subrameyer is also an Average Joe—an Average Joe with a six-figure business, that is. Doesn’t make sense? Well to him, it does.

Raj is an international keynote speaker, author, and tech career coach, but, like many of us, he was under pressure. “I endlessly compared myself to the overachievers around me,” he said. “This also led to a constant feeling that I was dumb, I did not matter, and I was never going to be successful in life.”

“I was tired of living within a shell, and my body and mind were struggling to break free. Then it happened—20 years of living a life in a false identity, killing myself internally to please others around me, yearning for validation from others that I was good enough, not being able to be myself and do things which I felt was right for me; all these feelings that had bottled up within me exploded. This was when I decided that I am good enough; I matter; I can strive for greatness, and I can carve my own identity.”

“I declared power over my life.”

And so, in 2008, Raj made the leap. He flew some thousand miles with only his luggage and burning determination to make it big in the foreign land. But alas, it seemed that he was not destined to succeed, as his arrival coincided with the start of the recession. What a bummer.

Being an unemployed immigrant during the recession would be one of the most frightening things that could ever happen to someone, and Raj surely agrees, but he soldiered on, went against his doubts, and rode the wave.

In 2009, Raj applied to 1,293 positions and received just one job offer, but for an intern position. After six months at the internship, he landed a full-time job at another company that recognized his skills. Fast-forwarding to 2020, he has helped to transform countless people’s personal lives and careers through his experiences, coaching, speaking, and writing. “That one decision I made of riding the wave and doing whatever it took to get a job finally paid off, and it significantly changed my life,” he said.

At this point, you may claim that I was mistaken for labeling Raj as just an Average Joe, but he said so himself. “The best part here is I am an average guy. If I can make this transformation so can anyone else.”

A transformation. Did Raj evolve from an Average Joe into Optimus Prime? No, he’s still pretty average, like us.

And just like us, Raj had his fair share of hardships, failures, and successes, and he talks about it in his new book, Skyrocket Your Career, on how he dealt with his life experiences so that you can also stop running on autopilot and begin to aspire to find your true passion and identity. He discusses practical strategies to find your dream job, be massively successful in it, and meet your rockstar potential--altogether setting you miles apart from your colleagues and competition. The various insights providing in the book will make you realize the power to make a change is already within you. Using the tips, tricks, and tools discussed in this book, you can launch yourself into each opportunity and challenge it with courage and confidence.

In these uncertain times, it may be more difficult to work towards your dream or to advance your career, but, as Raj has said, “You may not be able to control the circumstances around you, but fear and scarcity can help you find opportunities that you may otherwise not discover if you are living a cushy and comfortable life.”

“No matter what happens, life moves on, time does not stop and continues to tick. So are you going to sit and bitch about the past? Or take a bold step into the future and pursue your dreams?”

There is a Latin proverb that goes, “Fortune favors the bold.” Well, anyone can be that; you don’t have to be a special snowflake to be brave. Stop running. Raise your head high and face it head-on.

“Is this how you want to live the rest of your life?”

You know what to do.

Nov 21, 2020

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