I don’t know how many of you remember this, but during the 1980’s there was a heavy metal band by the name of Twisted Sister. (Note: Actually, I believe that they are still performing, but I lost track of them after their break up during the late 80’s). Anyway, my freshman year in high school they came out with a song that spoke to an entire generation of young people and became the battle cry for change, or at least for rebellion.
That year it felt like We’re Not Gonna Take It was playing everywhere. You heard it at parties and on the radio and kids screaming it in the halls. It was the classic case of teenage rebellion against parental control; against societal expectation; a million kids standing shoulder to shoulder and screaming that they would be damned if they were going to become their parents.
Well, just as with every other generation, we focused so hard on what we didn’t want that we brought it to us. All you have to do is look around at the 40-something generation to see that (with a handful of exceptions) they have become what they most feared; they have become their parents.
So what happened? How did an entire generation of kids so determined to NOT be their parents end up drinking the Kool-Aid, buying houses in suburbia and haranguing their own sons and daughters to get haircuts and clean up their rooms? Frankly, it was a lack of intention.
You see, one thing that many of the Law of Attraction gurus fail to focus on is that without adding intention to the mix you can focus on happy happy thoughts until the end of time without ever seeing any change for the better. In fact, if your focus is fear of something (in my generation’s case a fear of becoming like their parents) just wanting to NOT be like them was (obviously) not enough.
So going back to 1984; you had a generation of kids screaming that they weren’t going to take it; that they were NOT going to be like their parents (many of whom had been a part of the flower power generation in their own time but who had then gone mainstream), and for a while it worked. These kids (like every other generation of teenagers in the history of mankind) went out and did the exact opposite of what their parents wanted. They let their hair grow and played guitar loudly in the basement. They refused to give a crap about their education or to take life seriously. They escaped the demands of reality by escaping into video games and shut out the world around them by strapping on their walkmans.
But for all of their breaking away from reality, for all of their refusal to conform to societal standards or to give a crap about anyone other than themselves, it all fell apart due to their lack of intention. They knew that they wanted to change, that they wanted their lives to be different; to have actual meaning and purpose, but they had no idea what exactly that meaning or purpose should be.
And so, like so many generations before them, these 80’s children went from screaming “We’re not gonna take it” to accepting it in order to get a job that would pay the bills to bending over and taking it in order to keep the job and continue being able to pay the mortgage and their own children’s college bills.
Yes, as with every other generation there have been exceptions to the rule; individuals who broke free from the traditions and the expectations and who focused their intention on creating a life for themselves free of restrictions. But for the most part, those without intention; those who were not able to focus their wants and desires into actual decisions simply lost their momentum and turned into replicas of their parents; working within the system if not by choice then out of necessity.
Regardless of what generation you grew up in, just because you find yourself stuck in a (seemingly) unalterable lifestyle does not mean that change cannot happen. All it means is that you are less likely to break free from it than you were as a teenager when there were fewer obligations and responsibilities weighing you down. Change can still happen. It just isn’t as easy.
Indeed, if you can pause in your rat race for long enough the need for change can become an overwhelming urge; the desire to break free from the traditions and expectations that have turned you into something that you are not can wash over you with the force of a tsunami and the race for an authentic life; one lived from the heart and not from someone else’s expectations of who and what you should be can take on a driving force all of its own.
But what is to keep you from failing again? What is to keep your dreams of a fuller, richer life from being just that; dreams? The answer is in intention.
Just knowing that you want something more; something different is not enough. Every teenager wants something different. For that matter, many adults do too (even though they repress it with their need to be responsible and ‘mature.’) What it takes is intention to turn your dream of something more into your reality of the life you know that you were always meant to live.
Mind you, as adults you have more baggage to sort through, and it is going to be harder to let go of many of those expectations that have become ingrained parts of your life and that are keeping you from creating your dream life, but it can be done. It is possible to create the life you always wanted; you just have to be able to live life intentionally.
When you can do that, when you can turn the universe’s perverse sense of humor (bringing you what you focus on; in most people’s cases – fear) to your own advantage, everything will fall into place and you will cease regarding the universe as a twisted sister who keeps you from getting what you want and see it instead as simply the source of your own power for change and intentional living.