Look back on all the advice you’ve ever heard. Combine that with the every graduation speech you’ve ever had to sit through. Now pile it all on top of every inspirational article, Podcast or book you’ve ever considered or possessed. Has anyone ever mentioned that getting what you want out of life isn’t just about the hard work you’re willing to put in, but also your willingness to sign contracts?
Take the last four months of my life, for example.
First, we moved to a bigger, better apartment—which came down to negotiating the end of one lease, signing another and preparing to get all of our crap from one address to another all while updating the utilities, the mail and every point of contact we’d ever made. It was all about filling in numerous blanks, on multiple forms for a variety of different people and organizations.
Then, for some unexplainable, impulsive reason I traded one perfectly good Toyota for a newer, bigger Toyota. Buying a new car was exciting, but I quickly discovered that the only thing dealerships do better than attempting to sell people stuff is providing them with a litany of forms to be filled out once the sale is in progress.
In the midst of trading SUVs, we were also planning a wedding. A gathering of friends and family to be remembered forever. And then came the licensing paperwork at the courthouse, cake paperwork, catering paperwork, ring-sizing and insurance paperwork. The number of fill-in-the-blanks required to celebrate our love nearly broke my heart.
And just yesterday, jet lagged but jolly, my coworker and I arrived at a hotel in Dublin. A significant event in my professional life, a week of planning for 2019 began with a form requesting all the details of my identity.
So forget what you’ve heard about higher education, early risers or the benefits of a balanced diet and exercise. If you believe a life well lived is a life of progress and change, you’ve got to be extremely patient when it comes to paperwork.