How to Figure Out What You Really Want to Do With Your Life
It’s not always a key to figuring out exactly what you want to do with your life, but it’s a great starting point for at least figuring out how you want to go about those goals. Grab a pen, some. 3 Tips for Deciding What You Really Want to Do with Your Life 1. Clarity comes from engagement, not from thought. We often think that “thinking” about a decision will bring us 2. Making small decisions will help you gain clarity around big decisions. A small decision could look like this.
No idea what you should do with your life? Ask yourself these odd yet thought-provoking questions to find out. O ne day, when my brother was 18, he waltzed into the living room and proudly announced to my mother and me that one day he was going to be a how to write good documentation for software. He also ran for state congress in his 30s and barely lost.
Most of us have no clue what we want to do with our lives. Even after we finish school. Even after we get a job. Between ages 18 and 25, I changed career aspirations more often than I changed my underwear. And even after I had deciding what to do with my life business, it took another four years to clearly define what I wanted for my life. This is the same kind of shitty logic used to justify things like spirit crystals or that your what do the temporal lobes do number is 34 but only on Tuesdays or during full moons.
We exist on this earth for some undetermined period of time. During that time we do things. Some of these things are important. Some of them are unimportant. And those important things give our lives meaning and happiness. The unimportant ones basically just kill time. This is an infinitely better question to ask. Rather, you should be getting off your ass and discovering what feels important to you. This is an impossible question for me to answer.
After all, for all I know, this person is really into knitting sweaters for kittens or filming gay bondage porn in their basement. I have no clue. But after some research, I have put together a series of questions to help you figure out for yourself what is important to you and what can add more meaning to your life.
These questions are by no means exhaustive or definitive. Ah, yes. The all-important question. What flavor of shit sandwich would you like to eat? Now, that probably sounds incredibly pessimistic. Manson, turn that frown upside down. Everything involves sacrifice. Everything includes some sort of cost.
Nothing is pleasurable or uplifting all of the time. So, the question becomes: what struggle or sacrifice are you willing to tolerate? Ultimately, what determines our ability to stick with something we care about is our ability to handle the rough patches and ride out the inevitable rotten days.
What unpleasant experiences are you able to handle? Are you able to stay up all night coding? Are you able to how does fast food contribute to childhood obesity off starting a family for 10 years?
Are you able to have people laugh you off the stage over and over again until you get it right? And your favorite shit sandwich is your competitive advantage. Something about the social pressures of adolescence and professional pressures of young adulthood squeezes the passion out of us. And the transactional nature of the world inevitably stifles us and makes us feel lost or stuck. When I was a child, I used to write stories. I used to sit in my room for hours by myself, writing away, about aliens, about superheroes, about great warriors, about my friends and family.
Not because I wanted anyone to read it. Not because I wanted to impress my parents or teachers. But for the sheer joy of it. We all have a tendency to lose touch with what we loved as a child. He just wanted to play. Look at the activities that keep you up all night, but look at the cognitive principles behind those activities that enthrall you. Because they can easily be applied elsewhere. I used to be like that with video games.
In fact, for many years it was kind of a problem. I would sit and play video games instead of doing more important things like studying for an exam, or showering regularly, or speaking to other humans face-to-face. My passion is for improvementbeing good at something and then trying to get better. The games themselves—the graphics, the stories—they were cool, but I can easily live without them. And when I applied that obsessiveness for self-improvement and competition to my own business and to my writingwell, things took off in a big way.
Embrace embarrassment. Feeling foolish is part of the path to achieving something important, something meaningful. The more a major life decision scares you, chances are the more you need to be doing it. And most people try to avoid embarrassing themselves, namely because it sucks. Ergo, due to the transitive property of awesomenessif you avoid anything that could potentially embarrass you, deciding what to do with my life you will never end up doing something that feels important.
Yes, it seems that deciding what to do with my life again, it all comes back to vulnerability. You have your reasons, no doubt. And you repeat these reasons to yourself ad infinitum. But what are those reasons? Sounds good. What are the measurements of a volleyball court things are, by their very nature, unique and unconventional.
Therefore, to achieve them, we must go against the herd mentality. And to do that is scary. But you can contribute and make a difference. So pick a problem and start saving the world. There are plenty to choose from. Our screwed up education systemseconomic development, domestic violence, mental health caregovernmental corruption. Hell, I just saw an article this morning on sex trafficking in the US and it got me all riled up and wishing I could do something.
It also ruined my breakfast. Find a problem you care about and start solving it. And importance equals purpose. None of us know exactly how we feel about an activity until we actually do the activity.
For many of us, the enemy is just old-fashioned complacency. We get into our routines. We distract ourselves. The couch is comfortable. The Doritos are cheesy. And nothing new happens. So ask yourself, if someone put a gun to your head and forced you to leave your house every day for everything except for sleep, how would you choose to occupy yourself?
You probably already do that. Sign up for a dance class? Join a book club? Go get another degree? Learn to hang glide? What would you do with all of that time? What activity would you choose above all others? If it strikes your fancy, write down a few answers and then, you know, go out and actually do them. Bonus points if it deciding what to do with my life embarrassing yourself. Ultimately, death is the only thing that gives us perspective on the value of our lives.
It freaks us out. But thinking about our own death surprisingly has a lot of practical advantages. A lot of people gave vague and boring answers. A few drinks were nearly spat on me. But it did cause people to really think about their lives in a different way and re-evaluate what their priorities were.
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At any stage in life, deciding what you want to “do” with your life can feel fraught. It can come when you’re 18 or when you’re 50, and it’s always a difficult process to work through. May 27, · Deciding What to Do With Your Life. Refining your “gift”, giving and sharing yourself — YOU — with the world is what your life should be all about. The what is giving. Unpacking the how — finding out the medium/outlet — is what usually take the rest of lifetime to figure out. Nov 08, · The feeling of not knowing what t o do with my life is very familiar. In fact, some might say “dissatisfaction” is my middle name. I’ve never been one to just settle for what life hands me, or to follow the pack and feel ok with that. I’m restless. Antsy. Future-focused. Searching.
But as stressful as this time is, it can also be exciting. You just need a few strategies to help you figure things out. Here are four ways to try to figure out what you want from your future. That said, and as Adam Savage points out on the Tested , the exercise of talking about where you see yourself in five years is still useful.
He shares this story:. The thing that you feel like you really want to do is the thing to pursue. We may end up miles from here She was totally right. I can never imagine where I ended up from where I started. As far as careers are concerned, Harvard Business Review takes a similar approach , recommending you think about what you want to learn in the next five years:. What capabilities will you have wanted to build in five years? The concept of a personal manifesto might sound a little silly on the surface, but the idea is about more than telling the world what you think.
If writing it helps you figure out where you stand on certain ideas, you might be able to flesh out a possible career or lifestyle path. Silly or not, the tool of a personal manifesto has been implemented by companies like Google and people like Frank Lloyd Wright. The point, as The Art of Manliness says, is to give yourself a call to action to define how you want to do things.
The Art of Manliness has a few suggestions for getting started:. The main purpose of the personal manifesto is to help you really figure out what you care about, how you perceive yourself, and how you want to act moving forward. Grab a pen, some paper, and get to writing out what you believe. One of the reasons figuring out what we want to do is so terrifying is because we tend to overcommit.
Want to maybe write that book? Go to grad school! Thinking about being a lawyer? Apply for law school! Instead, take a couple days to try on the lifestyle. To do this, you can try volunteering or shadowing someone at their job—while recognizing that you might need to hold off on this option for another six months or so until everyone has a chance to get vaccinated. Contrary to what you might think, volunteer work can include all kinds of work, including coding or manual labor.
Volunteer Match is a good place to start the hunt for volunteer work. Likewise, job shadowing is another way to get a closer look at an industry without committing to long hours in school or worse, getting the job and finding out you hate it.
Monster has a few suggestions for how to go about shadowing :. While students and recent graduates have long embraced job shadowing, Crawford, author of Flying Solo: Career Transition Tips for Singles , says everyone should consider job shadowing, especially in this economy.
Crawford, who is based in Atlanta, notes that certain industries lend themselves well to job shadowing, including medicine and law. However, you can usually plan a job shadow for any kind of job. To actually find someone to shadow, your best bet is to call up a company and try to set up and appointment to do so. Sometimes the best way to really figure out what you want to do is good old trial and error. In a lot of cases, this just means trying out various side projects that interest you in your free time.
It might be as simple as finding a hobby you enjoy Love podcasts? Start one. Like knitting? Explore opening an Etsy shop , or as far-reaching as testing out different industries that you might consider looking for a career in. Instead of making definite decisions about a career path, I believe you should get curious. Get curious about the way the world works.
Notice your own interests and find small ways you can exercise passion in something. Interests often get discarded because they cannot be immediately relayed into a source of income. The idea here is to take on a lot of side projects, learn new skills, or tackle a few passion projects to try and figure out what you want to do with your life.
Once you have a few ideas, find the time to actually work on them , teach yourself to stick with it , and just get started. The goal here is to give you a better idea of what you want to do with yourself.
The above tips are just a few of the many ways to do so. This story was originally published on in June and updated on Dec. I'm stuck on the first one. When I think about the next 5 years I just see my dead end job. I've thought about shadowing again I did it at 19 and realized I would have hated the industry but have zero idea what I'd even want to do. I think I need a guide on figuring out what I need to figure out.
The A. Thorin Klosowski. Share This Story. Dear Zeus.