All too often I sit down with people and I hear the exact same thing, “I don’t know what I want to do with my life.” I hear this all the time, again and again. What’s absolutely incredible is how long people will stay at jobs they are unsatisfied with because they “don’t know” what else they could do or what they want to do.
This drives me bonkers. Life is way too short to sit around and blow days away.
Part of the problem lies within our current social conditioning. We believe we have to go school for 4, 8, or even 10 years before we start doing anything. That belief system is one of the most ridiculous fallacies that exists today. You don’t need to be an expert to start doing something you enjoy.
And what’s worse is that you think sitting around and being miserable in your current job is going to solve the problem. You’re not even taking any action to figure your shit out. As long as you are content in your job you’re not going to take the action you need to move forward.
Are you trying to find the perfect job that exists for you – you know, the one that plays to all your strengths and avoids all your weaknesses?
News flash, it doesn’t exist.
Any new undertaking comes with risk. You can’t be afraid of not succeeding. When Mark Zuckerberg developed Facebook, there were already popular social media sites to compete against: MySpace, Friendster and Hi5.
Think Elon Musk has a monopoly in the electric car industry? Nope. He’s competing with the Chevy Bolt and the Nissan Leaf. Every day I read articles how Tesla is one quarter away from bankruptcy.
There is always going be competition and obstacles. If you’re looking for that perfect thing or path that has unicorns and rainbows, you won’t find it. It doesn’t exist (unless you read this post).
As millennials, we always talk about doing something we’re “passionate about.” Let me remind you, passion is something you feel, something you experience. You will never figure out what you’re passionate about just by thinking about it. Thinking is a prefrontal cortex exercise, an exercise that engages the logical mind.
In order to find your passion, you to have to engage your emotional side and activate your limbic system. Thinking and feeling are two different super highways in your brain. It’s like saying you’re going to travel from the US to Germany by taking the highway. You’ll never get there.
Chances are you already know what your passion is. Maybe it’s what you always said you wanted to be when you were a child. Or it’s the job you tell people you would do if you didn’t have to work anymore. It’s the thing you look most forward to doing. It’s probably the thing you do when you should be doing something else. Finding this passion and translating it into a paid living takes effort.
If you’re sitting there thinking about what to do, you’ll never know what you want to do. The answer you are looking for is found in action. The only way you’ll ever know what to do is by doing shit – actually taking action, doing shit that is going to give you the experience you need to help carve out the life you want.
You’re not going to figure it out by sitting on your bed or meditating about it. You have to put yourself out there in the world and try different things.
This is why I recommend reading books and listening to podcasts on topics that interest you. This is why I recommend you start meeting people in areas that you are passionate about and get more perspective on what their day to day looks like.
I recently interviewed Wayne Benson, an entrepreneur who built himself from nothing into being one of the owners/operators at Amico, a company that now has over a $100 million market cap. He did this all by surrounding himself with the right mentors.
You can gain important insights from the actions I mentioned above. Looking at other people’s journeys will provide you with more colour and clarity in your own journey, much more than just sitting around pondering about it. Taking purposeful action will give you a much better perspective.
The more you can do – whether it’s listening to a podcast, reading a book or even having coffee with someone who has a job you find interesting – the more clarity you will have as to whether that may or may not be a good choice for you.
So if you want the secret to figuring out “what you want to do,” – then start doing something! Start doing anything!
Sitting around is not going to solve your riddle. The only way you’re going to figure out “what you want to do” is by engaging yourself in as many and different experiences as possible. That will ultimately lead you to discover the best path for you.
Go get’em tiger,