The first step to getting anywhere is deciding where you want to go.
What do you want to do with your life?
The question I have spent many nights pondering over in a dark corner of my room cradling myself with the mannerisms of a crack addict. The first step to getting anywhere is deciding where to go. That doesn’t mean that is where you will end up, but those who aim for nothing don’t become much of anything, unless you are like royalty or something. This step involves deciding exactly what you want, which surprise surprise most people don’t really know. Unless it’s a bacon cheeseburger this can be one of the most difficult steps, and this step sometimes isn’t figured out until you are halfway down the road to somewhere else. So, with all that said, I’ve laid out several questions to ask yourself, so you can discover what you want to do. Have fun, and don’t stress! Life goes on whether you make a decision or not.
- Do you have some secret dream that you’ve let go of, because you decided you couldn’t do it? I think there are many of us who have a dream we have always longed to do, but at one time or another we gave up on it. So go back to that thing, the thing you decided you couldn’t do. This is where you start. Ask yourself, “why am I not pursuing this?” Did you think you weren’t good enough? Did you think it would be too hard? Were you afraid of what people would think of you? Those are not reasons to give up! The only excuse for giving up is if you TRIED it and decided it’s not for you. It’s ok if you fail. Don’t give up on your dream just because you weren’t born being awesome at it like being able to carry a tune from the birth canal or do math in your sleep. These child prodigies are a rarity. For the rest of us average joes we have to work at it. Just because you are not that good at something now doesn’t mean you can’t be. You can achieve anything through hard work and determination. We either become good at something because of our circumstances or because of our effort or a combination of both. My secret dream since I was in the fourth grade has always been to be a writer, and I can’t count the amount of times I have given up on it, and then came right back to it. The biggest obstacle for any dreamer is self doubt (I will discuss this more in next week’s post). For my mom it was being a photographer or working on a dude ranch. It doesn’t have to be one thing! Some people have multiple dreams! And it doesn’t have to be a conventional career or a career at all. Maybe you just want to live off the land with solar power, and grow your own food. Whatever you do don’t give up on your dream! See it through, then decide whether it’s for you or not.
- Is there something you think you want to do, but you’re not really sure? We don’t always really know what we want, sometimes we may think we do, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore it. If you are interested in something try it out. I got set on this idea once that I wanted to be a librarian, so what did I do? Work in a library of course. I was bored out of my mind. I almost went to school for this, and would have ended up in a job that I didn’t really want, and would have most likely stayed there because of all the time and money I had put in to getting it. So explore jobs, and things you are interested in. You might find out that you really do love it! Or maybe not so much. Don’t be scared of wasting time trying things out to see if you like it. Be scared of wasting a lifetime on something you are miserable at.
- Do you have absolutely no idea what you want to do? If you have literally no idea whatsoever what you want to do or what you like, and you have no secret dreams that you gave up on long ago, then you need to get out there and do more things! Someone who climbs Mt. Everest doesn’t just wake up one day and realize out of nowhere that’s what their dream is. It has to start somewhere. Maybe a friend invited them to go hiking, and they loved it, and it just gradually progressed from there. Passion starts with a spark and turns into a fire. You MUST explore and overcome the one thing that is most likely holding you back. Laziness. If you are being a couch potato and watching other people live their lives (fictional or real) on T.V. then you are never going to figure out what you want to do. You have to get off your hiney and go out and discover. It doesn’t have to be something big like going skydiving or joining a class (it totally can be), but it can be something as small as just going for a hike that leads you to Mt. Everest. Draw, read interesting things, cook, watch someone’s kid, talk to someone going through a hard time, write a fun little story, take pictures of pretty things, dance, sing, plan an awesome trip, debate someone, go to garage sales, go horseback riding, learn first aid, look at pictures of outer space, go to a museum, tutor someone, on and on and on…. Life is brimming with possibilities and adventures, we just have to be brave enough to try! Finding your passion doesn’t mean you will start out being great at it, it usually starts with being pretty bad or sort of ok at it, but really enjoying it. Some people start when they are very young, and never realize where it comes from, but it came from some small decision by them or their parents that they never realized lead to it. If you fit in this category then figuring out your passion, dream, number one goal (whatever you want to call it) will take you longer than anyone else, but that’s ok. Knowing what you want to do and starting a career, family, or a lifestyle is not when your life begins. Your life began when your mama and your papa got a little cozy. You are living your life now! Just because it doesn’t look the way other’s lives do or it’s not the typical American dream doesn’t make it any less awesome! Have fun and enjoy where you are at now. Discovery is fun!
- Have you already decided exactly what you want to do? Now if you are one of those weirdos who already knows what they want to do with no self-doubt at all, then I’m very annoyed by you (I kid I kid). But you need to ask yourself a question before you proceed on to pursuing your path. Why do you want to do it? Is it for the fame? Is it because you will make a decent living? Is it because it sounded easy or not too scary? Maybe it’s because someone told you that you were good at it, but you really don’t care about it that much. Always check your motives before pursuing a path, and if it’s something you really want to do or try then proceed on!
Remember: the world is FULL of possibilities. Don’t limit yourself to some simple boring list of options: Doctor, teacher, plumber, manager, you get the point. Not that there is anything wrong with wanting those things, society needs them, but there are so many more options! Sky diving instructor, movie producer, Disney princess at Disney World, brick mason, circus performer, 911 operator, and the list could go on and on. A wealthy life doesn’t equate to the amount of money you make, but the amount of meaningful moments you create.
“If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.” -John Irving
Disclaimer: I don’t know everything.