Ever hit a point in your life when you just have no idea what the next step is? “I have no idea what I should be doing, not a clue who I want to become, what I want to do, where my life is going to end up and when I’m going to figure it all out.”
Searching for answers only leads to a few of typical cliche pieces of advice:
– ‘Follow your passion’
– ‘Find out what you like doing’
– ‘Take risks and go after your dreams’
… Thanks, got it.
Whilst this advice may make you feel a little bit warm for a while, it doesn’t really help those of us who don’t know what our ‘passion’ is. How can you follow something that may not even exist?
“Well”, they say, “What do you like doing?” Honestly… playing games, drinking with friends, travelling and spending rainy days in bed watching movies. How can I turn this into a career? No one’s going to pay me to do any of those things, I don’t even think I would want to get paid for them, it would take the fun out it.
Meanwhile social media shows us how well the rest of our peer group is doing, how people are seeing the world, starting businesses, pumping out kids, being invited as guest speakers at conferences, doing things. Wow, they must have really figured out their passions, good for them.
And while yes, we all know that only ‘highlights’ make it onto social media, some people’s highlights really do seem to be pretty cool – it’s almost as if they actually know what they want to do with their lives and are actively in pursuit of those goals. That’s the real jealousy and FOMO, not from the actual achievements themselves, but from the underlying mindset that went into achieving those things.
Achieving goals is not the hard part, setting them is.
So how do I set the right goals, goals that will help me find my purpose and passion?
Spoilers – You can’t.
According to a Gallup study, the single most important thing for young people in the workplace is to “be in pursuit of a sense of purpose”. It’s more important than money, more important than work-life balance, even more important than personal development and career opportunities.
So it’s not just you, or me, or a few people around us. Everyone is searching for their passion. Willing to give up time, money, relationships and potential career opportunities, we all just want to know what we like to do – that’s pretty incredible.
All Life-Advice is Bullshit.
I can honestly say I have read through (and tried) hundreds of articles about the “Perfect Morning Routine to Make You 5x More Productive!” or “Top 10 Life Lessons by xxxx”. Every single one of them is self-perpetuating BS, seriously.
Life advice is an extremely lucrative business and it’s growing exponentially. (Clocking in at $11bn in 2019)
As life is the one journey we all share, the challenges and questions that come with it are universal. And what does formal education tell us about questions? It tells us: to every question there is an answer, and those people with more knowledge and experience than us are likely to know it – so let’s ask!
Q: So what should I do if I don’t know what to do?
A: Find out what you like doing and do that!
Q: What if I don’t know what I like doing?
A: Just try!
Q: Try what?
A: Just be yourself!
How Do Baby Sea Turtles Know Which Way The Ocean Is?
I was watching a nature documentary the other day showing the lifecycles of various marine life including the sea turtle and a couple of questions popped into my head.
We’ve all seen the scene before; thousands of very cute baby sea turtles hatch from their eggs instantaneously and make their treacherous way towards the waves, careful to avoid all the seabirds and other animals waiting for the all-you-can-eat baby turtle buffet.
With a survival rate of only around 8%, it made me think about the survivors – how did they know which way to go and what do they do now?
After laying their eggs, parent sea turtles head back to the water and leave their offspring to fend for themselves. Years later, those baby sea turtles will grow up and do the same – never needing to be taught how to be a sea turtle, they just know how to do it.
And how do they know which way the ocean is? A: No one knows.
This Is Not Life-Advice
– A lot of people search for their passion,
– Many never find it.
– Everyone knows ‘how to be a human’,
– Most never realise.
So to answer the question: What should I do with my life?
A: Just keep doing what you’re doing, or change, it doesn’t matter either way. You’ll figure it out and so will I, or maybe we won’t – that’s the point.