Find yourself pondering the BIG question; “What do I want out of Life?” You know, trying to decide your purpose, your career goal; that ‘thing’ you were destined to do and be great at. I wonder if the answer doesn’t lie so much in wondering what you want to get out of Life as it does in pondering what you’re ready to put INTO your life.
A clever play on words? A change in philosophy? Maybe just some pseudo-psychological babble? Or perhaps – just perhaps mind – we’re on to something here. Worth exploring before dismissing or embracing? Absolutely.
Some seem to have it all figured out don’t they? I mean they fixed on their career goal as a child or young teenager and stuck to the plan. They went to school, graduated, started in an entry-level position and years later they are still energized in their work. They never really had to struggle with indecision, doubt or distraction. They stayed true to their goal and never wavered and it all turned out great.
Not everybody has that experience. For many, what to do with their life is a recurring theme. Time and time again they stand at a crossroads wondering what to do, which direction to go in, what might hold the answer to the their happiness. They move from job to job, stimulated with the new challenges each brings, but always finding themselves looking for another job; one that brings them something their current job lacks. Some live this way intentionally because it works for them. Nothing wrong with that if it works.
The most dangerous situation when pondering the big, “What is the meaning of my Life?” question, is putting living on hold to the point of paralysis. In other words, it’s a good and healthy exercise to pause occasionally and check where you’re going and if your current destination is still the right goal for you or not. However, stand fixed to a spot afraid to move for fear of making the wrong choice for too long and you can become immobilized while Time itself ticks on.
This then is the source of the pressure and stress for many isn’t it? Sure it is. You hear it in statements like, “I’m not getting any younger you know”, or “Time and tide wait for no man”. The older we get the more we feel the pressure to have figured it out too. By the way, as it relates to figuring out what to do with Life: you’ve never been as old as you are at this precise moment in time. As each second and minute, day and week go by, you age and again you’ve never been that old before. So whether you’re 29, 38, 49 or 62 you might just be wondering, “What should I be doing with my life?”, or “What’ my great plan?” and that’s okay to ponder. It won’t be the last time you think about it likely either.
Maybe as I said earlier, the key is thinking more about what you want to invest in Life; with the time you’ve got and the resources you have. If you’re a people person and you find yourself infused with energy when you’re helping or cooperating with others, it’s likely you’ll gain great satisfaction out of doing more of that kind of work. If you’re positively stimulated and happiest when solving what others see as problems, perhaps investing yourself in honing your problem-solving skills is the key for you. So do you want to fix home plumbing issues, computer problems, work to discover a cure for a disease or solve mysteries of our universe? All problems to work on, but requiring very unique skills.
Very little in Life that has real meaning and really importance comes without a personal investment. Just as you can’t take money out of a bank without investing your money in it first, you can’t expect Life to dish out all the great things it has to offer unless you immerse yourself in it.
For some, this immersion means travel; see the world, broaden your horizon’s. For others, it means go to school, improve and expand your mind. For you? Who knows? Maybe it’s auditioning job after job in a variety of fields, determining what you like and like better until you arrive at whatever it is you’d like to do for a long time. You can always re-evaluate in the future what is right for you at that point too. No need to lay a fixed course for your next 75 years when you’re 10 years old.
Ever notice how this same ‘investing first’ mentality gets passed over in other areas of life? You might hear one person ask another, “So what are you looking for in a spouse?” You rarely hear that person say, “So what are you ready to invest in a relationship?” The question you get asked or ask of yourself tends to direct the answer you give. “I want or expect” versus, “I’ll give or invest…”
You get what you put in. Is that it? We’re all different, looking for different outcomes, searching for what sparks our happiness. The good news I believe is that there is no single thing we were destined to alone; you’ve probably got what it takes to find meaning and fulfillment in many things in Life; your job(s) being just one of them. Thoughts?