Finding Your Future
“What should my career be?” “How much money do I want to make?” I see commercials and motivational books that tell us we can be anything we want – we just have to put our minds to it. How true is that? Can you really be the next President? I’m quite certain I’ve said before that the sky is the limit, but let me add an additional note to that fact: You are the sky. It’s not whether you can be the next President; it’s whether you want to be. The real questions we should be asking ourselves is “What do I want to do?” and “Is it worth it to me?”
While I hate seeming self-gratifying, I will say with some certainty that I’m a proactive guy. I believe that any obstacle that exists is an obstacle that I can overcome – but the key part of the formula is just how bad I want to overcome it. People might think that’s ludicrous, but let’s take a random example, like art. Let’s assume I was offered by a friend to draw him a mural and he was willing to pay me. I have absolutely no artistic ability whatsoever. Not even a hint of it. That’s not the important part, though – the important part is that I also don’t enjoy making art or drawing. I get nothing out of it. More power to those that do, but why would I do something I don’t care for? In some theoretical world where I was forced to I’m sure I could develop artistic ability. I’m sure we all could to some degree. That’s not where my passion is. That’s not what I feel joy out of.
Anybody reading this has a specific list of things they like and they are talented with. The trick is to find something that can meet the following three specifications: You like it, you have an aptitude for it, and you can make sustainable money for it. The first is absolutely necessary, the second can be developed, and the third may require some cleverness. Those are the three basic rules of deciding whether it deserves your focus and attention. Some of us might unconsciously have found something that meets those categories. Some of us might still feel completely lost.
Give Anything a Fair Shot
I don’t know what your future holds or what you will decide on, but I’ll tell you this: one of my best friends was a history major at college. As a general elective, he took a chemistry class and realized that he was absolutely in love with it. He quickly changed his major – and today he’s on the other side of the country working on his PhD in organic chemistry. By sheer coincidence and chance he discovered something that he turned into his life’s work. Some of us have no idea what we want or what we are good at simply by the fact that we’ve never been introduced to it before. Keep an open mind about careers and your interests. I changed my major four times in college until I found what clicked.
There are things about yourself you don’t know yet. If you’re feeling lost, start trying things differently. Finding yourself isn’t a day-long process. Some people spend years searching. Look around. Try new activities. Take classes in a field you aren’t familiar with. You might find something about yourself you never expected.