Picking a direction to go in and running with it is certainly one way, because that’s how you find out what you like – and don’t like.
Sitting in your room twiddling in your thumbs, introspecting, doesn’t give you any more perspective on yourself than going out into the world – you need to do both.
Stop being afraid
And the truth is, we already know what we want to do. We’re just too afraid to admit the truth to ourselves, because if we don’t know what we want to do it may be because we believe our dreams our impossible.
We only allow ourselves to have average aspirations, run-of-the-mill ambition, because we think our dreams our too crazy. Until you start to look around you and see how many people around you are already doing it – people just like you.
The concept of ‘you’
It’s a difficult concept to understand, that thing you want to do with your life, because most people don’t see themselves as a ‘professional’ deep down – that’s just something you do to play your part in society.
I suspect that finding out what you want to do with your life has something to do with integrating both your personal skillset, those things which you naturally excel at, and also your personal values.
For example, you may be a writer but also feel strongly about women’s issues – so your calling may be to focus on mixing the two. Of course, there is stiff competition for many jobs, but if you are both naturally good at something and feel strongly about it, you are likely to go the extra mile to succeed.
I’m not saying it’s as easy as that, but spending some time developing your skills and figuring out what you’re good at is a place to start. Exploring your values and opening your heart and mind to the world is the best way to give meaning to what you do.
The dangers of success
However, it must be remembered that actually living your values and revealing yourself to the world is an extremely threatening act, that renders you vulnerable and open to judgement. There will always be challenges when you fully admit who you are to people, but the rewards are worth it.
And we have to mourn a little when we achieve an ambition, because that space it took up while we yearned and dreamed is suddenly left empty. Without something to aim towards, life can seem chaotic and rudderless. We have to prepare ourselves for all these things when dealing with success.
I still don’t know what I want to do!
And if you dont know what you want to do still, try helping someone else. That never fails to give its own reward.