What do you want to do with your life?
From the time we’re small, we are constantly bombarded with the question of our future even though there is no guarantee that any answer we ever attempt to give will ever come true. The wording may vary from question to question, but the message will always remain the same. When we’re young, the question usually asks us what we want to be when we grow up. When we’re starting our first career or on the hunt for our first job, we’re usually asked what we want to do for a living. Of course, there is my favorite variation on this question should you decide to pursue a level of higher education.
You’re going to college? What’s your major?
I truly didn’t have a clear vision of my true desire for higher education; I just knew I wanted to physically be anywhere but where I was at that given time. Going to college, I didn’t declare a major, but I thought I knew what I wanted to major in: music therapy. I never really looked into what courses the major would entail or what job prospects would prevail from my years of college, but it had something to do with music, so I assumed it was something I would do anything to do.
Turns out, it did just the opposite; it showed me exactly what I would hate to do.
I ended up, in the name of the music therapy major, taking multiple science and math courses. Math was a course I did not hate, but it caused me so much anxiety as the skills didn’t not quickly and made me so easily frustrated. Science wasn’t hard for me; I just possessed no interest in anything they tried to teach me. If the major brought with it a lifetime of science and math, why was I trying to pursue a career in it? This taught me a valuable lesson I will hold with me throughout my life.
Maybe, instead of asking people what they want to do with their lives when they grow up, we should just ask them what they don’t want to do.
Some people may take more time than others, but we all eventually realize definitely what we will not do and do not like in our lives. The future may be unclear, but we realize in the present what isn’t working in our lives. We make more choices in the hopes that we will purge the negative of our lives and lean towards embracing the positive. We cannot predict what will happen next with our present hopes. We can affect our present fears.
So right now re-evaluate your life.
If you can’t think of a clear path, maybe you are in between jobs or trying to declare your college major, ask yourself what you would absolutely want to avoid in your life. Think of the jobs that you wouldn’t be proud to perform on a day to day basis. Think of the places you aren’t happy to be in. Look at the person you are not.
Be proud of what you would not be proud to do.