So my question for you is do you know what you want to do for the rest of your life?
You do you say? Well, really… Are you sure that even 20 or even 1 year down the line you will still call that your dream job? You see, I am dubious of anyone who says they have their entire life figured out. Not because there aren’t people with genuine passions and skills, but simply because people are dynamic.
And their goals and dreams change with them. I don’t know about you, but I constantly change my mind and have doubts about whether the route I am currently pursuing is the right one for me. To be honest, I don’t know if I have ever been completely sure of my life path.
Here’s an excerpt from junior year of high school to prove my point: “How is anyone supposed to really know what they want to do? There are literally millions of opportunities out there, thousands of colleges, hundreds of majors, and one of me. Sure, there are the things I’m good at, pretty much just school, and the things I sort of like, chorus and softball, but how are you just supposed to know at what you will succeed?
“What if I put in the hard time to become a doctor and find out I’m squeamish or go through dental school to discover I hate teeth? What if I just haven’t been exposed to my true passion? Lately, people have asked me where I want to go, but is that really the question?”
It’s funny to me a little bit because I’m sure to outsiders it looks like I have my entire life figured out. I’m in college, picked a major, and I even have work experience and research under my belt. From my perspective, though, I feel as if I am blindly trucking on, following a slight inclination for which I am not entirely sure about.
It may not even be school-related. Maybe you are with a guy you have been dating for years, but just aren’t sure if he’s the one, or you have the opportunity to take a job or internship in a new city but can’t decide whether to stay or go. These are the times when it really is tough because we are literally making decisions that alter the entirety of our one life we have been given.
Now I haven’t entirely figured out what to do in these situations either, but I will tell you that the only thing that keeps me sane is knowing that I have the power to change my mind. I have the power to quit a job if I want to, to pick up and start anew elsewhere, to even go back to school and change my major or get a new degree if that is something that I need to do.
In the moment you start to see yourself as stagnant or stuck on this pathway of life, things start to get scary. However, there is ALWAYS the opportunity to find a new passion and rediscover yourself.
Having that internal locus of control, that attitude that it is you who makes decisions about where you are going with your life and not just random chance and circumstances, will get you far. Yes, there are limitations like money and time and relationships, and those are definitely factors, but that still doesn’t mean you don’t have the ability to make a change on the pathway of life.
You can backtrack, change directions, or be truly brave and have your own path. I know it sounds a bit cliche, and to be honest, it is. But that is the reality of it as well.