What should you do with your life? With so many different paths in today’s world, it can leave you in analysis paralysis. Prioritizing your career before your happiness is only going to lead you down life without meaning.
Shifting paradigms will enable you to truly find fulfillment in your life and begin finding your true purpose. Without the ability to find peace where you are right now, there is no amount of success that will fill that black hole inside your heart.
Prioritizing happiness allows you to stop experiencing anxiety and start embracing the many life paths that are ahead of you.
We thought of life by analogy with a journey, with a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at that end, and the thing was to get to that thing at that end. Success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead.Alan Watts
Having to decide what to do with your life at any age can be a demoralizing task.
What if I fail? What if I decide to do the wrong thing? What if I waste 10 years of my life and never get anywhere?
What if? Good question.
I’ve had a few different careers in my short 27 year journey so far.
- Cell phone repair specialist
- Professional poker player
- Day trader
It didn’t matter what career path I was in, I was always questioning whether or not I was making the correct decision.
The issue that plagues us all is the fact that if you don’t find fulfillment in-between the lines, you are destined to lead an unfulfilling life regardless of your successes.
The journey along the way is more important than the end goal itself. In the end, it does not matter what you do in your life as long as you are enjoying the process.
Picture this. You’re working 24/7 to secure your dream job and a future. You end up getting that job, but what did it cost?
Did it cost your sanity along the way? Did it end up fulfilling the deepest parts of your soul?
We are taught at a young age that we need to accomplish an extravagant goal before we truly feel at ease with ourselves. This detrimental thought process is leading not only our youth in the wrong direction but also infecting the minds of the older generation.
Freedom in life only comes when you are happy where you are. If you can’t find that happiness right now, what leads you to believe you will find it later in life?
This paradigm shift not only releases you from analysis paralysis, it enables you to begin finding your passion in life. When you’re happy where you are, you begin the journey with a foot in the right direction.
Finding Peace. Right Here, Right now
What are you supposed to do when you are lost without any clue about what to do in your life?
Forget about figuring it out right this moment. The anxiety that stems from your obsession with predicting the future leads you nowhere.
The question “What to do with my life?” should really be “How do I find happiness in my life?”.
Before you decide what you want to do with yourself, you need to find peace. You need to be content before you can find your purpose in life. You need to feel at ease before the world is going to open up to you.
Trying to fill that void with a career only furthers you away from being at peace with yourself.
The moment I realized this was when I was daytrading. I thought if I only made a certain amount of money, then I could be “happy”. I didn’t realize that in the process that I was working myself so hard that I forget about myself, friends, and family.
I crushed the goal I had set for myself. When I got there, there was a sinking feeling my stomach.
“Well, what do I do now?”
I completely forgot for a year why I was doing any of this. I was depressed on the inside and attempting to cover it up by working myself to death. It was a shock to my system, I didn’t want to believe it.
How could I feel so empty after working so hard and accomplishing my wildest dreams?
The answer is simple. There was no passion behind what I was doing. I was only interested in making money. Daytrading is a game where you are making money from someone else’s misery. I had to face myself in the mirror without any masks on.
I was miserable. Tragically depressed. I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror.
You start finding the meaning of cliches when you’re living them.
Your Happiness is More Important
Don’t sacrifice your well-being for short term benefits. Don’t do something you don’t want to do because you feel like it’s your only option.
I cannot stress it enough when deciding what to do in life, happiness first. Being at ease with yourself releases so much of the day to day anxiety that society has become ridden with. Focus on clearing your mind before you even think about deciding what to do with your life.
If you don’t know your passion, your ultimate goal is to find happiness. Your passion is already within you. When you find satisifaction, life leads you to your passion without you even realizing it.
It’s funny how that is. When we are constantly down and stressed, every task in life seems to take an enormous amount of energy. When you’re happy, life is like floating down a lazy river.
The flow of life will lead you to your purpose.
You need to start loving yourself. There, I said it! Cat’s out of the bag!
Let everything go, forgive yourself, and promise you will start taking action right this second. If it means signing up to go talk to a coach, therapist, your parents, time is running out. Time is your most valuable asset, make use of it.
The moment you begin truly experience happiness is when life begins to open doors for you.
While I’m speaking a lot about “happiness”, I present you a different definition than most.
Happiness to me is waiting in line at the bank and being fully present and content. There is no rush to go anywhere, it is simply enjoying being alive and finding the beauty in even the smallest of things.
It’s a state of acceptance of the present moment. It’s being without judgment of whatever may occur.
When you’re walking down the street and you aren’t in a rush, clouded by thoughts and can look up and bask in the glow of the present moment, this is the moment you’ve made it in life.
Every material aspect in your life including your wealth, clothes, and cars are fleeting experiences. When you are at ease with yourself, it starts to make sense that finding outward fulfillment is near impossible.
If you’re expecting to find the perfect dream job and then you will suddenly be happy I’d like you to digest that thought for a while. There is always more money to be made, more promotions to be had and more extravagant belongings to buy.
Life is constantly moving, changing. Who you are right now is not going to be the same person standing before you five years from now.
If you’re tormented by indecision, act. If you’re torn by the fear of failure, act.
You won’t know what your passion is until you decide to start experiencing life. Without reference points in life to guide you, it will be impossible to know.
The ironic thing is you might never know! That’s the mystery of life, it’s not ever entirely obvious to us.
And you know what? It doesn’t matter.
The only thing that matters is that you live through your passion. Your passion today might not be your passion tomorrow but attempting to live through your deepest passion in the moment should be your highest priority.
When deciding what to do with your life you need to evaluate what type of environment you will be in. I’m a big believer that unless you are helping others along the way in some fashion then you are not going to find satisfaction.
The issue with living your life only for yourself is that it leads us to face a black hole of emptiness.
How can you feel fulfilled if your only purpose in life was to take? Where can you find happiness if you have never given something without expecting anything in return?
Be wary of paths in life where they seem coated in gold only to be coal after the gold starts fading.
I’ve made this mistake myself in life. I thought that money would lead me into security and happiness.
Security and happiness can be felt no matter the size of your bank account.
Find passion where you offer value to the world. Be a giver, not a taker.
Fear of Failure
The issue many people face is that they are so paralyzed by fear of failure that they never even begin answering what they want to do in life.
Instead of focusing on the future and what may happen, focus right this second.
What scares you more?
Trying and failing or not acting and regretting it for the rest of your life?
When I was 21 I had a chance to move to a foreign country and play poker for a living. I was scared out of my mind.
I was constantly thinking what if I failed and what if I run out of money. What if I wasn’t good enough?
But I decided to jump anyway.
I did fail in the beginning. I would call my father every day and tell him how I wanted to pack it up and call it quits.
I ended up getting up every single time I got knocked down. I learned a valuable lesson with every failure. Every failure was guiding me into success.
Your fear is here to guide you along the way. Follow your greatest fears and see where they take you.
You only have one life, don’t waste it contemplating. You will figure it out along the way as I did.
I was troubled with indecision for years after dropping out of college.
I was working a minimum wage job and living with my parents, not the idea I had in my mind once I was turned 18.
I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. I knew that I didn’t want to go to school (which is why I dropped out), but I didn’t feel any purpose or passion for life.
This lasted for four years. Four long years of getting nothing done. Four years of doing nothing other than witnessing what my future would hold for me if I didn’t start taking massive action.
I decided I was just going to go for my childhood dream of being a professional poker player. I was laughed at by everyone I knew. I lost all the money I owned more times than I could count.
I knew that if I didn’t make this work then I would be destined to live a directionless and shallow life.
I could still be working that same minimum wage job today if it weren’t for me plugging my ears when everyone decided to give me advice on how to live my own life.
You have to decide what YOU want to do and not what your peers are expecting you to do.
I was extremely passionate, every day I was watching poker training videos in the back hiding from my boss. I would work all day and study/play all night. I didn’t sleep enough but eventually, I was making more than my job and quit on the spot.
If I didn’t take action in those moments, I wouldn’t have ever traveled across the world and met so many people that changed my life for the better. I wouldn’t have met the countless friends that guided me through my journey. I wouldn’t have all the wisdom and perspective that you gain through experiencing life and what it has to offer.
Take the risk, it’s worth it.
Live Through Your Heart
Following your heart will lead you where you need to be.
Too often we get bogged down by what everyone else is thinking about us, their judgement and how it will reflect on us.
You need to stop thinking and live through your heart. This change in perspective won’t just help you understand what you were meant to do in life, it will be an unlimited source of energy.
One of the worst decisions you can make is following the path of what your parents or peers expect of you. If you want to be a chef but your parents don’t approve, it’s time for you to take your life into your own hands.
It’s YOUR life, not theirs.
If your parents expect you to be a lawyer or a doctor but you would like to be an artist, start creating. If your friends don’t approve of your passion, then it’s time to find new friends.
Life is too short to be preoccupied with other’s thoughts about your life.
Friends and acquaintances often project their own inability to take action on their life and this may lead you into second-guessing yourself.
As long as your heart is with you, go with it.
Live a Journey, Not a Goal
I’ll be honest with you. Some of my most memorable moments in life were moments when I wasn’t in the face of success or had money in the bank account.
A friend invited me to eat lunch on one of the few remaining warm days before the harsh winter. It was a journey just finding the place! When I got to the cafe we were meeting at, I was greeted with a beautiful panorama with the sun setting in front of us.
I was in the middle of a phase where I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life but for a brief moment, everything felt perfect.
I looked at my friend and said “This is what it’s all about”. I was completely at ease, enjoying the simplicity of life.
None of my goals or successes in life ever made me feel like that moment did. It didn’t cost me a penny.
Whatever you decide to do in your life, make it a mission to find that peace that I felt in every aspect of your life. Fulfilment in life is not your career, it’s your ability to live in the moment.
Life sticks us in a fork in the road and makes us decide what our next path will be. You will never know until after the fact if your decision was correct. Finding love in the process rather than attempting to find happiness through other means is how you find true fulfillment.
In the end we all face the same fate no matter what we accomplished in our lives. Make due with the time you have now and utilize every second of it.
The biggest wake-up call I ever had in life was that moment sitting there with my friend. I needed to see that there wasn’t any point in stressing over what I was going to do or who I’ll be in the future.
Enjoy the process. You will fail and find hardship, but this is how you grow into a new reality.
One Day at a Time
Your future is the culminations of all the actions you took TODAY.
Stop worrying about what will be and if you will fail and maybe you’ll get bitten by a shark in 5 years from now.
No one can tell the future. You need to take advantage of today, right now, and doors will open for you.
You might need to get some luck along the way, but this luck only comes if you are in a position to get lucky. Some day down the line it might seem like a miracle that you crossed paths with someone who changes your life forever.
Ed Sheeran went to Jamie Foxx’s radio show in LA and he impressed him so much that he let him sleep on his couch for six weeks. Foxx was the right person Ed needed to meet but he only got there by following his passion until “got lucky”.
Don’t stress so much about the unknown. Life is about taking risks. Follow your heart and passion, don’t fall asleep at the wheel.
Remember that your happiness is more important than anything else in life. Your goals and ambitions won’t make up that feeling of unfulfilment along the way if you don’t smell the roses once in a while.
Don’t be persuaded by others, do exactly what it is you would like to do.
Life is extremely short. You only have a limited amount of time.
Go. Run. Take ownership of your life. Get what you deserve out of life.
You got this.