Everyone sometimes asks this question
This question may arise in the head in different situations and circumstances. I ask myself about it with amazing regularity, because by my thirty years I had not yet decided what to devote my further life to.
There are people who live, so to speak, according to the plan. They usually know who they want to become, they receive an appropriate education, then they get a job, get married, have children (or do not have children) and so on. As an alternative they build a career in a selected area. Or maybe both.
They have a clear movement vector, it does not matter whether they themselves identified it or someone from outside did it (parents, for example). But what if there is no such vector or, for example, at some point in one’s life it had disappeared?
Too many options
Lack of understanding of what to do in life can lead to such sad consequences as apathy, a feeling of helplessness, hopelessness, frustration and even depression. Generally, people get stuck at the stage of vain attempts to choose one of a million options, not feeling a particular craving for something.
The inability to make a choice causes some numbness and leads to procrastination, when you don’t want to start anything, because it’s unclear if it is exactly what you want.
I myself, due to the nature of my character (and a bunch of psychological problems), tend to endless reflections on what I would like. I see myself as a writer, and a blogger, a photographer, a cook, a business woman, and a teacher of foreign languages … The list can be continued for a long time. But what am I doing from this list in reality?
How to understand where to move further?
Knowing my character, I try to fight with procrastination and indecision. As we know from the previous post about the transition from office to freelancing, I love lists. I always made them up to somehow organize things. In the case of hobbies and ideas about my future profession, I decided to write out everything I ever wanted to try and start doing it. Little by little, step by step, but to do, and not just to think about it.
This seems like a simple and obvious solution, but try it yourself, and you will see that things may not be as easy as they seem.
What are the difficulties?
Problem of choice
First, out of a million things, you have to choose something. For many, everything stops at this stage. It is easier to just think that we could be so-and-so, but when making a choice in favor of something, we will also have to take responsibility for this choice, and not everyone is ready for it.
Secondly, there are doubts: that there is not enough skills, talent, and patience; you need to invest in something financially; you need some extra time. Usually, it’s just the fear of making the wrong choice and failing. It is much more pleasant to experience triumph, even if only in dreams.
There are studies that prove that our brain is not able to distinguish imagination from reality and lives all fantasies as if it really happens. Moreover, it perceives your triumph as a fait accompli, which, oddly enough, may not increase, but lower your motivation, since the result has already been allegedly achieved.
Thirdly, the need to make efforts and go out of the comfort zone is scary, and apathy and other negative states are usually this comfort zone because it is the easiest option: to not fight (I do not take into account severe depression for physiological reasons, which must be managed with the help of professionals). It is difficult to make yourself move, especially when there are obvious excuses such as work and household chores.
Where to start?
As proved by the example of many people, the most difficult is the first step. In this case, it is a recognition that you need to change something and then to select a few things that you would like to try. How to do it?
You can remember who you wanted to be in childhood; determine what abilities you have for; pay attention to what inspires and delights you. Practice shows that people in this situation often do not devote enough time to themselves. For this reason they can not understand what they want.
Why is it difficult for us to understand what we want?
The inability to define one’s desires and preferences may be related to their childhood. It is possible that everything was solved without their participation, because the parents themselves knew how best. Over time, such children grow up, not knowing what they love and what they want. Therefore such questions put them at a stand. However, asking yourself again and again is necessary. If you failed to form this ability to understand yourself and your desires in childhood, you will have to make up for lost time now, no matter how old you are.
How to achieve an understanding of your desires?
You can start by allocating time for yourself on a regular basis, doing what you want and like, tracking your feelings. For example, walk every day for half an hour; take a bath with a full set of soothing or vice versa invigorating means (oils, salts, scented candles); read special literature; listen to podcasts; watch useful videos and broadcasts – everything that will help you decide and inspire the next step: choose something and try yourself in a new field (or in a well-overlooked old one).
If you have an opportunity to take some training courses – perfect. If this is not possible, use the available tools: Internet, online workshops, educational videos and articles, books, etc. Knowledge has never been as accessible as it is now.
It’s all great, but…
Objections like “I don’t have * substitute the necessary * to start XXX” I consider not justified in most cases. Any business can be started small. To become a designer, you need pencils, paper, sewing supplies and fabric. When there is no fabric, there will surely be old clothes that can be altered, like, for example, this wonderful woman does: https://www.instagram.com/sarahtyau/
If you want to open a hotel, you can start by giving your room for rent via https://www.airbnb.com/. In case you want a big hotel, but there is no money, you can prepare a business plan and try to find investors.
A long way begins with a single step
I am convinced that in any field it is possible to start with something small. You can simply enjoy the process at the level of an amateur. The rest is a matter of perseverance, desire and constant improvement of your qualifications in the chosen field.
I identified several things to do for myself: work on a book, language translations, amateur photography (you can see my pictures here: https://www.instagram.com/anna_braun47/), and, of course, the blog that you are currently reading.
Little progress – great joy
These are not all my plans, but those that I have already begun to implement. I lack regularity, but I’m working on it. Seeing how the number of pages of my future book is slowly growing, and new posts appear in the blog, I feel happy that I still strive to fulfill my creative needs. It helps me express myself, and thus reduce anxiety, increase self-esteem and improve the quality of life. I wish you all the same!