The answer, “I Don’t Know” comes up often when students are asked, “What Do You Want To Do?” In this episode, you’re challenged to seriously consider that you really do know what you want to do. If you do know, why does it feel like you don’t? A series of thought-provoking questions are introduced along with some suggestions and resources that may help you delve a little deeper to uncover what you really desire to do so you can get on with what you’re here to contribute.
From the stance of fixing something you think is broken or non-existent, ask . . .
- What really bothers me about the world?
- If I had all of the necessary resources, what would I desire to fix in the world?
- What would I passionately protest?
From the stance of what lights you up . . .
- What is it that I just cannot stop myself from doing?
- What do I consistently engage in that makes me happy?
- What did I enjoy doing as a child?
- What makes the time fly by – hours like minutes?
- How do I want to make a positive difference?
- What comes naturally for me that I’m really good at?
What are your non-negotiables – those values or principles in life that guide your decisions? Take a peek at Steve Pavlina’s list of values. Then, spend a little time identifying your core values. Try to narrow your list down to your top five (no more than ten). The goal here is to get down to those that mean the most to you, those values that are truly non-negotiable.
How well do you know yourself? How self-aware are you? To begin with you, you’ve got to do some self exploration.
If your answer is consistently “I don’t know” when asked what you want to do, consider why you may not want to know?
- What would knowing require of me that I’m not ready or willing to do?
- What am I really afraid of?
- Am I resistant to the commitment and responsibility required if I admitted that I do know what I really want to do?
Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. – Thomas Jefferson
When it comes to uncovering this answer, it’s important to explore and experiment, as there is much to be curious about. Consider the following:
- Get into research mode – delve into the Occupational Outlook Handbook; Google different areas of interest; chat with a friend, colleague or others who are doing what you find interesting
- Develop new skills via online classes (free and paid). For example, check out The Great Courses: The World’s Greatest Professors at Your Fingertips @ getgreatcourses.com OR Master Class where you can learn from some of the best in their industry @ masterclass.com.
- Volunteer or take on part-time positions that allow you to try on different roles and explore a variety of interests
- Identify your strengths, talents and abilities (have you taken Strengths Finder 2.0?)
- If rejection, pain, making mistakes and losing control were not on the table, what would you dive into or try?
- What would your 10-year old self say to you?
(Write a letter to yourself at your current age from your 10-year old self)
- What would your 90-year old self say to you?
(Write a letter to yourself at your current age from your 90-year old self)
If you don’t want to write a letter, record a message to yourself from both ages. You may uncover some sweet insights to help you figure this out.
Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart. – Rumi
Consider checking out the following resources. Both of these authors do a great job of helping you tap into what you really want, and what you must do versus what you think you should be doing.
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YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE, CHOOSE CONSCIOUSLY