Unintentionally waking up at 4AM rarely happens for good reasons.
To be fair, 4AM is a curious hour; if you’re waking up at this time, one of three things is happening: The monster under your bed after years of diligent search and the reassuring he’s-not-there propaganda has finally decided to come out to be found; oh joy. You’re getting ready to embark on a frantic run to the nearest bathroom with a bladder that’s knocking on the door called “bursting” or there’s a question that’s pulverizing your peace to the point where your sleep escape fails you.
Recently, I awoke from a deep sleep around 4AM with trouble on my mind.
Have you ever had a question that chews away at your thoughts, and dances in the depths of your mind?
Well I have, maybe you’ve had the same question.
The question I’ve had was “What should I do with my life?”
Now that’s a two-dollar question, that slick salesman will reassure you it’s at least worth three, but it’s a question many of us face.
Because to be honest, none of us want to chase a dream only to never achieve it or to realize half way through that we have chosen the wrong path.
Now of course, we can always change our dreams, but that’s for another post. 😉
If you’re like me, the reason you don’t like the question, “What should I do with my life?” is because there truly isn’t a right answer; after all, life is what you make it.
So how can we even begin to tackle this beast of a question?
Well what I’ve done is create a few questions I’d ask myself and it ended up providing me clarity, I thought you might enjoy. If not, I hope you found at minimum, a few of these words to be funny – because my selfish ego wants you to laugh damnit! Read on and enjoy.
It starts with being honest with yourself.
Much like every other great, ironic problem us wonderful humans face, I truly believe that being honest with yourself is the hardest thing one can do that in theory should be easier than buttering bread. I don’t know you, but you’ve got an ego and he / she’s truly a bastard. I mean, she’s a real bitch; she wears lipstick, drives her daddies car and usually gets her way. Whenever you begin to become honest with yourself, your ego will raise its ears up and start saying to you: Well do you really want that? What will your parents think? What will your friends say? You can’t do that, you’ll ruin everything. Being honest with yourself is the first step because you need to know who are to know where you want to go. You need to be truthful with who you want to be not what society wants you to be. Ask yourself, what do I really like? What do I really want? Why do I want this? I can’t tell you how to be honest with yourself but I can tell you, that reflection has helped me. Make a deal with your mind to be honest with yourself, and come to see who you are with open eyes.
What don’t you want to do?
You may not know what you want to do with your life, but you sure-as-shit know what you don’t want to do and I mean that. If there’s any job / activity / task / career that simply plays the tune of wow-this-sounds-miserable in your mind, you may want to remove that from your list of things you might want to do with your life. Knowing what you don’t want to do can quickly narrow down your list of things you do want to do. Mark these things off your list and create space for yourself.
What achievement(s) are you most proud of?
This question was a real eye opener for me – to be frank, I had a hard time answering this one. Aside from the canned responses “graduating college, graduating high school, being a good spouse, being loving parent etc and so fourth” You know, the things you are supposed to do. What are a few things you’ve done that have made you proud? That my friend is a great clue to see what your interests are, and to see a theme of what you enjoy.
What will you commit to?
Commitment and consistency are the requirements of success, therefore figuring out what you’re willing to commit to will provide traction and insight. You won’t commit to everything, but what are things you have committed towards in the past and what are things you would be willing to commit towards in the future?
What makes you excited?
Figuring out what makes you excited is a bit more difficult than figuring out what you don’t like. However, if you are able to figure out what makes you excited, be sure to note that. I think that paying attention to what gives you energy is a great place to start.
Who do you envy?
The people / careers you envy will point you in the direction of where you want to head. Making of list of the people you envy can show you the jobs you wish you had. Make sure you envy them for the right reasons. Not because they make a lot money, but rather you envy them because their job allows them to do ______. It allows them to express_____.
What makes you lose track of time?
Aside from getting clunked over the head with a billy club 30’s-noir, bad-cop style, what activities / projects do you do that you find yourself losing track of time? This question is essentially “What makes you excited?” re-branded.
Becoming comfortable with work?
It has occurred to me that pleasure does not equal satisfaction and every job has a dirty four-lettered-word called “work” hidden in the description. Believe me, there’s an inner fat guy in me that would love nothing more than to watch TV, eat junk food, play video games and sink into the creases of the couch while getting paid handsomely for it. That my friends is an illusion, a delusion at that! Your dream job has some shit attached to it and is going to require work. You need to ask yourself, what work are you comfortable with putting up with in order to achieve your dream?
What are you skilled at?
Well I certainly don’t know, but you do. What are you skilled at? What have you gotten compliments on? What are a few activities that your friends ask you for advice on? Figuring out what you’re skilled at can add clarity to where you can add value.
What environment do you enjoy working in?
Do you enjoy the freedom of the open road? Do you enjoy working in groups? Do you thrive in high pressure environments? Or maybe you’re a lone wolf, who enjoys the peace of solitude? I certainly don’t know but you certainly do.
Can you try something out on a small scale?
Don’t quit your day job, but rather expand your day. Perhaps there’s something you really want to try… so try it, on a small scale that is. Want to be an actor? Start off at a community playhouse. A producer? Try making beats in your room. A writer? There’s a big-ol-internet just waiting for you. The list goes on..
Be sure to like, share and tell me what you think. What have you done to figure out what you wanted to do? How did you figure out what you wanted to do?