The human lifespan is a sandbox of opportunity. Every day until you die is a chance to pursue a hobby, job or passion that gets you out of bed in the morning.
In America, a common question asked of the young is “What do you want to do with your life?” This is a terrible, no good, ugly bad question. It implies that you must choose, in one moment, the purpose for the rest of your life, but that’s not what life is about.
Life exists for life’s sake
A person isn’t born to be the best accountant for the H&R Block – Gary, Indiana, office. A person is born to be a human being. That’s it. There’s no other “why” inherently attached to your birth. You exist TO EXIST. Life exists to perpetuate, itself. How you do that is up to you, including how often you wish to change things up or explore something new.
To “do something with your life” implies you MUST do something for your life to have meaning. YOUR LIFE HAS MEANING ALREADY — MERELY BECAUSE IT EXISTS!!!
You have meaning, here and now, just for being here. That is enough to persist. Know that you have value and are worthy of love without doing anything else to achieve it. Respect and regard might require earning, but not your inherent human value.
Forget the one, find the many
You can be an ice cream salesman this year in Alaska or an oil rigger in Texas the next. There is no “ONE THING” that should define your life. The real question you must ask yourself is: “What do I want to DO?” Do you want to explore Europe? Become a train conductor in Russia? Jump out of an airplane? Haul lobster in Maine? What has interested you?
If you have a thousand interests, then spend a thousand days pursuing them. Most interests are achievable within a few days pursuit — jump from an airplane, visit New York City, ride a horse … Those are easy. Make a list, prepare a plan and get started.
Bigger goals require bigger planning, but even if your big goal is: “Ferry passengers in the Yukon as a bush pilot,” that’s a goal you can accomplish within 10 years or less and feel satisfied. 10 years out of an average 70-year lifespan is a decade well-lived!
Wrack up the memories, drive up satisfaction
While religious texts can draw us closer to our God and self help can help us clean up some inner brokenness, there’s no perfect guidebook to living YOUR particular life. You’re completely free to do with it what you want.
If David Duchovny (X-Files) can drop out of Harvard with only his doctoral thesis left to get his final degree or Colonel Sanders can start one of the world’s largest fast-food chains in his mid-50’s, then you have no excuse to spend the next three years of your life changing course and driving toward something you’ve always wanted to do IN your life.
- The first step? Choose to be willing to change.
- The second? Write out your options.
- Third? Prioritize
- Fourth? Get started.
If you’d like some help learning how to plan, check out, Break down big goals to overcome low motivation, energy.