I remember when I finished school, and I was caught in a stage I will call clueless.
The very ideal thing was to find a job, after all, I had now finished school and I needed to put my certificate and the thousands spent on an education to good use.
Somehow the jobs were not coming through. It didn’t seem fair that after all that time spent, the most logical and supposedly easy thing which was to get a job, was now becoming a tall order.
Coupled with a lot of other personal issues and a desire to prove myself capable, with each passing day I was becoming lost.
As you can imagine, it dealt a big blow to my self esteem.
I loved writing, it was something I have always done.
I also have things I want to say, sometimes unpopular and the best way to express them and keep them safe from being judged, was to write them down in my little book, or the note pad on my phone.
It wasn’t something I saw myself making money from, it was just something I loved to do. I wanted to start a blog at some point, but I figured it will cost me a whole lot.
I had a blog on the free WordPress site, but I wanted one with my name and all.
Making money from blogging was still not something I had knowledge of.
Fast-forward to getting a job I did not love, but I needed in other to pay the bills and blogging was temporarily forgotten. I was making enough to get me by, so I was fine temporarily.
There was still something missing though, and then through some coincidence, I met a friend. As fate will have it, she blogged for a living.
It was amazing, and a whole new world was open to me then.
I am not at a point I want to be yet, but I am getting there.
So if like me, you are at a point where you are still trying to figure things out, then keep on reading.
Based on my personal experiences and research, here are some ways to figure out what to do with your life.
This is not to say I have totally figured everything out, it is a process but I can safely say, I am walking the path I am meant to walk.
It is important to note that many people do not just figure out what they are going to do with their lives immediately. For them, it is process.
1. You already have an idea
You probably already have an idea or several ideas of things you like to do or might like to do.
Even though you may think you have no idea, at least you are aware of those things that bring you so much joy and excitement.
You are not just sure of how to go about it, and you do not know how sustainable it will be. Not all passions make money.
But not doing anything about it does not help either.
Your feeling of dissatisfaction will continue as long as you do nothing about it.
‘Baby steps my child, to you it may be nothing, but you make daddy proud’…
2. Keep on figuring things out as you go
If you feel stuck like I was, and you have tried a number of things and they didn’t work, it’s easy for anyone not in your shoe to say keep on trying.
But really keep on trying. Many times you won’t know how things will pan out, or how much you really like something until you try it out.
Do something, anything.
I can remember days when I first started blogging and I had no reads. Tough times!
Well, technically, I had some reads.
I have a very supportive family, so yeah aside them, and a few close friends, I was basically writing for myself.
To be sincere, only my family actually shared my post, some of my friends read sometimes, but that’s where they stopped.
I don’t actually hold them to it, and the fact they didn’t, also made me look for alternative ways to get my post out. It was a blessing in disguise and they were not really my target audience.
If I was going to be doing this for the long term, I needed to build something sustainable and not just rely on those close to me.
Now I only share with them if I want to ‘bless them’, and I am not really bothered if they read or not. Although, incase you are my friend reading this, I appreciate you reading. Your support means the world to me.
3) You really have to want change badly
You really have to get to the point where you really need a change.
For me, it was after a series of back to back unfortunate events.
I was not satisfied. I knew I needed something different, but still there was only so far I was willing to go, to get what I needed, i.e. until those events.
The motivation to do anything has to come from you.
It is only then you will safely get out of your comfort zone.
4) There will be anxious moments
Deep down you know what you really want out of life. You know that this step you are taking is one that will lead you to fulfilling your dream.
This unfortunately does not translate to having no fear and anxiety.
There will be a number of ‘what if’s‘ and a number of ‘are you sure this is what you want?‘
In fact, for me, they haven’t stopped. It is something I face and put aside as they come, and I keep on figuring things out as they come.
Look at it this way, it’s the future. You haven’t been there before, so it is okay to feel a little unsure of your footing.
Imagine walking back home, through a route you haven’t taken before, in the dark, with just a little flash light to guide you.
You know your home in somewhere in the distance, you are very sure of that, but because this is a new path, you might feel a little anxious and uncertain.
This should have come as the first step if I was putting down points chronologically.
You need to pray to figure things out.
Prayer offers you much needed clarity.
6) Try a couple of things
You may have to try a couple of things while figuring out what it is you really want to do with your life.
The road to figuring things out, is not always a straight-line, it is often non-linear.
You may have different interests and passions, you want to pursue. Do not limit yourself to one thing.
You also need to consider earning a living from it, except if you are one of the lucky ones that do not have that kind of worry, then you can safely explore.
7) Talk to people
One way to figure out what you want to do, is by talking to a bunch of people. Some in your areas of interest and some outside of your areas of interest.
It is important to talk with the right people.
Before I met my friend who introduced me to the other side of blogging, I had instances where I mentioned to people that I did love writing.
Of course nothing came out of it, probably because they were not the ‘right’ people.
Those experiences were not wasted though, because those ‘unproductive talks’ have given me material for writing, so in essence they were not unproductive.
Talking to others broadens your knowledge, and you get insights into a lot of things.
8) Failure is part of the process
No one wants to fail. No one starts out a venture to fail, but failure is an important part of the journey.
As success means different things to different people, so also is failure.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” — Maya Angelou
I won’t say that when I was faced with difficult situations which I do still face, it was easy. There were times I just put everything on hold, because I was not getting back the results I wanted.
Giving up at the point of any difficult circumstance is the surest way to actually fail.
Like they say, nothing good comes easy.
One person, I asked if they had already figured out what to do with their life, and how they went about it, just laughed.
The point here is that, it is okay to not know what you want to do with your life, it will only become a real issue, if you stay not knowing. Not that its not already a real issue.
You will keep on figuring things out, you don’t have to have it figured out all at once.
Even when you get to a point where you feel you have everything figured out, there may be circumstances that will come in and cause a few changes.
Some questions to ask yourself to figure out what to do with your life
- What do I love doing?
- Are there needs around me I can meet and in what way?
- What are some of the things I consider myself really good at?
- How do I monetize these things and make a living out of this?
It might be hard figuring out the things you want, but one great place to start is by identifying the things you do not want.
As you progress, you might discover that you may not really be able to totally avoid all the the things you do not want. Getting to live this life, may involve you having a little compromise here and there.
A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way? – Proverbs 20 v 24