It is that time of the year again. People are graduating from universities, from high-school, from secondary school.
Also, it is probably the time where we all are insecure– dreading the new at the same time excited as to what is going to happen.
I received this mail lately from a fresh high-school passed asking how to figure out life. He writes:
“I got done with high school and in the coming fall, I’ll be joining a under-graduate course at some university where I got admission in. But what to do with life? I don’t know what I’ll be doing or whether or not I’ll like the course or what? I may sound stupid and confused but I want to know what to do with life? Can you help me out? Like, I know you yourself are just 19 and most likely not a graduate yet but can you help me out with some advises or observation or experiences or anything of that sort? Would wait for a reply! Thank you.”
And, that’s a tough cookie. I wish I could say that I have it all figured out or that I can guide you exactly on what to do but I can’t.
What I can do though is tell what I’ve learned till now from experiencing life, from asking people and from observing.
Here’s what I would say.
We can’t figure out the future. Really. We can’t. We can obviously draw a pretty plan on paper and in our mind and that’s good but always be prepared that those plans might not work in the exact way you expected that to.
I see people around me being so rigid with all their plans and then becoming sad and depressed when the plan doesn’t work. Look around, things change in such a drastic manner. Everyday, every hour, every minute.
So what to do when you can’t figure out the future? Be in the present. Do what you can do now. Do something. Build skills. Volunteer. Create things. Travel. Seek opportunities. Make real relations. These things help in any sort of future.
Learn to be OK with Insecurity. You will go through a lot of times where you will be insecure and uncertain. You won’t know what to do ahead. At times, you will be broke, both from pocket and heart.
You will be wanting to do something you love. But you will too insecure to take that step. To start that business, to write that book, to fall in love, to travel, to leave that job. When you do any of this, you’re generally entering in the sphere of insecurity, initially.
To see how amazing any of these really are, you will need to be OK with the feeling of insecurity. Read more about Insecurity here.
Be OK with being different. You might have passion for something which is not mainstream. You might have love for something which is different from people usually do. And that’s fine. It is OK to be different and follow the unconventional path.
As long as you’re happy, you’re good to go. People might talk and disagree over your choice but if you really feel for that career or that job or that stream. Go for it. It doesn’t matter what the thing is or what people say. It is completely al-right to be different.
Build real relations. You want to build real relations. Real, genuine relations based on trust and a feeling of care and love. Few such relations are enough, but have them.
You will want this people to be with you more than anything else when the tough time arrives. These people will help you sail finely. Be the life of the party but have a home to go once the party is over.
Focus on creating value. Whatever maybe your line of career, whatever maybe your stream. Focus on this. This is the single most crucial thing. This is why people will confide in you, this is why people will buy from you and this is why people will hire you– because you can create value.
So go out and create value. In the job you do, in the things you do, for the people you work and meet. Create value for them.
Build something from scratch. It can be anything. Create a blog, write a book, create YouTube videos, start a business, sketch, draw or paint. Anything. But build something. Most people will fritter their time watching television, sports, on social media. Don’t do that.
Build something. After a year, have something to show. A blog, a book, a video series, some paintings, a new business, some events you did. This is the most effective way to build skills. To create something from the scratch. It will grow with time and so will you.
Learn to embrace discomfort. Get out of your comfort zone and do something. Start small. Not something too sudden or big. But do it. Scared to talk to new people? Go to park and talk to 5 new people. Scared to write a book? Start with a journal.
Don’t get scared by the discomfort. Don’t run away the moment, it gets outside your comfort zone. If you do that, you will never grow. You will be stagnant. So get OK with discomfort. It is a part of life and a crucial part at that, learn to embrace it. And grow out of it. It will teach you immensely.
Become a trustworthy person. You’ve to work with people your entire life. You have to live with people your entire life. You’ve to become trustworthy. Someone people can confide, can share with, can trust in.
Build a reputation. Create your personal brand. What are you known for? Have you ever given it a thought? People like working with and for people whom they can trust, someone who has a reputation of being trustworthy, of being good. Are you that? Become a trustworthy person.
Jack of all and master of one. Have skills and not just one. You can write? That’s awesome. What about public speaking? You can design? That’s brilliant. What about coding? The idea is to have the willingness to diversify your skills.
In these times, you can hardly depend on one thing. To achieve the most, diversify yourself. But be known for one thing. Something which many if not all believe that you’re extraordinary at. Identify that. Build that. Right from now.
Read books. Watch videos. Take courses. Seek a mentor. Keep learning. Never stop.
Understand your mind and how you think. Probably, the most important point of all. Each day make efforts to know how you think and how your mind works. How you feel, why you feel, what you feel. Everything. On what basis, does your mind identify right and wrong, why it identifies so.
Know how your mind works. And know why you do what you do, why you say what you say, why you think what you think and why you are what you are.
Keep your eyes open for opportunities. If you’re doing all this, chances are so many opportunities will present them in front of you. It can be anything from writing a book to starting a new business to collaborating with someone. The point is are your eyes open?
Keep looking for opportunities in every sphere. Remember, you’re way ahead of the game. So keep looking. If still you don’t find any. Create one.
Finally: The point of all this is that you can’t find what to do with life. For the simple fact that, you can’t determine what you’ll do in future, what you’ll become in future, what your passion will be, what your opportunities will be and how the world will be like.
But you do know that if you’re prepared, you can do anything. Achieve anything. Be anything. In any sort of future.
I dare you to be awesome.
Fly, you. Fucking fly.
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