Why you aren't lost in life
I just got off a Skype call with an older friend of mine and was so dumbfounded by our conversation that I could barely speak. Literally, this conversation completely changed my perspective on the 'what should I be doing with my life' question.
She told me that some people don't have one thing that they are meant to do. What they are meant to do is many things. To try things without worrying if it's that one thing that will complete them. These people get happiness from trying new things and constantly being on a new adventure. It's just who they are and it's a great life to live.
Whoa! I had never even considered this idea! I thought that constantly trying new things was a bad thing because it meant that you hadn't figured out the 'one thing' that was your calling and that would make you happy all the time.
Suddenly, I felt insane for never thinking that having just one passion and thing to committee your entire life to wasn't right for everyone. That some people just won't be happy living in a consistent routine and constantly experimenting and trying new things is important for their happiness.
I'm not sure what has preprogrammed all of us to believe that there is only one thing that we can earn a living from and be happy doing for the rest of our days. Somehow, we were told that our one perfect career is out there and its our job to find it and once we do we will be happy to go to work everyday. It's like the fairy tales where the princess finds her one and only love and they live happily ever after from that day forward. I don't know about you but that sounds kind of insane to me.
There seems to be three different groups of people working towards their dream career:
- The first group has known what they want to do forever. It was never a question. Justin Bieber has wanted to be a musician since he was five, and my dad has known he wanted to be a veterinarian since high school. This category of people loves their work and is happy to be defined by their career.
They also don't know how lucky they are and how envious everyone who can't figure it out is.
- The second group is the large number of people are searching for their dream career and eventually find it. They try things, network, experiment, think and research (a lot) and eventually find their perfect career. Once they find it they are happy, but they also respect the journey they went through to figure it all out. They may change course throughout their career but they finally have a general track.
- The third group is a small group that are searching for their dream career only to find that it really doesn't exist for them. They try different things and have amazing experiences. They are the life of the party because they just have the best stories from all these experiences. They are the ones that will spontaneously say yes to a trip to Asia, or a salsa class, and for that many people are envious of them.
Unlike the other group of searchers this group never finds their one calling. Instead they continue to have amazing experiences and change their mind as they please. They don't want to be defined by their career because many times their career isn't a reflection of their passions. They would rather be defined by the collection of amazing adventures they consistently enjoy.
This group gets judged by others for never 'settling down' or falling into the consistent rhythms than many others find happiness and relief in. Outsiders can pity them and think that they are restless and unhappy which is why they continue to try new things and go on wild adventures.
For many in this group, especially those who don't know they fall into this category, they feel restless and anxious to find their one true career path never considering that there may not be one perfect career out there for them. They feel frustrated that others judge them, and don't understand why it's so hard for them to fall into a daily routine without getting bored or anxious. Because they fall outside of the status quo they might think that something's wrong with them, which is far from the truth.
For this group accepting that their journey doesn't have a single perfect career at the end but a series of amazing experiences and adventures is their biggest battle. Once that realization is made they can continue their journey without all the stress and expectation and simply enjoy their experiences.
Chatting with my friend and learning that it was okay to be on a constant adventure and always trying new things and experimenting basically blew my mind. I couldn't believe that I have never heard this idea before. How could I think that there was only one profession out there for everyone and we were all just on our own hamster wheels trying to find it! Suddenly it seemed crazy to think that way!
It's time to accept that everyone's journey is different. Maybe your best friend will try three careers before she finds one that she loves, while your other friend dabbles in various fields and is consistently and happily juggling 2 or 3 part-time jobs or businesses.
You never know how things are going to turn out but it's important to trust the process and be happy in whatever situation you are in, whether that's your dream career for forever or your dream career for right now
I've been struggling to find my path in life for a while and it's tough, but opening my mind up to different outcome has been one of the things that has made me less anxious about it. If you are also struggling with this question I hope that this new perspective resonated with you!
I would love to hear your thoughts and questions. Leave a comment below or send me an email. I'd love to hear from you!