What Should I Do With My Life?

As we are getting closer to graduation season and my daughters are coming to the end of another dance season it is impossible to ignore the fact that there are some of these girls that we've known for a decade or more are moving on to college and the next chapter in their lives. I just finished reading Tribe Of Mentors by Tim Ferris and couldn't help but reflect on this transition as I read through the closing statements which talked about how the big questions we ask ourselves in our lives are probably not the right questions we should be asking. We shouldn't ignore planning but asking ourselves, "What should I do with my life?" is a bad practice. How many people know what their plan is getting out of high school and it actually taking that path? How many people in their lives use
the degree they went to college for? I am but I didn't decide on my major until my junior year in college, even then my career has taken a few turns along the way I certainly didn't expect.

For those of you that are approaching graduation, your life will be amazing, so don't freak out if you don't know what the plan is. My suggestion to you is go into this next phase learning how to meet new people and make new connections. Learn how to work as a team and communicate better. Take a class on something that seems really fun to learn but might not fit into your major. Find what you are passionate about, not what you think will make you the most money. 

For those of you that are past graduation, not much is different. You also should continue to learn to meet new people and make new connections. There is always room for improvement in learning how to work as a team and communicate better. It is never to late to learn something new, especially something that you find really fun. No matter what stage of life you are in, there is always time to find your passion. There are countless examples throughout society of people starting doing their best work in their 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's and later. It isn't about what you should do with your life, it is about what you should be doing next in your life.

Here are some additional lines from that closing statement that also resonated with me:

  • What should I do with this tennis serve? What should I do with this line at Starbucks? What should I do with this traffic jam? How should I respond to the anger I feel welling up in my chest? These are better questions.
  • Excellence is the next five minutes, improvement is the next five minutes, happiness is the next five minutes.
  • Broadly speaking, as good as it feels to have a plan, it's even more freeing to realize that nearly no misstep can destroy you. This gives you the courage to improvise and experiment.
  • If it seems like the world has ended, perhaps it's just the world forcing you to look through a different, better door. As Brandon Stanton put it, "Sometimes you need to allow life to save you from what you want."


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