Choosing the right path

Finding what you want to do

We were always told to explore our choices as children but as we grow older our choices become more and more important. They always tell us to play to our strengths. People also tell us to pursue the careers we are most passionate about — I think there is a link between strengths and passion — but as we begin to really break out of our enclosed years in school and hit the real world, we have to make a choice.

Is there such a thing as choosing right the first time?

When making a choice in choosing what you want to do there is a lot to consider. Where will it lead you? What will you become?

But the most important question is:

Are you really interested in this or not.

Throw aside for a moment your:

  1. Academic ability and potential
  2. Subject requirements
  3. Suitability for the chosen course

And think, just to yourself, am I interested.

I think the regret of choosing something you do not want to do really stems from this point. You look back and ask where you got it wrong and you remember the point at which you choose the course.

When looking towards the future and towards what you want to do when you grow up, do not look too far ahead. You might think this degree or course might lead you to x y or z. In reality, however, we all tend to change. Our mindsets are rarely set on just one thing but many things all at the same time.

Somewhere down the line you might think that the course you have chosen just to get you to where you want to be in the future really does not fit you anymore. Encountering this problem is not rare and there is no doubt most people would experience this at least once.

So how do you avoid this issue?

Know what you are interested in. Otherwise, it won’t be the right course for you, it is as simple as that and there is no way around it.

I think a great way of thinking about this is to take the example of doctors. To become a doctor you really have to be committed. Medical school is already 4–5 years and the specialisation and residencies on top of that take up another 3–8 years. This extent of time is massive. I admire the people who take their time to actually commit to this because it shows that they are really passionate about their craft.

Much like the doctor example, when choosing your path make sure you are passionate. People like to see that level of interest because it is important and because in many cases it is admirable.

Assessing your choice

Making the right choice is an important thing however it does not determine your destiny. Sure, as they say, for some professions such as Law and Medicine there is no easy way out, you have to have a level of qualification no matter what.

But for a lot of things, your choices don’t give you a set path to follow. I have seen many times friends of family that end up taking languages or history but then go down an entirely different career path — like creating a business or going into banking.

That is living proof to me that:

Your choices don’t limit you.

Contradictory to what I said before right?

What do I mean by this though?

When I say that your choices don’t limit you, I really mean it, however choosing something that interests you is the first important step to exploring other subjects. You have to build a strong foundation before you begin to explore other options so you have something to fall back on, something you are familiar with and you feel secure about.

Yes, as you learn more and experience more you begin to change and you begin to collect new interests which you want to explore but the path to get you there should be made easy by the choices you had made.

Application

How do you know if you are really interested?

This is the important question. How do you know that you will feel secure with what you have chosen. The only thing you can do to see if you are interested is to try things out.

Read a book or do something related to it:

  1. Can you get through the activity easily?
  2. Does it not bore you to death?
  3. Do you understand it or really want to understand it?

If you tick all of these off it gives an indication. If it matches you, there is no doubt you will know when you find the thing you want to do.

If you can’t read the book or do the activity then maybe it is time to reconsider your options. It might be disheartening at first but if you are not interested in it or it really isn’t your thing you will not regret trying to find what you are really interested in.

What do I do now?

Choose and discover. There is no harm in trying new things that you might think are nothing of your interest.

You never know, you might find what you are looking for in a place you didn’t think would have it.

Cedric


Thank you for reading.

Hopefully you found this article informative or at least amusing! If you want to read more of my work follow me on Medium!

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