One Question That Can Change Your Life if Your Still in School

Do You Know What it Is?

I wish someone had told me this little piece of advice back when I was in high school figuring out what I wanted to do with my life.

So that’s why I want to tell it to you now. Interested?

Good.

But first let me tell you something…

(tldr? Oh fine, be that way you lazy bugger. It’s the bold question halfway through the article)

For every Yin there is a Yang, the proton balances out the electron, good necessitates evil, matter is canceled out by anti-matter, and what goes up must fall down.

Most things in life are a dichotomy, there is an opposite perspective or angle to every position we have, and it’s usually our blind-spot. Our weakness. It’s the black-swan that shrieks loudly scaring us, spilling all our coffee onto our laps and ruining our day.

Look,

From modern culture to the school system, every one of us since childhood has been taught to ask ourselves one question for the most part, one perspective, an incomplete perspective, on how we should go about living our lives.

“What do you want to do when I grow up?”

“What job do I want to have?”

“What interests me?”

“What would I not mind doing for the rest of my life?”

“What field would make me happy?”

And it’s an important question, don’t get me wrong. It’s one way of looking at your life and figuring out what you are going to do with the time that is given. It’s the process oriented way of doing things. It’s how 98% of people see the world.

However, I have not seen a single school teacher or college professor for the most part ask another critical question.

“How do you want to live?”

What kind of lifestyle do you want to lead? The places you wish to visit, the things you wish to do, the amazing adventures you want to experience? This is the results-oriented viewpoint. And that, my amazing reader, is a type of thinking only 2% of the population exhibits.

What do I want to DO versus HOW do I want to live?

That is the great forgotten question we must ask ourselves.

And these two things may not always be in harmony. I can be absolutely passionate about being a social worker, but hate how little I get paid.

I can be excited about the income of an investment banker, but hate having to be an excel monkey working 100 hours a week, just delaying my life and justifying how if I survive just a couple of more years how great my resume will be.

You can’t be on either extreme and just like what the ancient proverb is trying to suggest to us, the best way to have a happy, good life that has been lived to its fullest potential is to strike a balance between these two ways of thinking.

Start out by writing what you want your life to look like. Lock yourself in a room with a blank piece of paper and write whatever comes to mind.

It can be anything, don’t hold yourself back. Don’t worry about seeming materialistic or weird or being judged. This is for YOU!

Spend an hour or two doing this.

Then ask yourself how are you going to get there? What ladders in the Snakes and Ladders game of life do you need to land on? What paths are going to get you there, or if you have no clue (which is most likely), what’s going to at least move you forward in that general direction.

And lastly, look at the things you are good at and that you like, and see if you can tie any of these things in to the path you need to take.

It’s important that you do it in that order as well, because most of us, 98% of us, go about it the opposite way.

Most people ask what do they like to do, so then chose a path based on that, and henceforth the kind of life we will live has been pre-determined for them.

What I’m trying to say is,

Be flexible with the path you will take in life, but be firm on your destination.

For the road less traveled that leads to an amazing destination is still better than the popular road that leads nowhere special.

Until next time,

Mark