My Wish In Life Essay

What do you want to do with your life? It’s a question almost everyone asks themselves. It’s also a question I don’t believe you should bother asking in the first place.

“I don’t know what I want to do in life, all I know is that it isn’t this.”

That was the sentiment a friend reflected to me. She’s in her mid-twenties, smart, savvy and hard working. But she is still stuck working jobs that don’t hover much beyond minimum wage. Every year, she tells me, that she applies for Universities, but never goes through with it. Why? Because she can’t answer that question.

Passion Evolves

I worry a lot of people fall into the same trap. The trap of believing that they need to make big life decisions before they can start doing anything. The trap that you need to be born with a passion. And the lie that being able to combine your interests with a profession is easy.

When people ask me what I’m going to be doing in five or ten years, I usually tell them I’m going to be an entrepreneur. “Oh. What’s your business going to be?” I have reason to believe this internet business could be it. Between revenues and freelance work I’m expecting to make about ten thousand dollars this year. Concentrated effort for the next four or five years could definitely make this a livable income.

But I don’t usually say that. Because it isn’t the point. In all honesty, I have no idea where I am going to be in a decade. My track record shows that my passions have evolved considerably, even over the last couple years.

Ben Casnocha, the 19-year old CEO of Comcate, shows how his passion didn’t start with a flash of insight, in the book My Start Up Life:

“It didn’t start with a dream. It didn’t start with in a garage. It didn’t even start with an innovative epiphany, which are perhaps entrepreneurs’ most overplayed recollections.” He continues, relating the story of Jerry Kaplan’s epiphany moment in Kaplan’s book, Start Up. To which Ben adds, “I wish my epiphany were as primal. It wasn’t, and most aren’t.” [emphasis mine]

As Ben shares his story of being a teenage CEO, it becomes clear that his passion evolved. There were interests in entrepreneurship and making a difference. But from these interests, he made smaller steps, each building a passion. I don’t believe his journey ever started with deciding what he wanted to do with his life.

Replace Decision with Curiosity

Instead of making definite decisions about a career path, I believe you should get curious. Get curious about the way the world works. Notice your own interests and find small ways you can exercise passion in something. Even if you can’t find a way to make money off of it yet.

The bridge from passion to money-maker can’t be made hastily. Interests often get discarded because they cannot be immediately relayed into a source of income. And therefore aren’t as important as work that does.

Blogging is a great example. I know many bloggers who want to go pro. They want to take the interest they have and turn it into a passionate source of income. But blogging isn’t easy. Even the most rapid successes I’ve seen, took over a year before the author could claim blogging as more than a hobby. And those were due to writing talent, luck and an incredible amount of work.

Patience is a necessary ingredient in evolving a passion. But even more, you need to be open to other possibilities.

Interest to Income Isn’t a Straight Path

80% of new businesses fail in the first five years. But more interesting, is that of the 20% that succeeded, most didn’t do so in the way they had expected to.

Before setting up his immensely popular website, Steve Pavlina believed he would make most his revenue through products and workshops. But close to five years later, he makes all of it from advertising and affiliate sales. A revenue prospect he downplayed when making his business plan.

Similarly, I don’t believe that most people’s passions follow a straight path. Scott Adams began with a degree in economics and a position in a bank and now he is the successful cartoonist who created Dilbert.

Seven Steps to Evolving a Passion… and Making it Work

Step One – Gather Sparks of Curiosity

Don’t have an inferno of passion driving your actions yet? Don’t worry about it. Most people I know don’t. And if you are under thirty, you are probably in the overwhelming majority.

The first steps is to simply invest your energy into whims. Those little sparks of interest where you don’t know enough to make them a passion. Ben Casnocha calls this seeking randomness. For me, it has been a process of finding my intuition and using it to make small investments in things that are potentially interesting.

This means reading different books, taking on different activities and meeting different people. Broad associations gives a lot of chances to stumble on a passion that can work.

Step Two: Fan the Flames of Interest

After exposing yourself to a lot of randomness, you need to cultivate the successes. Build upon the little sparks of interest that come by your life. If you read a book about physics and like the subject, try taking a physics class. If you enjoy some basic programming try a small software project.

Step Three: Cut Out Distractions

Cultivating whims and exploring new passions requires time. One of the reasons I’ve placed such an emphasis on productivity with myself, is that without it I couldn’t explore these options.

If your interests are genuine and worth exploring, it shouldn’t be too difficult to eliminate the non-essentials. Distractions such as television, excess internet usage and video games only take a bit of conditioning to free up. The hard part is reallocating time you don’t believe is yours.

Step Four: Living Minimally

If you already have a job you aren’t passionate about, work only as much as you need to keep going. Valid passions need time to grow into income generating skills.

I don’t suggest becoming a starving artist and racking up huge debts. But avoid expanding your life to fit a bigger and bigger paycheck if you aren’t living your passion. Otherwise you simply trap yourself into a life that is comfortable, but otherwise dead.

Leo Babauta, author of ZenHabits is a great example of this. With six kids, freelancing work and another job to help support his family he found ways to cut expenses and focus on his passion. His website has quickly grown to become incredibly popular, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a stable source of income for him in a few years. Live minimally, and avoid getting trapped into a comfortable, but unsatisfying, life.

Step Five: Make a Passion that Creates Value

If you have a skill that creates social value, you can make money through almost any medium. Monetizing a passion takes skill, as any entrepreneur can tell you, but without providing legitimate value it is impossible.

You need to transform your developing passions into a skill that can fill human needs. Some passions are easy to translate. An interest in computers could allow you to become a software designer. Others are more difficult. A passion for poetry, may be more difficult to meet a specific human need.

Step Six: Find a Way to Monetize That Value

Once you have the ability to create social value, you need to turn that into a repeatable process for gaining income. This could be in the form of a job. As a programmer you could get hired by Google. Or, it could lead to becoming a freelancer or an entrepreneur.

Monetizing value isn’t easy. It requires that you learn how to market, sell yourself, and find ways to connect human needs. Whether you intend to work in a job or own a business makes no difference. You are the CEO of your life, so you need to know how to connect your passions with serving other people.

Step Seven: Go Back to Step One

Describing this process in steps is misleading. It implies that there is a destination. There is no destination. The process of following whims, cultivating passions, turning them into valuable skills and then finally earning revenue from them is lifelong. I have some passions that are in steps one and two. This blog is in the midst of step six. In ten years I may have gone through them all with a completely different passion.

Not all your passions will or can finish the sixth step. But as persistent as the myth you need to decide what you want to do with your life, is the myth you can only have one passion. I’m at a point where cultivating passions has meant I have too many options. Too many possible paths that could lead to enjoyable and fulfilling careers. Don’t obsess over one failed attempt.

What do you want to do with your life?

Your life doesn’t need to go through a predictable story arc. It doesn’t have to start with a dream, follow through hard work and end up in a nice home with four bedrooms. Instead it can twist and travel. You don’t have to know the final answer, you just need to act on the next step.

This article is also available in Italian, thanks to Paolo Marintano!

Filed Under: Goals, HappinessTagged With: goals, process

I Wish I Knew What Life Has Ahead For Me

For the first time in my life there are "real" decisions that I have to make. Not where I am going on Saturday night but rather what path in life am I going to take. "What do I want to do with my life?" "Am I ready for life?" These questions have not only been bothering me, but also many of my friends who are trying to figure out the path which will lead them to their comfortable life. One might ask, what is that comfort that we all are striving for? Is it a state of mind or is it some world that we are so eager to enter? Well, it varies from person to person. It depends on the life that the person has lived and expectations that he has for himself or what others expect from him. I for one would like to obtain a higher standard of education and achieve a long time goal of being an accountant.

So many years has gone by since the first day of high school. I remember my dad took me to school and said enjoy the next five years because it will be one of the best times in your life. High school was a whole new experience for me. Thinking we had such independence, such freedom. Life had given me a few curve balls but I handled it to the best of my ability. Even at times I didn't think it would pass, it did and I know that I have become a better, more mature person from it all. "What can't kill you makes you stronger"But all I wanted to do was do enough work to pass and have a jol with my mates. Decisions back then was only superficial ones. Where to go on weekends? Who to take to the game reserve? But little did I know that those were probably the least of my worries. In the beginning of matric, my dad told me that I must realize that this year isn't a...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

Tone In Roethke's "I Knew A Woman"

641 words - 3 pages Tone is defined by The American Heritage Dictionary as a manner of expression in speech or writing. Our literature book expands on this definition by saying tone is not an attitude, but it is whenever the poem makes an attitude clear to us. One poet to whom tone is very important is Theodore Roethke, author of "I Knew a...

Personal Goals I Wish To Achieve.

756 words - 3 pages PersonalGoals 1Personal Goals I Wish to AchieveThe reason of why I decided to go back to school and obtain my Bachelors Degree has never been...

"I wish I could remember" by Christina Rossetii

567 words - 2 pages Christina Rossetii had expressed her regret and longing to recall the "first day, first hour, first moment" of the "unrecorded" first meeting of her youthful love. She consider the first meeting "mean so little" in the old days, she thought it was "dull" to remember the youthful love that she knew would not last long in her life. However, as time pass by, She felt...

How I Wish I Spent My Summer Vacation

1465 words - 6 pages -The President and I duel with our extreme calculator/hover-board/microwave/air mattress/compass/laser-beam/laptopOver summer vacation, I received a laptop. It wasn't just any laptop. This laptop came from from an alien and could tell me anything I wanted to know. It's great! The laptop can also run any computer program, game, or any other software that is known to man. It has a built in calculator, CD drive, hover-board, microwave,...

Me, Myself And I

570 words - 2 pages Speech 1 Myself Speech On April 16, 1986 the girl who will make a difference was born. She now has become a teenager with dreams and goals. My name is Denise. I'm from El Paso. I've lived here all my life. I live with my brother and our parents. I'm not really common. I think its because my friends, the music I like, and my personal goals. I have all...

Me, Myself, and I

1012 words - 4 pages ………. I am Asian, and like most Asian families, I have strict parents; however, my parents believe in me and they are actually proud of my hard works. One thing that keep me in line and not slacking off is my sister. My sister, her name is Man, who is ten years old, have Down Syndrome. She is a sweet girl who is quite cheerful and make everyone laugh at the silly things she does. My sister is always there for me, when I need a hug or a laugh. ...

i me myself

1377 words - 6 pages Question One: (40%)Write an essay describing the entrance hall, stairs and landing in your home or that of a family member or friend. Describe it as accurately as you can, listing any interior design flaws you feel should be changed. Describe the style, colors and lighting. Now write about what changes you would make if you were the interior designer hired to do a consultation. Include some sketches or photographs if you feel they will...

Me Mtself and I

925 words - 4 pages Bioelectric wastewater treatment technology installed at CA breweryBOSTON & CLOVERDALE, CA, Jan. 16, 2014 -- The world's first and only industrial-scale, bioelectrically-enhanced wastewater...

what influences have made me the person i am today

1441 words - 6 pages What influences have made me the person I am? It was a Tuesday afternoon and I was just getting to my psychology class and as usual I was chit chatting with my neighbors in class, Cpl Christie and Fausnight about the things that each of us did this weekend. Just when I had finished talking to Kara (Fausnight) about her weekend our psychology teacher Dr. Douglas walks in. As she is walking in I in my peppy self- personality ask how her weekend...

Integration Paper: What Makes Me Who I Am

3792 words - 15 pages The lens through which I see the world is greatly affected by my deep rooting in God. Believing in a power greater than mere humanity allows me to live for something more than myself. I am able to find purpose in throwing myself away for love of a broken world, because I see that reflected in the life that Jesus lived. Because God is so much more than our minds are...

This essay explains the eight stages that Erik Erikson proposes that everyone goes through. I have given real-life examples that has happened to me.

2117 words - 8 pages The best-known neo-Freudian was Erik Erikson. He formulated his own theory of personality development. He projected that everyone goes through psychosocial stages rather than psychosexual stages as Freud proposed. Erikson has identified

0 Thoughts to “My Wish In Life Essay

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *