Many years ago, a person’s path was pretty much set right out of their teens. It was typical to marry young, and start a family. A man found a job with a good company, and stayed there until he retired. Most women didn’t give a second thought to a career as they stayed home and raised children; for the women who did work, there was only a small number of fields they were likely to enter.
Fast forward to modern times, and things have changed quite a bit. People are living more of their adult lives single and without children, free to explore life more fully without others depending on them; there is more opportunity, more choice. And, in a lot of ways, this is a great thing. But, on the other hand, it can feel a bit overwhelming, and trying to figure out what you want can seem like a daunting undertaking.
But, there is a way to break through the confusion and inertia and move towards the life you want. Here are just a few tips for getting you there.
What Do YOU Want?
This may seem like a question that is easy to answer, but for many people it isn’t. What we truly want gets buried under what we are taught to believe we ‘should’ want, what type of life is deemed ‘appropriate’ or ‘right’ in our family, society, etc… We may feel pressure to conform to the expectations of others; we worry what other people think about us far too much, and it leads us to suppress who we really are, and not do the things we really want to do. We are afraid to make bold decisions.
You are probably not as confused as you think you are—there is a good chance you have an idea of what you want to do with your life, but you are afraid to pursue it for one reason or another, whether it be fear of criticism, failure or making the necessary decisions required of you.
Put all of that aside for a moment, and really think about what it is you want. Don’t censor yourself, and don’t dismiss the information you uncover—work with it to figure out your life.
Start Taking Action
Once you get that clarity, start taking action today, no matter how small a step. If you want to turn your passion for food into a career, start researching what you would need to do to attend a cooking school, and get some brochures. If you want to get that masters’ degree, start reading up on the GRE. Just take some concrete step that makes it all real. It will make you feel good; it will bring the ideas out of fantasy and into reality.
Remember Nothing is Permanent
When we think about taking our life down a certain path, we tend to look at this choice as something that will impact our lives until our dying breath; we feel we need to figure out what we will do for the next several decades, and this creates a lot of pressure. But, don’t look at it like that. Very few decisions are permanent in life, and while you don’t want to just jump into something on a complete whim, don’t feel like you can’t shift course again sometime down the line. Lots of people do. Don’t think of this decision as setting the rest of your life in stone.