If you are in your early 20’s and you’re trying to figure out what to do with your life, please read this.
Over the last couple of months, I’ve had a lot of people email me asking for help to figure out what direction their life should take.
Many of them are in their early 20’s. Some of them have ideas. They want to start businesses but don’t know where to start. Others have interests but don’t know how to develop and pursue those interests. Others simply have no idea what to do.
If you are in your early to mid 20’s,…you’re probably about to graduate from school, or doing your national service, or recently completed your national service or doing your masters, maybe taking a course or learning a trade or working a day job…. if you fall into this category and you are having a hard time figure out your next steps, here is some advice for you.
Firstly, you need to recognize that this period of your life is one of the most important periods in your life. The decisions you make during the next few years will have a large impact on how the rest of your life turns out. It can make or break you…so you don’t want to mess up.
At this point, It’s normal to feel lost. It’s okay to not have everything figured out yet. Very few people in their early 20’s have their lives figured out at this point. What you should have is at least a sense of where you want to go and what you want to do.
For people who come to me for advice, I ask them 3 questions, adapted from the book Good to Great by Jim Collins. I believe finding the answers to these questions can help you figure out what you should do with your life. So ask yourself these questions,
1. What are your passions and interests?
What would you not mind doing even if no one was going to pay you for it? What things do you love to do?
2. What can you become the best at?
What skills, talents, interests or abilities do you have at the moment that you can become very good at if you commit time to developing?
3. What can drive your economic engine? (What will bring you money?)
What job or business or activity can you do which will bring you money?
Consider these 3 questions as circles…the intersection of all 3 circles is the sweet spot where you want to be.
If you have a passion or an interest which you can become very skilled at with time and effort and you can get paid for it, then voila! you are on your way to figuring out what to do with your life.
The difficulty is in finding the answers to these 3 questions above. After you have figured this out, your next steps will become clearer.
Another thing you should know is that happiness and fulfilment is very important in life. You are going to spend the next 40+ years of your life working. You don’t want to get stuck doing something you don’t love just because you want to make ends meet. That’s a miserable life!
You don’t want to lie on your deathbed 60 years from now and have all sorts of regrets about all the things you wanted to do and the life you wanted to live which you couldn’t because you spent your life stuck at a lousy job.
If you are stuck doing something you don’t love at the moment just because you want to make ends meet,…that’s not bad. At a point in my life, I had to do “Space-to-Space” to get money for school.
However, you shouldn’t get too comfortable. Seek out avenues to start doing what you love. Things which make you happy and fulfilled.
Life is too short to not be happy. Find the answer to your 3 questions and live a happy, fulfilled life.