How many times did we hear that question when we were growing up? Some of you are still hearing that question even though you are well into your adulthood. Some of us have had a hard time finding our niche in the world while sometimes it seems everyone else around us knows exactly where they are going. Let’s examine the idea of knowing what you were created to do for a bit.
One of my closest friends in high school knew exactly what he wanted to do from his sophomore year. He graduated, went to college, got his Masters degree and has worked in his field ever since. He is happy and successful and I hate him. Well not really. I admire him and we are still friends some forty years later. For many years though I was jealous of the fact the he knew the path he was meant to take while I was a late bloomer. Another friend also knew what she wanted to do before we left high school. She went off to college, graduated and took a job in her field. She was very talented and we were always impressed by her work. Two years later she realized that the work was not very fulfilling and the thing went to college for and loved so much was nothing like she thought it would be. A third friend really had no idea what she wanted to do and went off into the workplace. She met a great guy, got married and raised a wonderful family. It wasn’t until her kids were older and she took a job as a teacher’s aide that she came to find out she had a passion for teaching. So she went to college, got a degree and began to teach. She is so good at what she does that she recently was named teacher of the year. But she came to this place later in life than most people do.
The reality is that for most people the path to the future is never clear and never straight. For many of us the path is winding with some surprising left turns and some stop signs. Some lucky few know what they are meant to do early in life. For many of us it is more of a journey that needs to be taken so that we can discover things about ourselves so that we can find our passion. I bet that if you ask most people around you if they are where they expected to be ten or twenty years ago they would say no.
As a life coach I work with a lot of people who need someone to walk with them along their path of discovery and help see some of the sign posts along the way. I also work with a lot of people who not only don’t know where they are going but aren’t even sure where the path is. A life coach is a great resource for people trying to figure out their lives. Here are a couple of things I always remind the people I journey with:
1) The path is rarely straight. Life is a complex thing with lots of surprises along the way. Even when you do your best preparation, you can never plan for everything that comes your way. Sometimes you just have to walk the path to discover who you are.
2) You do not need to journey alone. Being surrounded by friends and family is a great support system on your journey. Friends and family can have insight into parts of your life that you may not be able to see yourself. If you have a great support system in your life, use it.
3) Sometimes you need outside eyes to help. A life coach (or a therapist depending on the situation) can help you sort through the many things going on in your mind and then help you formulate a plan to reach your goals. A life coach can help you focus your thoughts and then hold you accountable along the journey.
4) Life is a journey, not a destination! I end every blog with this quote because I feel so strongly about this statement. I have never met anyone who feels that they have finally arrived. Actually there is really no place to arrive to. Even when people reach a goal in their life they always find that there is another step to take, another mountain to climb or another thing that needs to be done. Life truly is a journey and it is important that we live each day with passion.
5) Try it all, meet them all, experience it all. One of the things that I tell my clients is that you need to put yourself out there and try lots of things, meet lots of people and experience life to the fullest. There are many reasons for this but one of my favorite is that you never know what doors are going to open for you or who will open that door if you don’t go out there and live life to fullest.
You may have known what you were going to do when you grew up since you were a child or you may still be trying to figure it out. That is ok. Let me say that again…that is ok. Don’t be pressured into doing something you don’t feel passionate about. Take the journey that has been put before you and experience the life you have been given. By living your life fully you open yourself to all kinds of amazing possibilities, including one that many become your passion. Tomorrow I will talk about What I Learned This Week. Have a great day and don’t forget: Life is a journey, not a destination!