I was going to title this post “what to do when you don’t know what to do” but upon googling it to see if it’d been used frequently in the past, saw that the genius Michael Hyatt had already wrote a great piece of the same title. Darn you! *shakes fist*
What it comes down to is that fact that I’m in a unique position in life where all my dreams are fighting for my attention. Yesterday a friend shared this video with me that asked: “What if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?”
Most people know exactly what their HUGE big dream is in life that they’d love to just do forever. Writer. Astronaut. Doctor. Animator at Disney.
It’s so easy to pinpoint it.
But I can’t.
My mindmap of dreams is all over the place. Travel writer. Photographer. Videographer. Interior designer. Historian. Wedding planner. Teacher (could you imagine me being a teacher though? Yikes. Poor kids). Magazine layout designer.
I suspect college is the time when you’re supposed to figure this all out because…you know…you have to pick a major and generally go into the field upon graduation.
Which I did. I love advertising like whoa. I could read books all day long on marketing trends and the effects of social media. And then go try to apply them.
Because I have a degree in it, does it automatically trump my other interests though? Does the person who has actually studied photography have more of a right to be a photographer than me?
Lately, I’m thinking…no. There are tons of people working in industries that have no relevant degree.
That’s agreed upon. I can do whatever I want to do!
Back to the original question. How do you pick which dream you go after when you have so many?
I’m still not sure yet. So loop alllll the way back to the original post title: What do you do when you don’t know what to do?
I don’t have many answers today but here’s what I’ve learned NOT to do:
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before fear has the power to paralyze me into inaction. I can sit and ponder and pray for hours upon hours (and I have) turning over fake scenarios in my head and begging God for his guidance. In the end, it gets you nowhere. You’ve just wasted time, energy, and mental health digging yourself into an even deeper hole. (Although a good conversation with God really is the answer sometimes for me).
Inaction in itself is an action, I guess. But when you don’t know what to do and your mind is tearing itself apart trying to figure it out…investigate. Get more facts. In my case of the many dreams, evaluate how feasible each is.
Talk to someone. You wouldn’t guess it now but in the past I was generally not a big talker at all. I liked to keep things inside and battle them out in my own head because I knew when it was all said and done, I’d figured something out all on my own. Now that I physically am alone most of the time, talking to people (even just a short Twitter conversation) helps to put things into perspective of: “Yes. You are alone. You wanted that, remember? But you’re only as alone as you choose to be. Reach out to others. Call your friends. They might not offer the solution but they do offer a listening ear.” (To all my friends who have ever listened to me prattle on about things…thank you. And to anyone who reads this blog where I just stand on my soap box all day…thank you as well).
You’re only as lost, alone, and scared as you let yourself be. You might think you don’t know what to do. Maybe a clear path isn’t presenting itself like you expected. But do the opposite of what I’ve done in the past. Keep living. Enjoy life for what it is, even if the situation isn’t the best. When you’re dealt a crap hand, don’t fold. Bluff. Stay in the game. (Can you tell I learned all I know about poker from Brad Pitt in the Ocean’s movies?)
I can almost 100% guarantee that if you keep moving forward and keep making what you think are the right decisions for yourself…you will wake up every single day with a smile on your face because you’re living a life you designed. Go after all your dreams if you’re ambitious. What’s the only real limitation, anyway? Not money. Not time. Fear and your own mind.
Take THAT, life.
And if you really, really have to (and are old enough), have a drink. Watch a movie. Give your mind a rest. Only Sherlock is a machine. The rest of the commonwealth need a little R&R sometimes.
Have a great Wednesday, xx