A lot of kids my age have a lot of anxiety around the “what do I want to do with my life question?”
But what I realized, is that it really doesn’t matter what you do with your life. And I mean that in the most positive way.
For me, I hated writing, reading and english growing up. I was good at math. Naturally, I liked what I was good at. But in college, I suddenly fell in love with reading. When I traveled, I picked up writing. I love reading and writing now. I hated it when I was a kid.
I tend to think that you start love and feel passionate about the things you decide to do, based on your own reasoning.
And this is pretty hard to do. The deciding on your own stuff. Because society, parents, friends are all telling you that you should be a programmer. You should be an accountant. You should be a doctor. You should have the next big idea. Pretty soon, you just start making decisions just because everyone else is doing it.
But in reality, there are no professions. There are no careers. There is no such thing as entrepreneurship. I think what fuels most careers is the act of giving value back to the human species. Some people do this through the form of entrepreneurship. Some do it through writing. Some do it through treating patients. All giving value, just in different forms.
So when it comes to “not knowing what to do with my life”, we need to stop thinking of this question in terms of “my” life. But rather, we should flip it around. How can I create value for society? It’s like building a start-up. The first prototype, is never the final product. You create a beta-version, test it on the market, get feedback and then iterate. I find that careers have a lot of parallels. You, yourself, are the product. You venture out into the market and try to figure out where you’re valuable. Then you adjust.
But what if we’re not valuable yet? This is why we need to get good at something. The better we are, the more valuable we are to society. Even in “starving-artist” professions like fiction-writing. There’s always room for the best.
So the “what do I do with my life” isn’t the right question. The question should be, how can I create value for the world?