In Defense of Having No Idea What to Do with Your Life

Mseng No idea

I’m often told that I have it “all figured out.” I have a career path, I have a blog that I share with my best friend, I live in the best city in the world (such an unbiased statement, I know), and I’m surrounded by friends and family that I care deeply about. It may seem that I’ve checked every box on the list, but I think that’s only if you have a list to begin with. In reality, I’ve just started to conquer the goals and aspirations I had for my life and there is a long adventure ahead of me. Most of the time… I have no idea what I’m doing.

When I applied for college and well into my sophomore year, I had not a hint of what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I wanted to be creative and I knew I wanted to be out of my comfort zone. I knew I wanted to write, but I didn’t want to be stuck in a cubicle or writing about something that didn’t interest or inspire me. That’s very little to go on. All I did know was that I wanted to be in New York and I wanted to be happy. Now that college years are behind me, I’m still trying to figure it all out. I might be more stable than I was just out of college, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my fair share of “soul-searching” ahead of me. And you know what, I’m all for it. I almost welcome the confusion, the curiosity and the jitters that come with not having a clue what to do with your life. And here’s why:

You’re open to every possibility – Those who have a “plan” or a “timeline” are often close minded and have the blinders on. It would be lovely to have your life plotted out for you and to have complete control over what’s going on. Universal truth – we don’t. Almost always things go NOT according to plan and if they do, usually it’s not in the way you expected. So throw that timeline out the window! When you’re open to what could be ahead, some real miracles happen. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it’s unknown. But with a little hard work you could be getting what you wanted all along, just better.

You are stronger for it – With little idea what to do with your life, you may take some chances or go down a few roads that are just not right. That’s how you learn. In college I had a 5 month stint at an advertising agency that was just not right for me. Never regretted moving away from advertising after that. My first real job after college lasted me 4 months until I jumped ship and found an agency that really worked for me. You may have not taken the pretty path, but you’re wiser now.

You will see opportunity around every turn – So long as you put yourself out there and continue to work hard, you’ll see opportunities  knocking at your door like you never imagined. It may not be a top-five-dream-PR-firm or an up-and-coming-fashion-designer begging you to work for them, but it will be something scrappy or full of new experiences. Maybe it will require some skills that will need to be self-taught. Maybe it’s for a company you never thought you would have an interest in. Try it out! Worst case, you hate it but stick it out for a little bit and you then have the experience to find your dream job. That doesn’t sound so bad.

How about you? Do you have a clue what to do with your life? If not, do you find it to benefit you or hold you back?

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