I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how the decision of following your own path is a challenging one because most of the time we really don’t know what we want out of life and we follow a path out of complacency, compliance, safety, and security, accumulating things we neither want nor need. A path prescribed by society where 70% of Americans are disengaged with what they do for a living and wasting their time checking off days in the long road towards retirement.
I believe there’s more to life than following a prescribed path and we don’t have to live a life of convention and conformity. I believe we can choose our own paths leading us to do meaningful work where we can fully express our true selves and make a positive impact in people’s lives.
How do you know which path, passion, interest, or idea to pursue?
What if you have multiple interests? How do you choose the right one? Or what if you choose the wrong one?
I believe the path of self-discovery is endless and to truly begin your journey on this path you must be convinced first that you are meant to follow your own path and not the one that others put in front of you.
College was really the first time I had to make a choice on what classes to take and what career path to pursue but I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I took the road most traveled and worked my way through a Business Marketing degree. I remember asking myself at the end of the four years “Is this it”?
I never had the six figures job or corner office while I was in corporate but I did establish good relationships with CEOs and Vice-Presidents. They trusted me with things like how they didn’t feel fulfilled with doing passionless work trading hours for money. Throughout my journey in corporate America, I developed this thirst for personal development and started reading books and watching videos about successful people, and also hanging with people sharing their gifts making a positive impact on the lives of others. After my 2013 Under30Experiences trip to Nicaragua building shared experiences with other like-minded people, I became convinced that the way I was spending my time was not who I was and I wasn’t doing anything worthwhile for me and others around me.
This wakeup call sent me on a quest to explore myself, inside and outside.
I started to ask “What in particular makes me come alive”? “What feels right”?
It feels right to have started a blog and keep writing about my own journey on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual development.
It feels right to write and share my thoughts with the community; it feels right to write about books I read and share the lessons I learned from reading.
It feels right to travel with Under30Experiences sharing experiences with awesome people in awesome places while building a community of like-minded people passionate about life, travel, and paying it forward to others.
It feels right surrounding myself with a supportive community that makes it all possible.
It feels right to learn about things I’m passionate about.
It feels right to do meaningful work.
I don’t have clue about how this is going to end up, but that’s the fun part. All I know is that I’m having fun, doing things I enjoy, and helping people come alive through transformative experiences.
The more I walk on this path of “it just feels right” the more discoveries I make about myself. I feel whole having a positive impact on the people I meet.
Test new things and see if they are a good fit.
One of the most important things I have learned from studying Noah Kagan is that you never build a product unless there’s a market for it. It makes perfect sense and I think we can transfer this to our lives and careers.
Before taking huge leaps, it’s important to get a feel of where we are headed. There’s nothing worse than working for something you never really wanted in the first place.
I spent months studying and working to get a certification in Project Management and Computer Networking that I never really wanted in the first place. I just did it because I thought it was going to make me smarter and more money. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the skills I learned but I could have gone a different route rather than becoming certified in something I’m not passionate about.
Don’t put pressure on yourself trying to have everything figured out.
Test. Experiment. Validate.
A lot of people think that not knowing what you want to do can become a waste of time, but I think it’s a great opportunity for some purposeful experimentation on things you actually care about; the more you know about yourself, the more you can maximize your impact.
Are you a Jack or Jane of all trades? Perfect.
This is your perfect opportunity to be different and stand out. Combine your different interests and passions together and create something interesting and unique.
Learn from people already doing the things you are passionate about.
Chances are that there is already someone who has accomplished the things you dream of doing and the best part is that you don’t need to know them first hand to be mentored by them. Blogs, TED talks, books, podcasts, and social media are all channels where these people are transmitting their message. All we have to do is pay attention. I study the lives of superstars like Matt Wilson, Jared O’Toole, Daniel DiPiazza, Kevin Diamond, Jimmy Moscoso, Srinivas Rao, Tim Ferriss, Leo Babauta, Danielle LaPorte, Marie Forleo, Jonathan Fields, Pamela Slim, Chris Guillebeau, Scott Dinsmore, Jonathan Mead, Kamal Ravikant, A.J. Leon, Noah Kagan, Peter Clemens, James Altucher, Gary Vaynerchuk, and many others.
The one thing they all have in common is:
They embrace the serious work it takes on following a path of meaningful work.
They embrace the pain of learning new things; the peaks, valleys, extreme setbacks, and refuse to give up because they know that their work will impact the lives of other people.
I have no idea where my journey is going to take me, but I already stopped worrying about it.
I’ve never been so fulfilled not knowing.
All I can do is walk the path of self-discovery, wandering the world with purpose and intention.