How Did You Decide What You Wanted to Do With Your Life?

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#1
A lot of people talk about "finding your purpose" but despite reading the self-help articles and making lists of stuff I enjoy, I have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life.

I'm 26; worked odd jobs from waitress to office work. Currently in a 1-year trade school program for electrical since it seemed smart to have a trade under my belt, but it's not something I'm super interested in, career-wise. I signed up more because my mother threatened to kick me out if I didn't sign up for a college program despite being employed full time at a small office. She's disappointed that I haven't married and became a mother yet...I don't think I want children and I'm terrified of parenthood.

Been feeling kinda depressed and "stuck" lately. The best way I can describe it is drowning and suffocating at the same time. (I went back on antidepressants about a month ago and feel a little better but still not great.) I was approached by a Navy recruiter yesterday and almost want to say "eff it" and sign up. I almost did after high school and when they found out I scored a 93 on the ASVAB they were practically drooling. They asked me what I where I saw myself in 5 years and honestly....probably still in my lame hometown, working some dumb job for barely above minimum wage, and hopefully not married to some loser I know from high school. LMAO.

It's time for a change; something better. Something different and I don't know what.

So....how did you decide what you wanted to do with your life and why? How do you find your purpose or passion or whatever? I pray about it sometimes but so far the divine has been silent with any revelations for me.
 





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#2
some thoughts on this (at least from a guys perspective... there are others here more qualified to comment from a female POV):

your job should only be an end to fund your free- time pursuits and interests. money is nice, but you want to fill your life with experiences and adventures. life is for living, not accumulating fiat currency.

you dont have to love your job, but it must be tolerable. go into work, do it, get the hell back home. often, i am on autopilot at work. i can do my job without thinking about it and think about other stuff which makes it feel like i am not really at work-- i am "on break" from my free time. thats how i do it, at least.

certain jobs will be obsolete in the future: bus drivers, etc. there will always be a demand for people who can fix all the electronic crap, like alarm systems, computers, etc. plumbers and electricians and salespeople will always have jobs. cooks as well. anything that requires a human touch is safe from encroaching automation.

i think if you are at a crossroads and totally clueless as to what you want to do, id recommend you travel. ideally, overseas.

if you cant travel for whatever reason, just get any job and start saving money. when you DO come up with a pursuit or goal or deep interest, youll already have some cash ready.
 





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#3
A lot of people talk about "finding your purpose" but despite reading the self-help articles and making lists of stuff I enjoy, I have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life.

I'm 26; worked odd jobs from waitress to office work. Currently in a 1-year trade school program for electrical since it seemed smart to have a trade under my belt, but it's not something I'm super interested in, career-wise. I signed up more because my mother threatened to kick me out if I didn't sign up for a college program despite being employed full time at a small office. She's disappointed that I haven't married and became a mother yet...I don't think I want children and I'm terrified of parenthood.

Been feeling kinda depressed and "stuck" lately. The best way I can describe it is drowning and suffocating at the same time. (I went back on antidepressants about a month ago and feel a little better but still not great.) I was approached by a Navy recruiter yesterday and almost want to say "eff it" and sign up. I almost did after high school and when they found out I scored a 93 on the ASVAB they were practically drooling. They asked me what I where I saw myself in 5 years and honestly....probably still in my lame hometown, working some dumb job for barely above minimum wage, and hopefully not married to some loser I know from high school. LMAO.

It's time for a change; something better. Something different and I don't know what.

So....how did you decide what you wanted to do with your life and why? How do you find your purpose or passion or whatever? I pray about it sometimes but so far the divine has been silent with any revelations for me.
I agree with @polymoog about not making your job your life. I did at one point (make my job my life in such a way that my self-worth was crushed when I couldn't do it anymore) and that was a mistake. I was worshipping an idol basically and others' opinions of me.

I still don't know what I really want to do with my life and I'm in my early 40s. Knew I wanted to do something with writing or the English language (not teaching! Tried it; not for me). Have even been told I look like a teacher or a missionary (?!). I stumbled upon what I do actually. I needed a job. I applied to 100s of jobs. It was my second choice. The first choice, which was a technical writing gig, was only part-time. I needed a full time job. So I got into admin work. Got to do some writing or really editing there. Then didn't get to do it anymore. Survived that. Learned more transferable skills.

Life can still be full even if you're overeducated and underemployed. Or even if you're not. But yeah, pick something you like if possible. You may just stumble upon something good.
 





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#4
So....how did you decide what you wanted to do with your life and why? How do you find your purpose or passion or whatever? I pray about it sometimes but so far the divine has been silent with any revelations for me.
My journey towards peace became easier after spiritual growth and realizations......and this path allowed me to find tranquility and purpose.
Once this was sorted the rest was easier to deal with. When you have a 'why' you can deal with the 'hows.'
This is my invitation to the submission to the will of God.
I posted an article on the Islamic videos thread please feel free to check it out.I will also add a video series on the purpose of life from
our perspective on there.
https://vigilantcitizenforums.com/threads/islamic-videos-all-welcome.598/page-25
#484
Your choice to reach out is commendable. I reached back with what I love for myself and others.:)

 





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#6
35 still figuring it out as well. Clearly that’s most of us so don’t feel bad. I tell my husband money is a means to an end, not an end itself.

If you have something your passionate about, fantastic. Chase it, figure out a way to make it profitable. If not just find something that doesn’t make you miserable and pays the bills.

I know I love working with kids and helping people. I ignored the profitable part of my own advice in my 20’s at my own peril. Spent 5 years rethinking it and now have to go back for my masters. It isn’t exactly what I want to be doing but it’s close enough and will actually make me enough money to live that it’s a fair compromise.

No ones going to look back from their deathbed and wish they had a different job. I mean, unless it’s truly god awful like a heroin dealer or hitman or something. More important things in life.
 





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#7
I do enjoy writing, I've kicked around a few novel ideas and am saving up to replace my laptop. Perhaps I'll mark out some time during the day to write, my back porch/garden is lovely and I like sitting out there and soaking up nature a little. One idea I had was a commentary on modern technology and our society, like how social media is changing norms and communications. I have about 100 pages of it in a notebook but haven't worked on the idea since Februaryish of this year...maybe now that I'm feeling a little better I should take it up again.

I get the whole "still don't know what I wanna be when I grow up" idea...when you're a teenager I think you just believe when you turn 18 you're just magically wise and will have everything figured out, but when you actually become an adult you realize that even the "real adults" don't have it all figured out and are just doing the best they can and it's a little scary and humbling.

I've been on the Prozac almost a month now and I'm really grateful that I decided to face my fear and go to a doctor. Not every day is a "Great day" but I'm having more better days than bad ones lately. I've been struggling with the symptoms for over a decade and tried to treat it naturally: going to the gym, eating better, avoiding alcohol, meditation, positive affirmations, etc. All those methods helped immensely, but didn't really take away the root of the problem. Understanding that it's just a physiological thing (my brain just doesn't produce enough serotonin naturally) and it's not a personal/moral failing on my part gives me a lot of comfort and hope.

Thanks guys, I love this forum.
 





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#8
My head has been in the clouds since I was a kid. But I don't think it was a conscious decision. Maybe I just played too many fantasy roleplaying games.

I think it's only logical that I would turn life into such a game. And I'm probably the best at that.
 





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#9
What I want and what happens usually has little to nothing in common...Its good too, I rarely want what's best for me.
Check typologies for career advice, they often on point in this area, besides understanding yourself better doesn't hurt.