It’s not always easy to answer the question “So, what do you do?” Perhaps you’re already living the dream, enjoying the life you want. On the other hand, maybe you feel a little lost, wondering if it’s too late for you to find true contentment and joy. I tell you firmly, sincerely and with every ounce of my heart that it’s never too late to find your way.
I’ve tried and failed at more projects and careers than I can count at this point. Lately, however, I feel as though I’m finally on the right track. It took decades of trial and error, and here I am “in the zone”—doing what I love for a living, for myself, and for the world. You could feel this way too; just try some of these methods of finding your true calling.
1. Look for recurring themes
Do certain things keep popping up? For example, do people repeatedly tell you that you have a certain talent? Pay attention to your innate gifts and observe what makes you truly happy. Odds are, the universe is already screaming “do this, do this!” at you.
2. Start keeping a journal
Write down the words “what do I love?” and then write out at least five answers. Check-in with yourself and try this once a week on a fresh page. It’s okay if the answers change—let the ideas flow and see what you come up with.
3. Recall what you once loved
Did you once love drawing, painting, working with clay? Somewhere along the way, did someone say something to deter you from following a creative pursuit? It’s time to think back to what you once loved. Write these things down and reintroduce the activities here and there.
4. Go for it, even if others make fun or cast doubt
Turn the volume down on outside talk and naysayers. It’s now or never, and you are in charge of your life. Choose happiness and the negative people will fade away. Stick with what makes your soul sing!
5. Trim the fat
Stop watching TV, aimlessly drinking, shopping and zoning out when you could be honing a skill and building your empire. While it’s important to let the mind rest, some activities rob you of time. Take periodic social media breaks and look into a new book or activity that stimulates you.
6. Be ok with changing your plans
Nobody has to know in high school or even college precisely what they’ll do for the rest of their life. Maybe you’ll have two or three different careers—nobody knows. Be okay with changing your mind as you go along, taking time to try various training and jobs. Eventually, something will click—that will be the time to go full throttle and pursue your passion.
7. Shake up your routine
Stop doing the same old things and complaining about how bored, tired or stuck you are. Add new fitness or dance classes to your exercise regimen, and try a new activity like biking, hiking or painting. Whatever you choose to do, get out of your own way and shake things up a bit.
8. Stop worrying about other people
Repeat after me: “Nobody cares if you make mistakes.” You may have overbearing family members or friends, but in the end, those who truly care about you don’t care if you make mistakes along the way. Stop worrying about what other people think or say about you, and follow your heart, your dreams, and your urges.
9. Find supportive people, not yes men
Finally, take a peek at your social circle. Are you surrounded by truly supportive, loving individuals who want to see you thrive? If not, make the cut and move on. Life is a precious gift and there’s no need to be around negative or unsupportive people on your path.