Those of you who have read my first blog posts know that I’ve been struggling to pick a topic for my online content for a while now. And when I say a while I mean months if not years. But I wanted to share with you some straightforward steps on how I decided to pick this one, how I was able to narrow down my choices to the one that I really care about the most, how I did that in many other stages in my life so far.
So, if you don’t know what your passion is, your purpose, the one thing that you’re supposed to be adding to the world, I just want to let you know that you’re not alone. I was in that place before and it sucks! But there are some practical things that can really help you with that. In this series of posts, I share with you some of those steps as well as my experience on how I applied them and I genuinely think that this can help you make some hard decisions in your life whether it is a career decision, a class to take, a topic to talk about or a product to use or to sell or whatever it can be, if you apply them correctly.
What are you going to wear tomorrow for that event?
Hmmm, I don’t think so! The thing is decision making is one of the hardest things that our brains can do, sometimes without realizing it. It takes a lot of energy and uses a lot of mental resources just to pick an outfit to wear in the morning, let alone if the decision is much more important such as choosing a career or a job or something like that.
This is why a lot of the most successful people in our time show up in exactly the same outfits over and over again, while we think a million times before wearing the same dress (or suit) to events where we might meet a few people who have already seen us wearing that exact same dress (or suit) in the previous event (I know it’s not just me, so just admit it especially girls!).
You look at Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs, for example, always wearing those plain T-shirts and jeans and you think woow! This guy could have worn a golden T-shirt if he wanted to but what he’s doing is that he is avoiding to make those little decisions that can take a lot of his mental capacity and focus so that he can free up that space to think about how he can improve your experience on Facebook or an apple. You must be going: Oww, that’s so sweet! Well yeah, but the guy also makes a few million dollars while he’s sleeping so who cares about a classic suit and a tie when he doesn’t have anything to prove to anybody, right?
The frustration stage
Anyways, let’s go back to our topic! Remember? So, I wanted to share with you the process I went through in order to make some of the hardest decisions in my life. OK, so I’ve read a few books, listened to a few podcasts, and watched a few videos online in order to find an answer to this question; what is it that I’m supposed to be doing in this life? What is my passion? What is my Why?
And like I said before, it was not because I was out of ideas or options but because I had too many ideas that I found it very hard to choose, or the only options I could see were very good on paper but I didn’t enjoy them at all. I just didn’t know where I’ll find myself the most, what is that thing that I love to do. Everybody talks about purpose and passion in life and I had no idea what that was for me. I felt frustrated, and I know that I’m not alone. We keep hearing that the number one thing you’re supposed to do is to find what is your role in this world, what is the one thing that you will overdeliver in because you absolutely love. AAAAgh, but guess what, that’s not easy! Most of us were not taught to think about these things when we were young. I know I wasn’t, but if you were then you are a very lucky person!
What we were taught and why?
We were only taught to be top in our school, get the best grades possible, get to the most prestigious school or college possible and take the best job that we can get (you know the best salary, stability, benefits, etc.). We were taught that we will then have to look for a good person to marry, get a loan for a house, have children and that’s it. That’s the purpose of life, that’s what most of us saw around them. That’s absolutely fine if that is all you want, but to me, it didn’t seem like enough! Of course I want a good paying job but I want to be doing something I enjoy or something meaningful to others. Of course I want to have a family but I want it to be an amazing one and I want to be growing so I can give more to my children. I don’t want my life to be the exact same movie that I watched a hundred times, I don’t want to be the star of that movie, I want to be a star of a much more interesting and exciting movie! I want all that and more, I want passion, love, excitement, acceptance, and happiness. And I feel that I deserve it (didn’t use to, but now I do).
I gotta be honest, at first, I thought it was just in communities like mine that these ideas of a typical life cycle were incorporated in people’s minds. And I used to blame the society I live in, and was always wondering who dictated those social rules? who came up with them? And why is it so difficult and frown upon if you want to do it differently?
I thought that other countries were different, and I knew a lot of people who did too. But then, when I started to be more open to the world, whether during my travels, or book readings, or movies, as well as social media and the internet in general, I discovered that this was the case for most of the people on the planet. It doesn’t matter where they come from, their ethnicity, religion, the country they live in, etc. And that’s because those ideas come from a genuine human need for survival, safety, validation as well as urges that we are born with such as love of money, need to be in a relationship, parenthood, etc.
To be continued