Throughout history, people never had to ask themselves, “What should I do with my life?”
This was because the majority of people were usually told what to do with their lives.
If your dad was a farmer, that meant you became a farmer. If your dad was a baker, that meant you became a baker. If your dad was a butcher, or a craftsman, then that meant you became a butcher, or a craftsman.
People were usually told what to do with their life and what they did was dictated by their upbringing.
Even in the early 1900s, people looked to their bosses and company departments to plan their careers.
It wasn’t until the late 1960s, that no one wanted to be told what to do anymore. As a result, everyone began asking themselves, “What should I do with my life?”
In the book “The Happiness Hypothesis,” Jonathan Haidt, a psychology professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, talks about the “paradox of choice.”
This is the idea that “We value choice and put ourselves in situations of choice, even though choice often undercuts our happiness.”
Unfortunately with so much freedom and choice nowadays, it tends to go wasted because most people often choose to do the wrong thing with their life.
According to Deloitte’s Shift Index Survey, 80% of people are dissatisfied with what they do for a living.
This is why most people love Fridays as well as when they’re allowed to go on vacations. It’s because they don’t truly love what it is they do.
In the book “Managing Oneself,” Peter Drucker, the late Harvard business professor and the founder of business management, says to help answer the question of what you should do with your life, you need to know what your strengths are.
The reason you need to know your strengths Drucker says, is because if you focus on what you’re bad at, the best you’ll become is average. But if you focus on what you’re good at, then you can eventually become great.
The problem with this though, is most people just don’t know what they’re good at. Never before did we have to know what our strengths were. But in order to make good choices as to what we should do with our lives, we need to put ourselves in situations where we can act on our strengths.
The reason is because you will spend more than 50% of your waking life working and making money. If the time you spend working is being spent doing something that you aren’t good at, you will find it extremely difficult to be happy.
If you don’t know your strengths, then look at your personal history. Question your friends and family. Talk to your colleagues. Ask your boss. Take aptitude tests. Do whatever it takes because of all the things you don’t want to get wrong in life, you definitely don’t want to get career wrong.