What Should You Do With Your Life?

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.

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47 thoughts on “What Should You Do With Your Life?

  1. It is a thought provoking post Vincent! Today, there are many choices available and we may tend to choose the wrong one for ourselves. Just 2 days back I was actually thinking about what my daughter would choose for her. She is ten now and she is extremely good at fine arts, she can make excellent sketches, apart from that she loves writing poems, at the age of ten I was surprised by her thought process that she reflected in her poems, really impressive. Another choice she may have is badminton. She plays really well and has been taking coaching for the past few months now. Another thing she does good is yoga, she is very flexible with her movements and can really well stretch her body… Now this presents with a lot of choices.. I really want her to decide for herself. But children still need a little support from their parents in terms of making choices. Now my only worry is that she must choose the BEST of the options she is good at. And how do one decide that!! Yet to work on that matter..

    Liked by 5 people

    1. that’s so cute, she sounds like a little you with the poems:)

      I always wondered how athletes who are top tier players in multiple sports choose which sport they want to continue with after highschool and i still have no idea. I wish i had advice for you, I’ve been thinking about this comment just staring at it for the past 10 minutes now, but nothing comes to mind on this so I’m sorry about that.

      But I’m a huge believer in that everything works out and you seem like the type of mom that would encourage their kid to chase art instead of making them do something they don’t want to do like becoming a lawyer, which is what a kid needs:)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Absolutely My Dear! I encourage my children to do what they feel happy to do. Even of it is their career, I would always want them to choose their will. It is rather sad to see people not being happy with their jobs and pushed to keep doing it because of their responsibilities. I believe that our ultimate goal is happiness. We must chase it in any case. It is the key to life. As we have already discussed, money can not buy happiness after a certain level. Hence, choosing a career with satisfaction is a must even if it does not fetch you a lot of money. Thanks for taking your time out to think and comment..

        Liked by 2 people

  2. This post is timely. Pressure seems to be hitting my sister from every corner to get a job but every job offer she’s gotten isn’t something she feels she’d be interested in.. Family barely understands this, they just want her to earn money which I’m glad hasn’t been her motivation. She’s willing to work for free as long as it makes her happy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, success is very much taking advantage of opportunities. I also think every situation is different and I’m not sure what your situation is, but I very much believe that of course you could own a hotel. there’s no reason why you couldn’t. this is very much the idea that if you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way and if you don’t you’ll find an excuse. cliché I know, but it’s true.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I completely agree. Its really important to choose your career and don’t just settle for whatever is available… If you’re loving what you’re doing, it will not feel like you’re working…getting paid for doing what you love to do is the perfect career! And I think that when we get the right career for us, we tend to be more successful, experience more significance,and feel happier! Another great post Vincent! =)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. exactly right:) getting paid for doing what you love is the important part:) if you love to sing, but you’re not good at it then you will never make a living doing it. it’s all about finding the intersection between the two. thank you nina:)

      Liked by 2 people

  4. my husband wanted to be a Dr. and got his degree in biology and chemistry then found being married with a family made it too hard. During this time he took a summer job at an entry level engineering job and found he loved it and had a huge aptitude for it. He said it felt like being paid to have a hobby.. Needless to say 50 years later he retired as an aerospace engineer and working on the hubble was part of his happiest time. He loved it so much I finally got him to retire at 75. He just didn’t want to stop. He still keeps up with what’s going on in the industry and the people in met working.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Yes, choices are hard. I don’t know what happened to be when I was 16 but I got such a clear vision of my life and I can say I lived it. Not that my life is over now, but I need to figure something new out. I loved my career and most of my jobs as I was doing what I loved and still love. Life outside of work and career was okay and very good at time. I see a lot of people clueless with choice and often they find if someone else chooses for them it is easier. The only one thing my mum and dad said to me when i was making my choices in senior school, you are not doing art – because you have to brilliant and creative all the time. Which, I was not happy to hear at all, but, they were right – I loved art – but right now , I don’t even do it as hobby. But, anything do with computers, business issues, system solutions, excel – oh my I love. Ironically, not a fan of internet technologies yet – but trying to be slowly.

    Great post as always. I am very thankful to choice, and my parent gave me all the freedom to make that choice and their guidance proved right.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Vincent, I don’t know , I feel like I am not as good at it as I was, and may be lack motivation. Time will always be an issue. But, I am trying to do a little once in a while. But now with blogging – well I feel like I even have less

        Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you fairy:) hey, just a question, is your name actually fairy? or is that just a username you came up with? only asking because I’ve never met someone with that name, but i see people calling you that so just checking

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s as mentioned, at least 50% of our time will be spent on work and hence, to have a life of fulfillment, indeed, we gotta be able to work with something that sparks our desires to perform.

    If we don’t do the things that makes us feel alive or even motivated, it’s kinda like asking a rebellious kid to do house chores, they’d be ineffective as they complain and go through the motion- All whilst questioning the purpose of his existence and the purpose this “Job” lol.

    When there is a compelling reason for someone to work on something, they will work on it. There’s a reason why we are interested in certain things in our lives. Some people love the idea of being a car mechanic because they get to tinker with their favorite machineries etc. To them, everyday is like a day in the toy store hah!

    And it’s precisely due to that, these guys got more into it and even start to hone their craft- going on to learn more about car parts and perhaps even new ways to utilize specific parts. Innovation comes in then, and with that, evolution of the mode of transportation. Awesome.

    If you love what you do, you’re highly likely to want to learn as much as you can about it, make things happen with the newly acquired knowledge, see it take effect and repeat. This cycle would contribute to your happiness as well as fulfillment in life and that’s because of the constant release of Dopamine and other “Happy Chemicals”.

    If you do not love what you do, or you HATE what you do and nothing is getting done about it? Oh boy, you’re gonna have a bad time hah!

    However, if you can get the aforementioned “Happy Chemicals” flooding in your brain? You are more or less “Forever happy” lol. I actually did a video on happiness recently and would love for you to check it out if you got time to and let me know what you think 😉
    https://projectbiy.com/2016/07/03/pbiy-tv-episode-01-the-secret-to-happiness/

    Your pal,
    Benjamin

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Its my username: Kikki is a nickname I have and au stands for Australia which is where I am from. You can call me Kikki 🙂 Shall I refer to you as Vincent? or maybe VC?

        Liked by 1 person

  7. You know, you’ve remind me of how I felt when I read a book of a great mind, Roger Penrose. When I was reading his book I did enjoyed it very very much because I felt that some how we think the same way, not the same size of course :-). But some how I felt we share something, thats why I enjoyed his book so much. And Im having the same feeling here too :-).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. who is roger penrose I never heard of him? I feel like readers always have something in common with each other:) question though, is shadispire your first name? I just don’t want to get it wrong

      Like

      1. The Emperor’s New Mind, he was arguing that our mind is beyond laws of physics. Very interesting book.
        I write about this in my latest post, but in Arabic, will try to make it in English.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. The book “Strength Finder 2.0” is a great tool in assisting anyone in analyzing their top 5 strengths. Luckily, I have someone locally which can assist people with a more detailed analysis of the report and how your results can be used in your daily life such as work purpose, relationship(s), etc. Highly recommend it! I am struggling with my corporate job and it is time to leave and move on. To what, I am not sure, who will pay my bills, I really don’t know know, but like Gabby Bernstein says “The Universe has Your Back!”. Love your blog! Thank you for sharing! Cheers!

    Like

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