How to figure out what you want to do in life (hint: it’s not about what you do)

Kurt.nzBusiness, career, finance, Lifestyle, family, community, Personal development

I believe that ‘figuring out what you want to do in life’ is the wrong way to look at it for two reasons:


1. What you do actually comes from who you are.

Sure you can do things that you don’t believe in, or aren’t really ‘you’. But this is just lying and it’s pretty hard to keep doing this without it eating away at you.

Yes, you can change who you are by your actions, but you still need to think about how you want those actions to change you.


2. It’s extremely difficult to figure out what you want to do in life without having done it first.

It would be like wanting to be a snowboarder without ever having been to the mountain and touched snow. It looks fun in theory but maybe you won’t actually like the cold.

So don’t just stop everything and sit down to try and decide what you want to do.


First you need to create the freedom to try things. This means separating your time from your earning capacity, and simply saying ‘no’ (it’s not so simple in practice) to the things that you aren’t excited about.

You can then start experimenting. Want to be an actor? Take some acting classes and talk to someone in the industry. Want to be a pilot? Take a beginners course to see if it’s for you.

Once you’ve tried a few things you’ll have a much better idea of what you like, what you don’t, and what you’re best suited to.

It’s much easier to correct your course once you’ve got a bit of momentum, it’s a lot harder to start from scratch.


Lastly you need to think about what type of person that activity will make you. E.g. if you’ve got kids and want to be a great parent, doing something that takes you away from them 90% of the time will make this a lot more difficult.

What you want to do has to fit in with who you want to be.