Challenge of Creating Your Own Life Path
Being an adult is like folding a fitted sheet. No one really knows how.
It’s been 4 years since I was graduated from college but I’m still struggling to find out what are things that I want to achieve in my life.
When we were a child, at least in my case, we have been used to the clear life track. As we graduate from elementary school, without a doubt, we will continue our life stage to high school and college.
But once we already passed college, we may think that we will pursue our career in being an office employee or entrepreneur. However, there is no playbook to define exactly the single way to become a great employee or entrepreneur.
Compare it to what we experience at the school, the teacher taught us about the course, we learn from it, there is a group project or exam, and the cycle will be repeated until we graduate. And most of your own path has been defined by your teacher back then. Not much choice available back then.
However, being an adult, we’ve been forced to define our life path.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a time as well when your teacher asks your dream or create your life plan. But when the reality really slaps you after you pass school or college, it is still daunting us.
Yes, you have a lot of choices compared to what we have when we were a child. But, too many choices sometimes can be a disaster. We spend too much time considering all of the choices, we think about the pros and cons until we’re in the stage that we’re afraid to move because we’re thinking too much about the cons, sacrifices, and potential failure.
Moreover, in terms of defining the future, we need to define it in a more specific way. The most common question that always appears whether, in a job interview, school, or scholarship application is
What do you see yourself in the next 5 years? or 10 years? or after graduation?
To be honest, in the last 1 year, I always ask this question to myself and the answer is I am still clueless.
It’s not enough to say that in the next 5 years I want to become a great manager or I want to generate the first 100,000 dollars. You need to make it more specific and clear to define each step that you want to go through.
As each person define it in a more specific way, there is no book or literature that can provide you 100% guideline to guide you to the success version of yours.
Even though you read a biography of your favorite figure, let’s say you want to be a successful investor and you read the biography of Warren Buffet. At the end of the day, you are you, have different opportunities, privileges, restrictions, and backgrounds to him. You can mimic several parts of his ways and extract the learning that supports your goals but you can’t just copy 100% what he did because of those differences.
It’s the process of trial and error
Once you find that a certain way is not suitable for your condition or your goals then you may seek from other literature. Then you will collect the methods that fit you from any sources and you create your own guideline.
That being said, the tricky part is there is no single literature that can be your life or goal guideline 100%, you need to search it from multiple ways and you need to create on your own.
It’s not like we were in school, at least in my country, you only need to follow your teacher’s guide and it will guarantee your success in the school.
But it does not end there. Since it was a trial and error process, you need to think and evaluate what you’ve done. The tricky question would be
Do I need to change the method or change the goal?
Do I need to stick to my existing way and wait for a longer time?
Every person is unique. There is no single person who knows it unless you figure it out. In my personal case, I’m still doubting myself, and asking if I want to go through is really good for me, or is this what I want?
But on a positive note, every iteration will generate learning. Life is a learning process basically. Going through this iteration a couple of times will lead you to improve you and force you as well to discover yourself as a person.
As many people say, trust and enjoy the process. It’s hard to swallow the challenge but once you’re going through this then maybe you will find out what are the things that you want to achieve and craft in your life.
That’s what I say to myself.