What Should I Do With My Life?

Learning to write numbers, a gift from Grandma.
Image by alexis22578 via Flickr

It’s a book, by Po Brosnon. I read it a few years ago. And, suddenly, today, I found myself thinking of it. I’ve been reading self help books lately, as if they are mdern philosophy. All point to thinking about what one should do with their life. Not what you are good at. Not even what you like to do. But, rather, what you should do.

The self help books cover themes like:

  • Taking responsibility for your own actions
  • Minding your own business
  • Not letting others get you down
  • Creating goals, and thinking of them often
  • Evaluating self, that is being introspective
  • Figuring out your needs and stating them
  • Owning self, owning success, and owning failure
  • Learning from self, mistakes, successes
  • Assessing priorities and remembering that winning all the time isn’t what most people want on their death bed – they want family and loved ones

The self help titles include things like (some were read over ten years ago):

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Strengths Finder 2.0
  • Strengths Based Leadership
  • Safe People
  • Non-Violent Communication
  • How to be an Adult in Relationships
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
  • Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  • Siddhartha
  • The Wisdom of Insecurity
  • Ishmael

Not all the books would be considered self help, in perhaps, the strictest sense of the term. But they are books designed to get you thinking about these norms we create, thinking about different ways to go about life, and then acting on shaking up those norms.

These books I recall have a theme for me. The theme is to figure out what you want, generally, out of life. Sit down and assess your goals. Figure out what you’re good at by assessing your strengths. Learn about yourself and learn about how you can make self better. Then act on it. Own it. Create boundaries and enforce them. Realize it’s okay to say no and continue to focus on the goal(s). Once you’ve assessed self and your needs and you’ve owned it, act with courage to state your opinion. Own that too. Then, just act. Act on your decisions, and see what happens. If you fail, own it. If you succeed, own that too. Reassess, learn, and modify. And, have fun while you’re doing it because if you don’t have fun then you will likely have serious regrets when you’re faced with death.

The point, the theme, the message for me is to figure out what I should be doing. I can create goals and figure out what I’m good at, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot if it’s not worthwhile. So, it should be something I should be doing.

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