What Should I Do Next In My Life?

Summer is over and the new school year is here. If you’re in college, high school, or even graduating Spring semester, ready for the next, then you know that you’ve been blessed with a whole new set of decisions that get to be made by the one and only – YOU!

Stress much? Yes, it’s basically my day job.

Whether it’s getting a new job, applying for grad school, traveling the world, doing an internship, getting married, living the single life, moving to a new city…the list goes on and on. It’s easy to see our decisions as challenges and hassles. But it’s definitely easy to see them as annoying when we are constantly comparing ourselves to the ones around us.

Think about it, if the kid in your class hadn’t already completed seven internships with a freaking 4.0 GPA, you wouldn’t stress about how you’ve been working at a summer camp your whole life and haven’t even applied to any internships. If the girl next to you hadn’t graduated in three years and was heading to grad school, you wouldn’t stress about taking the semester off to do service in China in the fall.

Our so-called “unsuccessful” and “insufficient” lives are only relative to who you are comparing yourself to; and haven’t we been told not to do that? Comparison is a faulty game where you are constantly the loser. The way you live your life shouldn’t be based off of someone else’s. This time is yours and yours only.

Speaking of time, since when is there a “best” time to get married, go to school, get an internship, apply for grad school, get a job, date the boy, or graduate college? If there is, show me the book, study, text, or moment. I guarantee you won’t find it.  It’s not like all the successful people in the world followed the same exact itinerary; they made their way to success based on their own timeline and in their own way that made most sense to them. Life isn’t about time; it’s about choices and what you do with them. Don’t be afraid about “falling behind” or “not leveling up” or “being inexperienced”, because the experience that you gain doing the things that you want, will be unique, impacting, important and give you as much “experience” as the next guy. There is no right time, but only the right choice for you.

You weren’t born with a set list of tasks that need to be checked off before you die. This life isn’t about just earning money to pay the bills and then dying. No. It’s meant for you to be excited and thrilled about! Endless decisions will continually be slammed in your face and you are the only that can manipulate your fate; you are the one with full control.

Now this fact might cause joy or stress – it’s a 50/50 shot. So let’s try to not see our glass as half empty or half full. (I hate that metaphor, anyways.) Let’s see it as a glass where you can decide if it’s half full or half empty. Want it full of Diet Coke? Yum, fill it up! Not thirsty right now? Great! Keep it empty. This is your glass and this is your life. Take hold of it and drink it all up.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our life,” Annie Dillard once said. Our life consists of continuous days full of whatever you want it to be filled with. Think, if you hate you’re job, you’re earning money to live to continue to show up to that job everyday. That sounds miserable. If you hate your major, you’re choosing to spend your time in a subject that is taking the place of something that could actually bring you joy. Weird! You can't plan your life - it's simply not realistic; you can't plan for the unexpected. Chances are, your life will turn out in no way that you planned, anyways! But you can change it; and no one can change your life except you. So do something about it!!

Stop being comfortable and start being stoked.

You don’t owe anyone anything; no one can control how you live. What you do owe is to yourself a happy, satisfied life that doesn’t need to be “escaped” from. Imagine a life where you didn’t “need a vacation” because you were already living your own paradise. My goal in life has always been to live a life that I love to live. 

"Live better memories."

Live the life you want to tell.  Live one that you crave to look back on, enjoy experiencing right now, and are eager to live tomorrow.

So do more of what makes you happy and stop wasting time doing things you think you “should” be doing. Go and take a semester off to teach English to kids in China, spend your summer backpacking through Europe, go work at your favorite hometown diner, or for heaven sakes just take a break!

 

Let’s all make a little more effort to live with more intent and sincerity, and less out of habit and norm.

Do what you want to do simply because that is what will make you happy. Aren’t we all aiming for that in the end, anyway? Well why wait until the end? Be happy today and do those things that will get you there. You don’t need explanation, a plan, or support. Just do it. (I knew I always liked Nike!) Hate your decision? It's not a forever; you can change it again. We never know what tomorrow will bring. Besides, there is no right, wrong, smart, or dumb way or time to do things. Rule your life or it’ll rule you. This is your life and you only get it once, let’s make it memorable.

 

TODAY IS THE BEGINNING OF ANYTHING YOU WANT.