It's okay if you haven't figured what you want to do in life

It's okay if you haven't figured what you want to do in life. Photo | Photosearch

What you need to know:

  • If a young man was under 30 and he wasn't a socialist, he had no heart but if a man was over 30 and he was a socialist he had no brain

When we were children, one of the first things that we would be asked as children is what we wanted to be when we grew up. Looking back, that was one very interesting question because it was posed to children who had barely started to read and write or count one to 10. There were four or five acceptable answers, especially for young boys. You needed to aspire towards being a doctor, engineer, lawyer, architect, or pilot.

I should start by asking why we think that children's dreams when they are five should be capitalistic and career-driven. They're children. They've barely learnt to tie their shoes. At that age, they should want to be a Cocomelon character, Shrek or a monster from a movie they watched, or a Marvel Character based on a cereal they like. Children at five aren't potential labour in the future, they're just our broke best friends who want to grow up and be a big potato because potatoes are delicious.

The discussion on what you want to be carried on into our teens and into our last year of high school where we had to make selection choices. We were told that the choice we would make would define our lives and we were scared that the path we took was the one we're definitely head to in life. Then we left university and life happened and most of us couldn't get jobs in the careers we thought our degrees would qualify us for and we chose what we settled for what came our way. Then one day, beyond the chaos and life happening, we started asking ourselves questions about what we should be "actually be doing with our lives." A lot of these questions have come based on discussions around finding purpose and meaning in our careers and talks on how to get to our life's calling.

My early 20's were full of impact and calling first. I was headstrong, naive, and a dreamer. Sometimes I miss the old me. The world had endless possibilities and I was going to change it at whatever cost. I remember my former girlfriend's dad getting amused by my take on life, and he told me that if a young man was under 30 and he wasn't a socialist, he had no heart but if a man was over 30 and he was a socialist he had no brain. He believed that life would tame me eventually, which it unfortunately did.

The more I worked the more my mind changed about what I thought was my life's purpose. I wanted to be a pilot at some point which eventually changed to law for a very long time and I eventually ended up as a trained journalist cum entrepreneur. I am currently working in communications and campaigns and transitioning into public policy. So if we were to use one title to describe me, which one would be the "correct" one? This is also exactly the challenge many people are facing. Most people aren't doing anything close to what they studied. You slaved studying Fisheries but you're now working at Kenya Power or you studied Engineering and you're currently an accountant at a small goat farm. You're wondering if you're at the right place, what your calling is, if you're fulfilling it and whether you're wasting your potential.

Are you the Harrison Ford who was a carpenter for 15 years before his shift to acting or maybe you are the American fashion designer Vera Wang who was a figure skater. Perhaps you are like actor Brad Pitt who caught his big break after being a limo driver for strippers or Stephen King who was a janitor.

Are you at the right station in life? Maybe, maybe not. The life mantra that keeps me going is that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be when I'm supposed to be there. It's helped me simplify a lot of my feelings. Also, I hold that there's not one specific thing that you're supposed to be doing and that you can always switch things up. 

I don't think we were made to be just one thing in our whole lives and we have endless lives if we free our minds and let our minds explore a little.

Anxiety about where we're headed is something we're all grapple with at various times in our lives. But we can control our destiny by the actions we take today. 

It's all in our hands. Create your purpose and your destiny today.

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