James Clear posted some timely questions in his weekly habits email recently.
One of his questions was:
“If you want to find a better path, you have to be willing to explore a different path. Sounds simple, but how often do you try something different?”
I’m now just a few months away from quitting my current role.
While I have some specific plans, I’m not entirely sure what’s next. That’s right, I’m going to quit my job and take a sabbatical, but I don’t have an exact plan.
This has led to sleepless nights lately. I’ve Googled “what’s my purpose in life” (I’ll save you the time, Google can’t answer this one for you…), watched numerous Ted Talks, listened to podcasts, and have been reading books trying to figure out what’s next.
So James’ post was quite timely for me.
The fact is, we have to do some work to figure out what we want.
It requires trying a bunch of new things and having some failures.
You have to make a list of things you want to try and then doing it.
It also means reading out to people who are doing something you’re interested in and talking to them. Asking them the best parts of their jobs and the hardest parts. Thinking about if you can handle the worst parts of their jobs.
Yes, reading books, watching Ted Talks, and listening to podcasts to try to figure out what is next in life is a good start, but it’s not enough. Thinking, ruminating, even planning won’t get you to the next step in life.
Don’t get me wrong – it can help. Doing these things can help make your current situation more bearable and will help lead you to where you want to go, but they aren’t enough.
It’s like planning a trip. You can buy guidebooks, book an Airbnb, daydream about your destination, spend thousands of dollars on plane tickets, pack your bags, even plan every detail of your itinerary. But, until you’ve stepped out your door and onto that bus, train, or plane, you won’t really have started your trip.
To have an adventure, you need to leave the comfort of your house.