Even as a writer, designer, and developer, I still don’t know what I want to do for a living. This question — of what to do with your life — can be overwhelming, for both professionals and recent graduates alike. Over on Zen Habits, Leo Babauta shares his insights on why you should focus on what you can do now, rather than the future, to build a better life and worthwhile career:
You can’t figure out the future. Even young people who have a plan (be a doctor, lawyer, research scientist, singer) don’t really know what will happen. If they have any certainty at all, they’re a bit deluded. Life doesn’t go according to plan, and while a few people might do exactly what they set out to do, you never know if you’re one of those. Other things come along to change you, to change your opportunities, to change the world. The jobs of working at Google, Amazon or Twitter, for example, didn’t exist when I was a teen-ager. Neither did the job of Zen Habits blogger.
So if you can’t figure out the future, what do you do? Don’t focus on the future. Focus on what you can do right now that will be good no matter what the future brings. Make stuff. Build stuff. Learn skills. Go on adventures. Make friends. These things will help in any future.
To be successful — and happy — in life requires that we not worry about what we want to do in the future, because the future is so impossible to predict. This is particularly true as technology continues to change what’s possible. Remember that just seven years ago hardly anyone realized you could browse the entire web from the palm of your hand.
Instead, overcoming the fears of doubt or uncertainty and deciding to do something now is a promising way to build a better future. Whether it’s learning a new skill on Skillshare, starting a new project (or finish an old one), or dropping everything to travel overseas for a year, your best bet in life is to work on building your path to there today.
Get even more of Babauta’s insights on Zen Habits.