Tuesday, June 28, 2016

SΩ19 - Life Path

The people in our lives both shape it and inspire us. In fact this post was inspired thanks to a few people. In particular thanks to members of the Society Ω Slack community. During a recent chat with a member it brought about the following question in my mind:

How is our life path determined?

Before you respond, just think about all the factors that influence us. Even before being born: genetics, your parent’s location, and more decide what you’re able or allowed to do with your life. Just imagine if you’re handicapped or poor, this already puts a great restriction on the activities you can enjoy and the life options that you can choose. Never the less, these restrictions actually just make it harder to follow certain paths, not impossible!

During your childhood your options are rapidly shaped by your parents, friends, your education, and even your country’s government. For example in certain cultures like China, parents often push their children towards an education or career that guarantees financial stability. Another example is how education worldwide tends to promote the STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering, and math. And at some point one has to think, who decides the value and importance of all the fields and careers? For example who decided that a scientist or banker has a more worthy job and thus earn more than a teacher (in most countries)?

This brings about the question:

How can I be in control of my life path?

I realize that to regain control of one’s life path can be difficult. In fact I struggled with this for the last 5 years. A good way to start is decide how you wish to divide your daily and weekly time. You can do this, by writing down your top 3-5 priorities in life. In most cases your life path will be steered by your 1st priority.

Figuring out all your priorities can be a daunting task. Yet you’ll likely figure those out as you start spending more time on what brings you happiness and fulfillment. At this point you may wonder well how can I build a career from my priorities? Yet, even a priority like friendship can help develop your career! At this point it’s time to explore and try out options. In the last 5 years, here are some of the options I’ve tried. They are roughly ordered by how effective they have been for me and how much of a change is required:
  • Explore
    • Even just finding a new restaurant or park in your city can bring a spark of inspiration.
  • Travel
    • This can help you see new perspectives on life and meet new people to inspire you.
  • Relocate
    • Whether it’s to a new city or country, relocating gives you a clean slate and gets you to adapt to a new place. Relocating to a new country will definitely push you to question your mindset.
  • Try new activities and hobbies
    • This can help free your mind and perhaps even shift into a career. Perhaps learn a new language.
  • Writing and/or blogging
    • The beauty of writing is how it can help focus ones thoughts. Especially with blogging it has given the freedom to explore, yet also help me realize what my interests and priorities are.
  • Start a personal project(s)
    • You can view this like a testing ground for a career you wish to pursue. Personally, I’ve started countless projects and my most recent one has turned into a career opportunity.
  • Find new friends and/or social circles
    • We’re all face uncertainties in life, yet the right friends can truly push us towards greatness!

Although change can be scary, if you’re on a frustrating or unfulfilling life path, why keep doing the same things? Perhaps, for many relocating may seem to go against their priorities like being with family, yet just realize it doesn’t have to be permanent! For me all these changes have helped shift me towards my life path. Most likely moving to Barcelona, blogging, and my personal projects helped the most. What works for you is likely different, the key is to try a few and see what works best! Let's continue this discussion in the SΩ Slack group. If you want to join us, you can ask for an invite here.

Related Posts & Links:
Learning a Language - The Lingu Leap
SΩ Slack & Blogging - 2015 and Slack to the Future
Travel Stories - Global Kindness: Cultural Tales II
BCN Youth Tech Challenge

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