As a child, you may have dreamt of endless possibilities in which you lived a life of bliss doing the things that matter most to you. Whether you wanted to be an astronaut, doctor, lawyer, or any other type of professional, you have always wanted to do what’s right for you.
For us millennials, we have grown up in such a historic but also awkward time period. We have seen the highs of technological advancement with computers, the Internet, smartphones, and smart devices alike; however, we have also seen the lows of the financial crisis with the Great Recession in 2008. With access to technology, we have had the ability to experiment and create for ourselves, by ourselves. This newfound ability to experiment, create, and learn without the need for internships and jobs clashes directly with the seemingly everlasting financial effects from a decade ago.
This clash plays an integral role in how we approach life altogether. Many of us have the ability to take a leap of faith and go for the things we care about most; however, we lack the financial backing to feel comfortable to make such a leap. It can be hard to even think about truly following our passions and dreams when landing a decent job after college is tougher than it has ever been.
Unlike any generation of the past, we have had the opportunity in mass numbers to play around with technology. When utilized properly, we can learn, share, grow, build, and create. We have more power than any generation of the past because we don’t have to wait our turn to create the future. We can do it now!
How do we do it? We do it by betting on ourselves and not making it a zero-sum game. Financial woes are the reality for most but we as a generation cannot let that deter us from going for the things that scratch our intellectual itch. We do it by taking advantage of the numerous resources we have right in front of us. Social media allows us to reach more people than ever instantaneously with a click. Influential people are more accessible than ever with LinkedIn and direct messages (DM) on Instagram and Twitter. In an era that praises the entrepreneur (look at our obsession with Silicon Valley and the tech industry), what do we truly have to lose by channeling the kid inside of us and going for our dreams?
Everything points to us taking that leap but we each must first have a passion to go for. The most ironic part of the equation is that we have access like crazy but we are surrounded by countless sentiments of stagnation and “playing it safe”, which is reasonable with the student debt crisis and state of the job market for recent college graduates. However, the ones who are willing to bet on themselves are the ones who typically win big. These are the ones who bought into the mantra, “no risk, no reward.” If we want to win and create the future now, we must reprogram ourselves and figure out what we are passionate about. To help, I have three steps that you can follow to get you closer to finding your passion.
Step One: Self-Analysis
To make a change in the world, you must be able to first make a change in your life. Change in your life begins with self-analysis. In order to grow into the person that you need to be to realize your dreams, you must know before you grow. Knowing your past is necessary to understanding your present and growing closer to your future. Delving into your past will be tough but you must become comfortable with the uncomfortable. Self-analysis requires you to dig deep and remove the Band-Aids from your metaphorical wounds. The moments that come to mind first, write them down. Was it a good experience? Was it a bad one? Why was it that type of experience? Put everything on paper so you can see it, feel it, and analyze it.
Step Two: Pinpoint The Common Themes of Your Past
After self-analysis, you should pinpoint the common themes of your past. What we often don’t realize is that we live by habit making decisions instinctively based on our unconscious and subconscious minds. The unconscious is the processes within the mind that occur automatically and are not readily available to us. The subconscious is information that is accessible but awareness of it is not. An example of this is you walking down the street texting without thinking about the route to your job. You know your surroundings (information) despite not being readily aware of them. When doing self-analysis, you bring out the past (information). Now you must become aware of how and why things happened. This is bringing everything together and becoming conscious of your past. You should utilize this information to pinpoint the commonalities between different things you learn. These are some questions you may ask yourself.
The Bad & Ugly:
- Why were these situations negative?
- How did I react? Why did I react in that manner?
- Who did it involve?
- If I could go back, what would I do differently?
- Did this surround a common entity/thing?
- Who was I around in these situations?
- Why was it good/fun? Why is it important to me?
Step Three: See the Big Picture
Once you pinpoint the common themes, take the information learned about yourself and focus your attention on the big picture. What were the common themes you learned from the bad & ugly? Do your due diligence and work on those things so they don’t trip you up on the pursuit of your dream. This will help to limit the unforced errors. The common themes learned from the good, take those and try to replicate them in your everyday life. Replicate them by focusing in on your answers to the questions you asked yourself. Think about what those things are, who were involved/impacted, and why it matters to you. How do you want to centralize your efforts to make this a reality every day? This isn’t an easy process but once you figure this out, attack that thing every single day for the rest of your life.
Become that kid again and go for your dreams. Do the things that matter most to you while creating a steady flow of income. Use your gifts for the betterment of society and take that leap. You have the tools to do it now. Influence the culture with your expertise. Create the future by being you. Inspire the next generation and make a difference doing what you love most.