I always knew what I wanted to do with my life.
I never knew the exact thing I wanted to do, but I was always very much in-tune with my aptitude. I knew that I was creative and I knew that I was a natural-born leader. As I got older, went through grade school and then graduated from high school I always pursued things that aligned with my aptitude.
As a kid I liked to draw, and I wanted to be an artist. Unfortunately a public school education doesn't harbor and expound upon these types of talents. What's truly sad about this is that I attended schools in an exemplary district. I now know that that is totally meaningless. Since my creative talent wasn't fostered my desire for art grew dull, and I became drawn towards more "safe" pathways in life. Like many other kids, since I was a strong leader, creative and a good student, I grew an interest in business and marketing and my plan was to graduate from college with a business or marketing degree. Once I got to college I realized that college wasn't going to adequately prepare me for the rapidly-evolving environment of the business world so I dropped out.
I would go on to spend the next 10 years of my life on a quest to find fulfillment. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and then it happened!
One day I woke up and realized that I should be re-focusing on my aptitude. As I mentioned earlier, I was always very creative. I took stock of my specific creative abilities and realized that my strongest talent was writing. I realized that it was the one thing that I could do all day long for the rest of my life, and I would be willing to do it no matter how much or how little I earned.
I first started out blogging, then six years later I published my first book. I haven't looked back since, and I've never been more happy and prosperous.
So here's the secret of what to do when you have no idea what to do with your life.
You need to focus on your aptitude. Go back in your mind to the things you most enjoyed doing your whole life and were most talented at, and pursue those and only those things. I don't care how much of a sacrifice you have to make. I don't care if you have kids. I don't care if you have to downsize your living and quit your job. You need to have a plan, a safety net and pursue your aptitude. This is the secret not just to figuring out what you want to do with your life, but it's the secret to happiness. Ask any successful person who's happy and fulfilled with their life. They'll tell you it's because they enjoy what they do for a living.
In kindergarten we're told to pursue our dreams. We're told that we can be whatever we want to be: a princess, policeman, firefighter or President of The United States. But then as we get older and get closer towards adulthood, we're slowly programmed into believing that none of what we learned in kindergarten is possible. We're told to be more realistic. This is why 80 percent of people are unhappy with their jobs, because some parent, teacher or guidance counselor told them to pursue a career that's in-demand with a high earning potential, instead of pursuing a career based on what makes them happy.
We've become so cynical and oxymoronic. We tell kids to go to college to pursue their dreams and when a kid decides to get a degree in philosophy we shun them and tell them they'll never make any money. While there's tremendous truth in the statement that you're unlikely to make a livable wage with a philosophy degree, perhaps the problem isn't the degree itself but the path at which the person chooses to pursue their career.
We're living through the Age of Experts. If you have a philosophy degree and are truly passionate about philosophy, build a YouTube channel and discuss how philosophy relates to everyday problems. Then, create a Pinterest and Tumblr page and post quotes from the world's greatest philosophers. Rinse and repeat this process with great content and I guarantee that you will earn a living and be successful in two to four years.
The world has changed, ladies and gentlemen. Today, there is more opportunity than you can imagine, and there's no excuse to waste your time doing something you have no interest doing. If you're stuck and in a rut, look no further than towards your aptitude. Let this guide you, and if applicable, take your passions and talents to the Internet as the next "FILL IN THE BLANK" expert. By providing value to others you'll receive a life of enrichment and prosperity.
Best of luck.
Michael Price is an entrepreneur and author of What Next? The Millennial's Guide To Surviving and Thriving in the Real World. An advocate of ideas for radical change, he has received critical acclaim for his lessons in education, career, entrepreneurship, and personal finance.