I'm supposed to "do what I love"

awienCommunity member
Autoplay OFF  •  2 years ago
I'm Andrea Wien (Duchon. Author, entrepreneur, quarterback of the first global gap year community, Gap to Great. Visit my website here: http://www.andreawien.com...

I'm supposed to "do what I love"

but what if I have no idea what that is?

I know I'm supposed to be following my passions.

I know if I could just find ‘it,’ I could make ‘it’ happen.. The problem is....

I have no idea what 'it' is.

It made no sense.

I was smart, driven and talented, but I felt like a total failure. All around me, I watched people — increasingly younger and younger people — following their dreams and creating perfect careers.

Why them and not me?

The problem wasn’t me. The problem was the message that I’d been told since I was a little kid. This idea that my passion would suddenly hit me like a lightning bolt, and I’d be on my way.

Let me fill you in on a secret

You never find “it.” At least, not in the sense of the anvil falling on top of your head. Instead, you find a million “its” and piece them together to create a path.

That's part of the reason I love the gap year

A year out in the world, experiencing real life versus sitting behind a desk learning about it.

The gap year is the vehicle for kick starting this discovery

Not the answer

The answer lies in your own curiosity

It’s your job to dig it back out, dust it off and take it for a spin. ecause here’s the thing: your curiosity is the key to finding not only your million “its,” but also your creativity

I wish I'd taken a gap year.

It wasn’t until I actually gave myself permission to slow down and be curious — about the world, about myself, about business — that I landed on a path that felt closer to “it.”

I encourage young people to slow down and get curious

I’m passionate about helping them to pry open the Pandora’s box inside their heads and follow the contents down the rabbit hole.

Another thing that no one tells you

It's okay to get bored.

Don't get discouraged.

If you follow a hundred rabbit holes and all of them lead to dead ends. You'll still be 100x more interesting than the person who stayed trapped inside boredom because they felt obligated

Most people don’t have one passion

Maybe you love Superman and architecture. Think of what could happen when you meld more than one thing together. The possibilities become endless, and competition gets replaced with collaboration

I can’t wait to see where you end up.

Get curious, follow yourself down the rabbit hole, and report back

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2 years agoReply
@sydney - regarding travel places, I ask myself what I want to experience or learn. If I want to learn certain skills, I'll go to a place that has great teachers for that skill. If I want to see a certain global sight, I'll go to that country. If I want a certain experience, I'll go wherever is conducive to that (price, people, language, novelty, etc.). I don't have a solid algorithm, but I figure that with the right mindset you'll have great experiences everywhere, so I plan on traveling for skills and cultures I'm interested in, and I think the experiences will come with.

2 years agoReply
Loving all of your comments and feedback! Completely agree on all counts. You guys are awesome! And @andrew - Love, love, love that Lewis Carroll conversation. :)

2 years agoReply
@awien Interesting that you mentioned going down the rabbit hole in your last slide. Here's some advice from Lewis Carroll http://i.imgur.com/J0kwm3... If don't know where you want to be, then it doesn't matter the path you take. Get moving and you'll soon discover which paths you DON'T want to take, which will get your closer to discovering your goal.

2 years agoReply
@awien Having experienced something very similar, I found myself lost trying to figure out what was the purpose of my life. Going back and reflecting now after months, I realize that I was spending too much time worrying what my life would become instead of going and trying things. Definitely agree with @sara. I've been obsessed with learning as much as I can and even though I still don't have the answers, my days are brighter because I am more excited and happy in discovering new things than being stressed about the future. @shanemileham - a mentor of mine just recommended to read Dan Pink, so I'm looking forward to your post :).

2 years agoReply
@Sydney @awien Hmm... if you haven't found what you love yet, do EVERYTHING, even if you think you would suck at it or you don't think you're the "type" to do something. Think back to some moments in your life where you tried something new and liked it, but didn't return to it. I'll give you an example that's not as career-oriented. A friend of mine invited me an event a couple of years ago - I didn't have much context behind it. Turned out it was a boxing class. I freaked out finding out, but went along with it and turned out to LOVE it. Currently doing some boxing classes right now - maybe I'll do something with it, maybe I won't. Despite how awkward I was (and still am) boxing, you have to start somewhere. Turning this into a career-oriented discussion, you won't be an expert overnight. Once you find whatever it is you turn out to love, follow as much about it on Twitter/RSS feeds/blogs, etc. Learn obsessively. Attend meetups and events related to this passion. It'll be gradual, but try at it and keep dedicating yourself to it, and you'll soon become an expert, if not a thought-leader, on your passion. Good luck :)

sydneyverifiedco-creator of Commaful
2 years agoReply
@shanemileham I LOVE Daniel Pink. @slisam and I were discussing those principles of motivation yesterday actually! Somebody asked me the other day where I'd travel if I could travel the world and outside of the cliche answers I had trouble giving a really great answer. How do you go about deciding??

2 years agoReply
I've had four people talk to me in the last week about figuring out where they're going in life. I plan to write a blog post, but here are some things to keep in mind: Motivation is comprised of three things (MAP): 1. Mastery 2. Autonomy 3. Purpose (http://www.ted.com/talks/...) Mastery can be learned, Autonomy can be earned, but Purpose needs to be figured out. And as an extension of that, Passion comes after the above things are figured out (http://calnewport.com/boo...) Because of these things (MAP -> Motivation, Motivation -> Passion), and because I think these are correlated with happiness and higher energy and fulfillment, I ask people the following questions: 1. Who do you want to help? 2. What problems do you want to solve? 3. What major problem in your life would you like to prevent for others? That's how I approach purpose, and I hope that helps. @sydney To directly answer your question, I am open to all experiences including a gap year (and I have to say that study abroad helped for similar reasons), and I hope to continue traveling as I work to build out Bond.

sydneyverifiedco-creator of Commaful
2 years agoReply
Great post @awien !! @interncass I know you found a love for storytelling and journalism. How did you stumble upon it? Would you consider doing a gap year? @shanemileham @david @kina @aneesha @graysnoww @ezzy @taymoor Would you guys consider taking a gap year to discover your passions or build out your companies? @sara as a recent grad, what advice would you give to students still looking for what they love?