If you are about to graduate from college or university, you are probably getting quite a few inquires about what’s next for you and your career.
If you’re lucky, you’ve known your path was to be a circus performer or an accountant since birth, and you have a snappy answer at the ready regarding your dreams for the future.
If you have absolutely no clue which path to take next, these well meaning inquires from your family, friends, neighbours and dentist may send you into a fit of panic.
For now, take a deep breath and read through some wise words from the great thinkers of history. It might kick start your thinking process about what the heck you were put on this earth to do.
On figuring it out
If you’re wondering where to start on your path to self discovery, here are some tidbits of wisdom to ponder:
“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” –Rumi
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” –Howard Thurman
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –Mark Twain
On getting started
When you’re confused about which path to go down, the overwhelming number of options and the sheer amount of work standing between you and your goal can paralyze you into a state of inaction.
Here’s what some of history’s most notable minds have to say about getting the ball rolling:
“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for that circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.” –George Bernard Shaw
“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” –Thomas Jefferson
“You can’t just sit there and wait for people to give you that golden dream, you’ve got to get out there and make it happen for yourself.” –Diana Ross
On overcoming obstacles
When you decide what it is you’d like to pursue for your career, sometimes taking the path you’ve chosen is fraught with difficulties, obstacles and failure. In times of doubt, here are a few quotes to meditate on:
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” –Muhammad Ali
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he had imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” –Henry David Thoreau
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
So, what are you waiting for?
Life is short, so it’s about time you got cracking on figuring out how you’re going to make a mark on the world.
I’ll leave you with this final call to action from the late Steve Jobs:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Photo credit: sarah-ji