I do goal setting exercises at the beginning of each year and if you ask Venrick I’m sure he’ll tell you that he does too. Everyone has a point in their life where they don’t know what they want to do for a career, or where they are struggling to find it. I was fortunate enough to find what I wanted to do when I was 15 years old, but I have spoken to a few friends who have told me about their struggles in finding their passion.
The Search for your Passion
If you are like some of my friends you have some hobbies and interests, but you don’t really have anything you are passionate about. There is a lot you need to do to figure out what you want for a career. They say that the average American goes through 7 careers in their lifetime (or something like that, the point is that there is a lot of experimenting that you might need to do). I know that if my friend never invited me to his house and introduced me to some songs by the band Coldplay on piano, I never would have been involved with music and would probably be searching for blog-posts about setting goals at this very moment. I was very lucky. But anyways, my friends then filled me in on how they found their passions.
Take Action and Do Something
What they told me was interesting; they said in order to figure out what they wanted to do, they started to do. They just started to do things that sounded interesting to them. They would write, draw, sing, and do whatever idea came to their hearts desire. Eventually, my friends were finding themselves trying a lot of different things. All of these new things that they were trying weren’t exactly going anywhere for them though. And keep in mind that they are trying to find their passion through all of this. You might be familiar with what happened to them though. You become incredibly inspired to do a project, you get started right away and progress a decent amount, and then you hit a roadblock.
This happened to me recently when I started to learn programming. When you hit one of these roadblocks, you may have a some substance to your project, but you can’t think of what should go next. The roadblock blocks you from any visions of the big picture. You feel like you are helpless and don’t have any good ideas to get passed it.
Having Goals puts you Past Roadblocks
This is what your goals are there to help you do. You won’t know if you like something unless you take the time and effort to do it and push through those roadblocks. And guess what? Those roadblocks are never ending and will come time and time again throughout your learning process in EVERYTHING you learn. By having goals, you will have your eye on the prize with a picture of yourself when you are that person who has achieved their goal, and your motivation to push through those roadblocks will come full force.
Write Down your Goals
So anyways, my friends decided to start writing down their goals and at the beginning of one year they wrote down about 10 goals to accomplish. But guess what? They didn’t accomplish a single one of those goals. Infact they changed them within 3 months. But that’s okay. They had never written down their goals and therefore can’t create realistic expectation for what they were able to accomplish.
It’s okay not to achieve your Goals
And that doesn’t even matter so much. What really matters is that they had a goal, and they set a direction for themselves. How are you supposed to know you enjoy something if you don’t try it? Just start with a goal that you think you can do, then stick with it until you are certain you don’t want to do it. The worst that will happen is you learn a cool new skill, and you lose a little bit of time.I write down goals for 5 years, 10 years and 20 years into the future and rewrite them every 10-30 days. I don’t really expect to do all of the things on those goal lists, because I’ll find new interests along the way and learn new things. Again, the full purpose of writing your goals is to set yourself in a direction. I’m currently learning to become fluent in Spanish. Whether or not it will be worth it long term, I couldn’t possibly know that now. The only person who knows that is me 5 years from now.