Some time ago, we were asked to visit a school and talk about career paths with the students. We decided to talk more about the options and paths that the students have and less about our agendas and products to give the students as much valuable intel as we can. I took the liberty to expand on the topic in the writing. Here are some of the things that I would have wanted to hear earlier.
The world is a relatively open arena for personal growth, at least at the moment, if we take remote learning, remote work, and other benefits that the world wide web brings us. At the start of any career or life journey there are many decisions and actions you can take, and many paths and possible futures they could lead to. Maybe sometimes it seems that there is no room for choice but the actions and the paths that we take can expand or narrow down the future choices that we'll have. There will be decisions that lead us to a specific path, and after we take some steps in a certain direction it will sometimes be harder to revert or change paths, if we choose one path in, for instance, the education system it will be relatively hard and pricey, but possible, to change the trajectory inside of the system. So make sure to take the time and think about possible outcomes of the decisions that you make, and try to plan a few steps after that.
To make matters a bit more complex, we are often not ready for all of our aspirations and plans, but if the goal is not in plain sight, it does not mean that we can't take as many steps as possible in the generally right direction.
It seems to me that in most cases the key to success is to really recognize a skill for which you have a certain level of talent and love that you can hone, start with however small the steps you can make, and just keep showing up. CHOOSE-DO-PERSIST, where DO means: learn, work, expand.
If you follow this practice there will be times when all of your efforts condense to one path, when all the tools and skills that you have honed line up and there is a clear-cut way to lead you to the next challenge ahead.
It is also great to be aware that people have limited capacity per day to make decisions, the miles may vary, but the limitation is there and it could be wise to use up your decision stamina mindfully. Automate the decisions you repeat, and do not waste time and energy on routine decisions. I guess most people that are a master of any skill do not think about showing up or not and don't waste the energy on the decision, they just show up, day after day.
Try to find a mentor, colleague, or a friendly rival.
Learning from a smarter or more experienced person will give you a big boost when learning a new skill - use outside advice and feedback whenever you can.
Maybe you think that you are super smart, or maybe you are just afraid of asking the wrong question and ending up looking bad, but it pays off in the long run not to have these inhibitions. Consider the possible misunderstanding and ridicule as a cheap price to get ahead fast.
And, no I don't expect any quality character to ridicule someone on a quest for knowledge and improvement, but if they do, why would you need to care, you are the one that's working on leveling up.
Working together, competing, or leaning on someone's experiences can all make your progress skyrocket, use it if you can.
Any of these experiences will also help you see things you would not notice alone.
If and when you decide to take over the world (or just build a business) keep in mind that human resources are limited and maybe it would be for the best to be surrounded by colleagues that share a vision and are passionate about different disciplines and ways of getting to the same goal. But some basic human needs need to be covered and group work on a project without being paid will have a limited life span. Either learn what you can from playing around on projects with your friend, or stick to a project and try to scale up.
The circumstances that surround you daily are a part of your life, weigh out the efforts and the rewards needed for a cause, and move the world in the right direction.
If you think that there is no point in adding value to your surroundings - the "Not my job" situation, ask yourself, are you may be in the wrong place right now.
It is great to have a dream and chase it, but, and it goes without saying, to try to have the basic stuff in order, try not to drain your parents or your dignity too much just so you can take life lightly. When you recognize your parent’s struggle, make sure to either try to put some food on the table or let it show that the sacrifices that they make are worth every penny.
Don't let the fear of failure prevent you from reaching your goals, almost any problem can be solved if you braked down into smaller ones.
Don't expect perfect results on the first try, iterate towards perfection.
We are all makers of our destiny, do not feel sorry for the things you have not done, be present in the moment and create.
It is great to have support and appreciation of your surroundings, but life is less about trying to fit in and more about finding where you fit in.