A lot of people have concerns are about “I have no ambition,” or “I don’t know what I want to do in life,” or “There are no jobs so leave it anyway.” A friend told me a great way to figure out what you want to do in life. It works best if you really have no clue, because then you are a blank slate. I did it my freshman year of college—now I’m 26, have my dream job, and am extremely satisfied with life. All you need is a piece of paper (and Google, I suppose).
Think of something that would be really cool to do. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something you want to do, but something that would be pretty cool to do. Something like, “Sail around the world,” or “Be the first person on Mars,” or “Win a bodybuilding competition.” The loftier and more impossible to achieve, the better. If you can’t think of something cool to do, you’re lying to yourself. Because at the very least, everyone thinks it would be cool to be Maverick in Top Gun, right?
Write that down centered at the top of a sheet of notebook paper. Then, at the bottom, write “[your name], 2014” and circle it.
This is the most time consuming step. You are going to map as many possible routes to get to that really cool thing. The best way to figure this out is to look up people who have done that really cool thing. Read their wiki, or their bio, and figure out how they got to where they are. Figure out their path to doing that really cool thing. Then write it down, step by step, in little bubbles. Connect the bubbles from “[your name], 2014” to the really cool thing at the top of the page. Eventually, you should have at least 3 possible paths to get to the top of the page.
If you don’t know what you want to do in life, pick one of those routes. What do you have to lose? If you don’t want to pick one, then you have to tell yourself that it actually would not, in fact, be cool to do that thing. And you don’t want to do that really cool thing after all, in which case you lied in Step 1 and you need to start over.
The point is, you probably won’t ever make it all the way. But that’s because along the route you chose, other doors will open to you that you didn’t even knew existed. But since it’s all along the path to something you think would be cool, those newly opened doors are going to be in line with your interest—and you wouldn’t know they existed had you not tried for the original lofty goal at the top of the page.
Hello Anon. This is all the work of the designer, Robert McKinley. You can read more about his work (and home) in the New York Times Style Magazine article and also at his website: Robert McKinley. (I noticed that it stated that Mr. McKinley purchased the zebra-skin rug on a shopping trip in South Africa in 2003). I hope that helps, G.