What the F&%K Should I do With my Life?

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“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.”

-Jim Rohn

If you’re like most 20 somethings   people on the face of the planet, you really have no clue what you want to do with your life.

It doesn’t matter if you’re 25 or 45 – I get emails every day from people around the world telling me of their plight.

Sometimes it’s a 20 something figuring out what major to choose in college, or what work they should do for the rest of their daily existence.

Sometimes it’s a 40, 50 or 60 something who tells me “I just woke up one day and realized that this was not the life I wanted for myself. I just woke up one day… and here I am. I have no idea how i got here.”

The fact is that most of us have no idea what to do with our lives because we have not thought about it.

Have you sat down for more than 5 minutes to think about what you want your life to look like? Beyond just bullshit shallow statements like “Six-figures, 3 kids, slim & healthy” — what specifics make up a life you’d want to wake up for?

I have struggled with this for years –

Like most 20 somethings, right out of college I did what I was “supposed” to do — I got a job and joined the 9 to 5 grind.  I worked dutifully for a year, and even though the job was great and I was paid well, I got tired of the same schedule 7 days a week.

I kept asking myself if this lifestyle was what I really wanted for the rest of my life. I mean, I was 22. Sit in small town Connecticut or New York for the rest of my life? Yeah… i’ll pass.

If you don’t know my story – I ended up moving to China for over a year  and came back to a startling revelation:

Why doesn’t anyone freaking think about life?

I came back to friends living the exact same lifestyle since college — three, four years after college they had their 9 to 5 (that almost all of them hated), boring lives (by choice), and a cozy little complacent life that was slowly killing them.

I took one look at how my friends were living and said: “Fuck that. That is definitely not what I want.” 

.. And that’s how Milk the Pigeon was born.

So if you’re here, I’m gonna guess that you’re one of two people.

A. You’re young, you’ve got some options, you have no freaking clue what to do. Major in this or major in that? Work this job, or that job? My job sucks but I don’t know what other kind of work I’d like. Sound familiar?

B. You’re older and life is passing you by. You’re possibly living in a life that you feel “happened to you” rather than “you chose.”

How to figure out what the hell to do:

#1 Read our manifesto: The Lost 20 Something Guide to Figuring Out What the Hell to do With Your Life.

#2 Check out the following posts:

#3 Shoot me an email and tell me what you’re struggling with most, I’ll get back to you in a day or two ! Alexander / at / Milkthepigeon.com

 

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Assam Azzam July 8, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Hi just ran into your site and just wanted to share maybe you can help me out. I’m an airline pilot 25 years old working in Egypt. I grew up in NYC most of my life and just didn’t like it so much. My father pushed me into the aviation world and I sort of all these years went with the flow, never really pushed myself to decide so I guess had my dad choose life for me. The job is great as far as money is concerned the traveling e benefits blah blah blah. Why am I not happy then? All of a sudden I miss NYC so much the lifestyle the great people the atmosphere, just the surroundings. But I know it’s a dilemma if I go back to NYC I will loose it all as a pilot and have to start all over again I just don’t like flying as a passion, I don’t like the feeling of being away from people I know. Sometimes I feel maybe that 9-5 job is all I can do but maybe it’s happiness.

Reply

Alexander Heyne July 9, 2013 at 11:57 am

Hey Assam,

I think you intuitively know the answer.

When people tell me “the job is great as far as money is concerned, traveling, benefits… but I’m not happy” that’s a perfect indicator that it looks great on paper, but intuitively it’s not right for you.

It’s like dating – a girl can look amazing when you write down all her qualities logically. She can be beautiful, tall, a model, great personality, fun, kind… but once you go on a date, you don’t feel anything. You’re shocked. She’s everything on paper, but you don’t feel attraction.

The same is true with jobs I’ve found.

I know going back to NYC (or wherever) will be scary. But you know that you need to change something right? You know what you’re doing doesn’t feel right, right?

Reply

Arvin October 25, 2013 at 6:05 am

Hey there mister Heyne, just ran into your site too. So here’s the deal with my freaking life: One day I was at my college school here in the Philippines, just minding my own bizz and not talking to anyone because I’m an introvert, the usual, when suddenly it hit me, I said to myself, “Fuck this man. I don’t plan on becoming a teacher so why the fuck am I here?… Oh right, now I remember.I was dragged out here by my “friends” into taking this course because they’re too friggin’ insecure about themselves thinking about what other people think of themselves in this new environment without me who’s a friggin’ introvert to catch all there insecurities with themselves! Fuck this, I’m out of here. This isn’t what I want with my life. Screw them sons of bitches,” then I stormed out in the middle of class. After that, I didn’t plan to just sit down my house doing nothing and let my butt gather mold, I started writing my very own light novel and I planned on having it published in Japan. But, like most plans, I didn’t realize how naive that plan was and it ended up taking a dead end — I write and write but every time I’m getting into an important part in the plot I always end up being stuck, my pen stops writing and my mind goes blank. maybe it’s just common writer’s block but then I admitted to myself, “I’m not cut out for this.” Shit, I don’t wanna be one of this alcohol-stinking, cigarette-puffing guys here who do nothing about there sickening lives, waiting to just get fat from others’ pity and die. So that’s how I got here, relying on the internet to help me with my problem. Seriously, how stupid can I be? Oh and by the way, I’m 17 years old.

Reply

Timothy Yong November 12, 2013 at 11:00 am

Hello,

I’m 20 years old and looking for a purpose in life. Forever searching for something that has meaning and not ever sure whether it is the correct path has left me confused on what to do with my life. Throughout my high school life my parents has pushed me into business and I completely hate it. I have a passion in illustrative arts, but I’m constantly reminded that the prospects will lead me a very difficult life. My other option is Physiotherapy which I think I’ll be able to pull through, but my high school academics are poor. Some advice will be greatly appreciated, Thanks.

Reply

Alexander Heyne December 5, 2013 at 11:51 am

Hi Timothy,

My suggestion is to go for the one you like – if your academics are poor, take classes to improve that. If your dream is that important to you, you’ll find a way to make it happen.

Reply

robert Harrington-johnson March 15, 2014 at 11:46 am

Hi Alex

ill get straight to the point, im a white male in South Africa about to turn 20, I studied sports science last year but did not carry on with the course as I could not see myself as a coach for the rest of my life, I swim very competitively, my passion is animals and outdoors and I would love to wake up on a game farm every morning and have every day different but at the same stage I want to be making enough money to be happy and take my future family on great holidays and not have to worry too much about daily costs and making it “through the month” so I kind of feel as if I should fall into the norm and try study medicine or law or something more commercial and high end paying, its already march and most colleges/varsities are closed for applications and I dont want to waste the rest of the year… I find myself caught often between a rock and a hard place trying to figure out what I want the next 50 years to look like…

Reply

Alexander Heyne March 16, 2014 at 10:42 am

Hey Robert,

Let’s rewind a bit – are there other fields you could go into using your sports science degree? Maybe there are alternatives to coaching.

Also, if animals and the outdoors are your passion, have you considered other programs in that field? What makes you think you won’t be making enough?

Reply

Joseph April 10, 2014 at 12:28 am

Hello,

I’m still trying to figure out what I want out of my life, and I’ve read some interesting articles along the way. However, just as you mentioned in “Killing Your Old Life and Living the Dream”, I usually skim through them and forget about them until I’m feeling desperate for a purpose again. That said, I have tried to be thorough with them lately, as my own thoughts and feelings just don’t work. I think that’s my real problem, because whenever I’m told to think of something I enjoy or something that gives me some sense of purpose, I can’t even think of any general ideas. Even worse, I will be out of high school fairly soon, and into college. I already despise my experiences with school, and I’m not looking forward to the work (and debt) college has to offer me. Some people tell me to endure, but it just doesn’t seem worth it considering how much time will be spent doing work I hate for a completely unknown goal. I just don’t see a point living sometimes, when this is the best that life has to offer. I want to dream big and attempt to achieve those dreams, even if they’re seemingly unreachable to others, but I just can’t even begin to narrow down what I enjoy or find fulfillment in. Listing what I enjoy just draws a blank, and trying new things is something I can’t find time for, or even figure out how to do while I have to focus on school. I’m sorry my comment is practically composed of complaints, but I feel like I needed to get it out.

Reply

Alexander Heyne April 10, 2014 at 11:30 am

Hi Joseph,

What do you think is preventing you from getting to the life you want to be living?

Reply

Joseph April 15, 2014 at 1:14 am

I honestly think it’s fear, but instead of having the fear of something truly challenging and possibly rewarding in my future, it’s the fear of boredom. There are plenty of things that I’ve tried and can truthfully say that I want no more of, when it comes to classes, career paths, interests, or even hobbies just because I find them so uninteresting after trying them out. I plan on trying out new things, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever find something that I feel gives me a good sense of purpose. I guess I could also just be very impatient, but there’s just not much enjoyment I can find in most things that I’ve tried.

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