The Discovery of What You are Meant to Do
By Nicholas Ho
Whenever we find ourselves with some free time, we like to take it easy don’t we? Whether it is watching a movie with friends, whiling our time away, binging on Netflix shows, we have our own ways to chill out and relax. This is because school, work and responsibilities have fooled us all into thinking that the opposite of unrelenting, crushing stress is to do nothing. But, experts have proven that if you do nothing, as in literally nothing, you won’t feel relief or pleasure, but instead feel emptiness and a lack of fulfillment.
What drives people and what keeps people engaged, thrilled and living purposefully, is enjoyable busy work. Think of any person who loves their job. Chef, Firefighter, Accountant and more. It may be dangerous, dirty, dull or boring to other but to them, they never feel more alive than when they do what they love.
So if you find yourself in a rut, but you aren’t sure of where to begin to find purpose and clarity, don’t worry! for we have some great suggestions on where to start.
1. Gain some experience
There is almost no better way to gain practical experience than an internship. However, some companies have “internships” where all you do is fetch coffee, and others offer something unforgettable. For example, Buzzfeed offers a writing fellowship every year for budding writers. Finland also offers a similar program that pays for all your expenses to travel to Finland be a part of their world renowned education system for a while.
These however, are highly competitive and a massive number of applicants apply each year. If you don’t make it in, don’t fret! This does not mean you are inadequate and keep trying. There are also many equally excellent internship opportunities in Singapore such as “The crème” organized by the Aegis Organization. While universities are excellent, nothing beats real world practical experience.
2. Learn to cook and bake
We’ve all watched Gordon Ramsay on YouTube showing off how to make delicious food. Instead of just watching, why not try to re-create his recipes? It’s way better to replicate a dish and eat rather than be filled with wistful longing after watching a video. More importantly, you’ve learned a life skill and better yet, get to have the satisfaction of creating something from scratch which hopefully doesn’t taste awful.
Everyone likes cake right? Pies and other sweet confectionery treats can take a little trial and error but with some practice, your home will be filled with the aroma of cookies being baked and is a great way to wow any friends who stop by to visit.
3. Show your family and friends some love
Take the time to show your family and friends some real love. You might be thinking that you already love your family and don’t need to be told that you do. But step back and really think about it. Do you take them for granted? Have you allowed your schedule to create an increasing distance between all of you? It is far too easy to allow a rift to grow between your loved ones in the pursuit of academic or career excellence. Don’t take it for granted that they will always be around. Show them that you value them, take your parents out, organize something to help you bond and you may surprise yourself with just how much you’ve actually missed your loved ones.
Many of the most successful people in the world share one common habit. They all work out. It is not just a way to keep fit and trim, science has proven that by working out, it releases endorphins that actually contributes towards you feeling great, energetic and ready to take on any challenges.
The most difficult bit is actually getting started, a great way to keep yourself motivated and honest is to have a gym buddy which lets you motivate each other instead of making excuses and self-justifications
5. Do that thing you've always talked about doing
Be honest with yourself. It is so easy to talk about doing something. We all know that one person who claims they want to do something awesome. Whether its travel somewhere, work overseas or starting a project, they keep talking about it and you never see any progress being made.
Stop. Don’t be that guy. Don’t make any more excuses and just go for it. Have you always wanted to take a solo trip somewhere? Plan for it and book your tickets. Travel can be a life changing experience for many people and a great way to meet other people and experience cultures that you will only experience once in your life time. But no matter what it is that you would love to do, don’t let the fear of failure stop you from living. You owe it to yourself to at least try so you don’t have regrets when you get older. In short? Don’t let fear rule your decisions.
6. Update your resume
An absolute no brainer. Your resume is really important but it is something that many people only pay attention to once they actually start applying for work or entry into any internships. Rather than trying to take it one all at once, keeping your resume updated, improving its format and your skills means you are ready and prepared if opportunity knocks. After all, you never know when or how any great opportunities may arise.
I know what you are thinking. Meditation? Really? But hear us out and give it a chance. Meditation is not just for monks. There are real benefits to be had from meditation that is backed by medical evidence. Traditionally, meditation is the ancient practice of calming the mind to promote calmness, love and compassion amongst other positive traits.
However, this practice is seeing increasingly widespread use to help people increase their mental focus, productivity, health and to cope with stress and anxiety.
Giving back to society is one of the most selfless actions a person can take. Also, helping people can actually be a learning experience for you too. Many studies have shown that when we help someone, we actually become happier with ourselves.
Whether it is volunteering at an animal shelter, a soup kitchen, your place of worship, or any cause that you feel passionate about is an admirable thing to do that can make you feel more balance and satisfied with yourself.
Don’t be afraid to try
If you haven’t realized by now, what we are saying is to go out and live. Even if you don’t know what you really want from life, trying a lot of new things is the best way to find what out what your true calling is and what you love to do.