How To Work Out What to Do With Your Life When Everything Looks Interesting

By Subodh / April 6, 2013

It’s a weird problem and one that people sometimes feel envious of: the ability to be interested in pretty much everything. Nothing is really boring, you could just as easily see yourself as being a deep-sea diver in Fiji as you could high-powered lawyer in New York or a researcher studying the psycho-geography of Beijing. In fact, one thing that really scares you is being stuck in one career path for the rest of your life. Barbara Sher, a  careers expert, calls the type of person who feels this way a “Scanner,” that is to say someone who passionately interested in everything, but loses interest once they’ve mastered a particular skill. Sher has done a lot of work to empower people whose minds work this way and if you seek her out on the internet, her books will likely help you too. The difficulty however is working out where to start, especially when there are so many potentially intriguing career options. The wealth of choice can actually be quite panic-making and can stop you from doing anything at all. So here’s a few tips to break the indecision and get you on a path that makes you happy.

Make a list of everything you’ve ever wanted to do – and see what you’re holding inside

Really. Set aside ten minutes and write down every ambition that you’ve ever had, no matter how bizarre or seemingly impossible. Let your mind totally empty itself out onto paper without any pause for critical thought. Once the time is up, look through your list with clear eyes and try and draw some through-lines and create some priorities. According to this bit of paper, what do you really care about right now? Next, sit down with a friend who knows you really well and ask them to tell you the story of how they imagine you at your happiest workplace. Write it down. Now, see how well the external and the internal match up. What are you surprised by? What excites you? What had you never considered before? A picture should begin to emerge and it’s one to which you should give real credence.

How To Work Out

Let go of the idea of “forever”

When it comes to choosing what you’re going to do in the immediate future, forever is a useless concept. Forever feels terrifying, a prison. Instead, recalibrate your thinking to consider time in maximum of 6 month chunks. If you don’t like doing something, there’s always an end to it. Even if you can’t leave your work in the precise time frame that you want, the idea of a six monthly evaluation period is very useful and stops you from feeling stultified. Indeed, the idea of an ending is often enough to soothe even the most fractious mind. If you have extra people to support other than yourself, this can be an extra stress and fuel your fear of being trapped. However, if you’re in a relationship, it’s important that your partner know who you are what you need to be happy. If you’re looking after dependants who need a consistent source of income then it might seem more difficult to explore all the options that you want to. However, there are plenty of ways you can get around this and one of them is out next tip….

Embrace multiple job opportunities AKA volunteer, volunteer, volunteer!

If you’re finding that the six month evaluation period isn’t challenging you enough then go back to your list of ambitions and interests and make sure you’re pursuing at least one of them in your spare time. There are so many voluntary sector jobs available that make use of all sorts of talents and will put you into contact with new people and experiences that just might forge your next six months. The key to happiness (well, one of them) if you’re fascinated by just about everything is to always remain open and hopeful about new experiences: volunteering, foreign travel, relationships…all the things that make up life. After all, you never know where your next decision will take you and that is something to be excited about.