It seems that I am having a bit of a crisis here. I am entering a point in my life where I am not sure what I want to do with it anymore, and beginning to seriously think about the different paths I could still take.
I watched a Ted Talk the other day by Sheena Iyengar called How to Make Choosing Easier. The focus was on how too many choices can make us freeze up, and even if there are good choices, refrain from making them. Even when the decisions are important. When faced with a plethora of options, we freeze up and don’t know what to do with ourselves. I think, on an instinctual level, we’re worried about making the wrong choice.
Well. Maybe it isn’t instinctual. Maybe we’ve been conditioned to make the “right choice” throughout our life. But I imagine there’s a part of our brain that finds it harder to juggle the various variables when we are presented with a lot of choices. These variables increase when there are more people involved, too, I imagine, but I have no evidence to support that.
A little over a week ago I started talking about what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was inspired by a friend’s post about a poem that she’s fond of. It has been a continual point of interest for me as I approach my 30th birthday. I came up with a list of 10 career options that I was interested in, and over the days that followed, I would sporadically add things to the list as they came to mind.
- Professional Blogger
- Traveling Photojournalist
- Game Designer
- Game Developer
- Digital Artist
- Public Servant/Politician
- Brick-in-the-wall manager
There are countless others along these lines, some of them very granular, some high level. It seems for every path I look at, another two could diverge off from it. While I’m not jobless, and not hopeless on having a job, I am on autopilot for the career portion of my life. Living alone in New York away from all of my friends, family, and girlfriend has me feeling like my personal life is also on autopilot. Maybe they are; maybe that’s what happens when you take a mildly reclusive person and hide them away from everyone they know.
I gave some good advice the other day that I think I should try following myself. See where it takes me.The advice was simple: Pick a career path, write up a quick list of the reasons why you want to do that. Then, write down what you need to do to get there. The steps that you would need to take, and when. What the costs are associated with it, and what the benefits are. Do this for each of the careers you are interested in, and then see how many of them can intersect – can you do more than one? Can you do several? If so, what do you gain, and what might you lose?
But this might just provide you with even more choices, making it harder to decide.