What is some good advice for a directionless person in their 20s? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
When I get asked advice by someone in their 20's who needs direction, the first thing I do is tell them I was right where they were. I was that classic directionless person in my 20's. I had a job I hated, and this aching feeling that I was meant for more. It's because of this period in my life that I wrote the online course I call Go For Your Win. Here's a preview of what it's about.
First, you have to understand what it means to win. Winning can be defined as expressing yourself to the utmost of your capability in order to yield the highest benefit and enjoyment. Winning is a process, not a destination. It is not determined by trophies, or accolades. Only you will truly know if you are going for your win, and therefore only you will know if you are winning. As Bode Miller famously says, "Medals are for someone else's scorecard." It is no surprise that with that much attention paid to process versus result, he is the most decorated skier in US History. With no external validation for your win, winning is solely the act of going for your win. In going for your win, you have already won.
Losing therefore, is as simple as not going for the win. If you are losing, perhaps you don't believe your win is possible, or you simply don't know what your win is! Perhaps you have believed some of the delusions and limitations put on you by the counter-forces in your life. Perhaps you are actually winning, but judging yourself according to unwinnable games.
Your win is comprised of five essential elements: Mission, Profession, Connection, Passion, and Vibration.
- Mission: Your mission is the overarching objective. It is the 'why' in the question of existence. Your mission is the guidestar, without which you will not be able to chart a course.
- Profession: Your profession is the application of your unique skills in a manner that serves the mission. It is possible to have multiple professions that all serve your mission. Writing, speaking, and being the CEO of Onnit are all my professions. In some way all of them serve the greater mission.
- Passion: Your passions transcend enjoyment to enter a state of enthusiasm. Many people enjoy fishing, for example. But one who is passionate about fishing finds himself exploring new lures, studying the habits of the fish, and thinking about fishing on and off the water. This is enthusiasm. Usually, when selecting a profession it is best to start by aligning it with a passion.
- Connection: We are tribal creatures. One cell in a greater organism. Connections are an essential element in going for your win. Your connections will help you achieve what you intend, and make the process enjoyable along the way.
- Vibration: Vibration is a state of being that extends deep into the core of a person's consciousness. It is an alignment of all the elements that creates an inner harmony which radiates externally. People of solid vibration have a consistency of expression that make them a pleasure to be around. Discordant vibration is a good indicator of when something is not quite right.
While I may have been lost for direction, the one thing I never lost was faith. I kept trying, I kept working on myself, and ultimately it was the work on myself that changed the game. Whenever you are lost, focus on becoming the best person you can be. If you want to wield Excalibur, a sword of incredible power, equivalent to being the CEO of a big company or host of a big podcast, then focus on becoming King Arthur. If you are King Arthur, the sword will find you.
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