Not too long ago I felt completely lost.
The first few months after I quit my job back in the summer of 2013 were great. But then all of a sudden things started to change.
I stopped seeing clearly. A lot of things got somehow fuzzy. Too many things to do. Too many things on my mind. Too many worries. Too many doubts.
I somehow completely lost track of my life. I was confused. And the confused mind makes confused decisions, as someone a lot smarter than me once said.
That's pretty much what my life was all about for the next few months until I asked myself the following question:
“If this had been the last year of my life, would I be ok with the legacy I might leave behind?”
And my answer was a clear “No”. That's when I knew that I had to change something in my life. That's when I knew that I had to stop all of the “busy work” and focus more on creating real things.
The first thing I changed was that I started to write in a way that was brutally honest, more transparent and a lot more vulnerable than ever before. I pretty much turned myself inside out and humiliated myself one blog post at a time.
And during that process I somehow started to find my true inner self. My true voice.
I still haven't completely figured myself out until this day. But I feel that this period of not knowing what to do next, of being lost, was one of the best things that ever happened in my entire life.
It forced me to think about what's really important to me. It forced me to think about my legacy. About what I might be able to leave behind. About what my gift to this world could look like.
And then I started working on it. I still don't know how exactly I want it to look like. But I'm more than happy that I (at least) started working on it. Something most people only think about when it's almost too late (it's never too late though).
So here are a few things I learned during my quest to finding my purpose, the one thing I could give to this world:
# DON'T WAIT. NEVER.
Don't wait until you figure yourself out. Don't wait until you figured yourself out to think about your legacy. The thing is that you will never really be able to figure yourself out if you don't start to create things, whatever that might look like for you.
Creating things is the only way to really figure yourself out.
# BE YOURSELF.
The only competitive advantage you have is to be yourself. Your diploma doesn't matter. Your work experience doesn't matter. The schools you went to don't really matter. Actually, nothing really matters. The only thing that really matters is to be yourself.
You're unique. Nobody else is just like you. And that's what you should bet on. BIG TIME. That's what you should put all of your money on. Go all in on being yourself. And build a monopoly around it. Build a monopoly around yourself.
Then you won't have any competition. Then you won't have to compete with anybody else..
# DON'T HAVE A CLEAR PLAN
Having a clear plan would always have held me back from doing the things where I learned the most about myself. I guess it's about having some sort of vision about what you want to leave behind, but clearly defined goals or plans will make you too static, inflexible and you might miss out on some of the greatest and most life changing experiences.
Having a clear plan takes away all of the fun stuff of life.
# REINVENT YOURSELF.
Always be in trial & error mode. Try to stay an amateur as long as you can and don't become an expert. An expert will be stuck in his way of doing things forever. If you truly want to figure yourself out you need to be experimenting. All the time. Until you find the one thing you want to do for the rest of your life. Until you find your gift to this world. Your love of this life..
# TEST STUFF.
Everybody tells you that you need to focus on one thing only, right from the very start. They tell you that specialization is the key. But this is complete BS. How do you even know what to focus on?
Let's be honest here. We all know that none of us has a clue about anything, even though we're all pretending like we do have a clue. It's all a big fat lie. And we still don't have a clue about anything when we're above 30. Maybe even 40. Or 50. I don't know.
So how the hell do we even know what we really love doing? How the hell might we even be able to decide about what to focus on? There's just one way. We need to read # Reinvent yourself again..
# BE HONEST.
Be honest. Always! No matter what..
# HELP PEOPLE
Helping people, whatever that might look like for you, is the way to really figure yourself out.
Helping other people is actually the best way to help yourself. If you help people, people will be grateful (sometimes). And realizing that you can really make a difference in people's lives, no matter how big or small, is worth more than everything else in this world.
Helping people is the essence of everything. Feeling fulfilled. Happy. Satisfied. You name it. It beats everything. Even, no, especially having money (even though having enough money to get by wont hurt either)..
Life, after all, is like wandering through a labyrinth of choices where you'll get lost from time to time. No, where you absolutely need to get lost from time to time. Because that's the only way to really figure yourself out.
And trying to avoid getting lost is like trying to avoid the necessary passages on the road to being found..