In a world where there are endless opportunities and a “you can do anything culture” what are we supposed to do?
I am so happy to have been born in the 90’s whereby opportunity for everyone and women in particular was on the up.
There is room for improvement, but we are encouraged to do what we love, seek adventure and grow our passion.
We are also told to find our purpose.
Now I don’t know about you, but this causes me anxiety. I am so grateful for this “you can have it all” and “the world is your Oyster” inspiration, but where do we start? What is my purpose? And how can I discover it?
This leaves me feeling overwhelmed and the mind is left spinning with ideas. It actually then stops me from finding it. I therefore procrastinate and I don’t get anywhere fast.
My theory is that Anxiety is on the up because so much is available to us and we can see it everywhere! Every time we unlock our phones (140 times a day apparently) it is there on social media, in the news and via a Whatsapp from our friend who is thousands of miles away on a round the world tour.
People in the 50’s didn’t have access to this kind of information. It’s overload! It is choice overload, comparison overload and it is making it harder for us to zone in our passion.
Yes, Possibility is endless but it does not come alone.
I spoke to a colleague yesterday who said “what do you want to be when you grow up?” This made me laugh as I am 28, but she then said, “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, and I‘m 46!”
This gave me comfort in the knowledge that, A) She was in her forties and was still left with questions around purpose and career and B) there is time.
I told her that there is lots I am interested in but I don’t really know where to start. She responded with “So everything is Shiny to you?” and she was right, lots of things are shiny to me right now, so I don’t know how to focus on one.
She gave me some good advice and I want to give it to you, she said “Less theory, more practical!”
What she meant by this was, stop researching or reading about things to do and actually start doing them. This way you will be able to eliminate the hundreds of possibilities in your mind and end up with one that works the best for you. The one that interests you, energises you and excites you.
If you want to be a singer, then sing, if you want to be a public speaker, then find speaking events, if you want to be a mentor, then be a mentor!
I was speaking to Penny Haslam the BBC news presenter last year and she said something inspiring to me “you no longer need a journalism degree or media degree to be a presenter. You have a mobile phone that is a mini computer, so start presenting! Post it on Youtube, Post it on social media and start doing it.”
Whilst theory is always required, especially for quality of work, nothing works better than Practical!