There isn’t a perfect formula to feeling fulfillment. You won’t find a manual to loving your work but if you focus your thoughts in the right direction, you’ll be closer to where you want to be.
You need to focus on two things:
Let’s start with skill. Make yourself so good at whatever it is you do that people can’t ignore you. You need to rise above any competition. You need to be the best.
Focus on honing your craft. The best way to do this is to actively engage in it. You don’t even need a job.
If you’re a videographer, make videos in your downtime. If you’re a writer, write constantly. If you’re a developer, write code every day. Whatever it is, practice it.
Make yourself so valuable so that when the time comes, people can’t say no to you.
Don’t make this ability your compass, though. If you do, you may end up in a position that you hate—which brings us to opportunity.
Make opportunity your compass. Look at the most successful people — the people who are fulfilled with their work. Steve Jobs didn’t decide he was into computers when he was 18. He lived his life producing as much value as he could with the skills he had. And when the opportunity arose, he went all in.
Don’t decide on anything too quick. Don’t limit yourself to your “passions.” Don’t pass up an opportunity because it doesn’t fit into your predesignated list of approved careers.
Make sure you always have your “opportunity radar” on. If you feel yourself getting excited about something, don’t dismiss it. Investigate it.
You need to combine skill and opportunity. When you find the thing you’re good at and reasonably enjoy, harness it to give yourself opportunities that interest you. Focus on whether you believe in the mission of your work, not whether you’ll be exercising a specific passion.
You have no idea where you’ll be in ten years. Don’t let that stress you out. Instead, let it make your life interesting. Let yourself look forward to discovering the next opportunity, the next challenge, the next accomplishment.
The unknown is the most exciting thing in the world if you let it be.
Jackson Sullivan is a Praxis participant passionate about freedom and alternative education. His mission is to free as many people as he can by educating them using writing and the visual arts.