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How To Decide What To Be When You Grow Up

by Denise Mosawi Aug 17, 2007

So it’s here – the time of your life when you’re being steered towards ‘the big decision.’ Namely, “what shall I do with my life?”

You’re not short of input, you’ve had it from your parents, your teachers, careers advisors, friends…in fact, just about everyone has felt at liberty to share their wisdom around potential paths your life could take.

You’ve made some choices, committed to some courses but something is not quite sitting right with you. The eternal question keeps looming “what do I really want to do with my life?”

And sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. How can you possibly imagine what a role will be like if you’ve never had any exposure to it or indeed even know it’s out there?

It’s true of course that travel broadens the mind…soaking up all those places, cultures and sunrays. But sometimes, even donning a backpack and touring the world still doesn’t provide the answer to the question.

The Journey Within

The truth is that thinking about what you really want to do with your life requires some mental heavy-lifting. Just as you work out at the gym to sculpt your physique, you have to put real effort into figuring out what makes you tick, and more importantly, what you actually enjoy doing.

Now over the years there have been a variety of approaches to help you on this journey of self discovery – psychometric testing, personality profiling, career advisory services to name but a few – each of them having validity in their own way.

But wouldn’t it be great to mix the thrill of being on a great vacation with coming up with the answer to the question?

There’s something about being away from it all that stirs the imagination. I remember a pivotal moment in my life came at 1am in the morning, sitting on a veranda while in Bali.

“Should I leave my senior management role at Microsoft, with stock options and more-or-less guaranteed financial security to go do something that just ‘floated my boat’ a bit more?”

The answer came to me in a coin toss. I didn’t look at how the coin landed, but knew instinctively at that moment what I wanted to do. I left my highly paid “grown-up” job in England to become a ski instructor in Vancouver.

There followed a roller coaster of adventures and a great deal of insight into what goes on in the minds of people who decide to change their life.

Ultimately, it led to me creating my own company: Destineering – aimed at inspiring people around making the very best of their lives.

Telling Your Story

Fascinated by individuals who had changed their lives to do what they love, I started collecting their stories and was intrigued by some of the themes that started to emerge.

One of these was that pursuing your passion led to short term fulfillment whereas pursuing your passion AND making a difference tended to lead to a longer term fulfillment.

So Destineering works with individuals and groups to help them explore what they’re gifted at, passionate about and how they can use it to make a difference in a way that’s highly meaningful to them personally.

The good news is that for people starting out in their careers today, there are more companies out there providing these journeys of self-discovery. In fact, they’re popping up all around the globe. They could be one of the greatest investments you make in yourself.

So next time your feel the urge to travel, explore opportunities for coming back from your vacation with something more meaningful than a suntan.

Go explore what you really want to do with your life!

Denise Mosawi is the Founder of Destineering – a company that is all about inspiring people to make the very best of their lives. They offer Personal Envisioning courses and life coaching retreats in awe-inspiring locations. To read more Denise, visit her blog.

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