We all know the saying ‘live your life’, meaning you should enjoy it to the fullest. I always thought: I just want to be happy, get a family, a nice job, travel a lot and do other fun things. However, I didn’t spend much time into figuring out what would actually make me happy and how to achieve this. I feel like the biggest part of my life I’ve partly acted on an auto pilot mode. Going from primary school to high school, eliminating course subjects that I wasn’t so good at, choosing a study that was in line with what I was good at, went to university and did what was expected of me. But did I really enjoy it?
I can certainly say I made the right choices in the end, studying International business and marketing. But I wish I made those choices more consciously. After I finished my studies it really hit me hard: what do I do now? I can’t ‘just’ go to school anymore, I really had to figure out what I truly enjoy doing (I hated it when people asked me that question, isn’t that weird? It was too confronting I think).
Don’t live your life, build it!
With this I’m saying you shouldn’t only do fun things, but also try to really start thinking about your future sooner. I wish I could tell my younger self that, it could’ve saved me quite some struggle later on. But how should you build your life? Here are three tips that might get you on the way.
Try as many things as possible
How else should you find out what you like doing? :) If people invite you to do things or get opportunities, always say yes. You might end up loving it! During my studies I’m happy I joined a student association, later on a badminton association, joined committees there, helped with ESN (an international program), took a job on the other side of the country, choose a study where a had to go abroad (went to Ireland <3) and now moved to Rotterdam and soon to Utrecht. All these things scared me a little at first, but I’m so happy I pushed myself to do them, cause they all helped me in becoming a more self conscious person (while building my resume on the way!). The people I met during all these things helped me out, but also the activities themselves made me happy. So yes, I can definitely advice you to do the same! Just do it, find out what you like doing and don’t like. How great would it be if you can even find a job that matches the things you love!
Write down your thoughts, aspirations and goals
I think it’s always good to reflect on your thoughts, that’s one of the reasons for starting this blog. To read back and remember the things you once loved and make sure you keep them in your mind when moving forward. A friend of mine wrote down a whole list of things that she wanted to achieve in life. First, I was quite sceptical, because I don’t really like the typical ‘bucketlists’. Cause it feels like your life isn’t complete when you don’t tick things of your bucketlist. But I think you should look at it from a different perspective, writing down things that would enhance your life even more. Not fulfulling the bucketlist isn’t a bad thing, it’s just brainstorming of things you would maybe like to do someday. And I don’t see anything bad in that! If you confront yourself with thoughts, aspirations and goals that you wrote down, I think you will internalize them more and act more towards reaching them as well!
This is one of the points I find harder, making time for things that interest you. Really digging in something sometimes takes a lot of patience and courage. I for instance always had an interest in photography, but I really never pursued it. I still can, but I’m always finding excuses like: I’m too busy with my studies now, or I don’t have the money to buy the equipment. If something really interests you you should make the time and go for it! So that’s what I’m trying to do with blogging now. I’ve looked in to it, but thought it would be too demanding, but now that i’m doing it and putting time and effort into it. I really enjoy it so much! So yes, somethings I would like to put more effort and time in in the future are: photography, learning languages, programming (I tried that a little while a go on codecademy.com, super fun!) and ofcourse related to my work: learning about all the ins and outs of online marketing :)