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What’s Next for School Leavers? Into the Rabbit Hole in 2020!


Right now, tens of thousands of school leavers are looking to their crystal balls to decide what they might do next.

Many view that answer as vitally important to the future direction their lives take.

But is it really? Does it really matter?

To be brutally honest?

No!

You do not need to get too hung up on having a grand “plan” in place for the rest of your life!

Because NO amount of detailed “planning” made at 18 (or even 28, or 38, or…) can ever account for the wide range of things that WILL happen to you over your lifetime.

Seriously… have you got ANY idea of what might happen over the next 50+ years?

No.

I don’t either ๐Ÿ™‚

Some things WILL just happen that result in a total change of direction… which may be good, or bad at the time, and certainly totally unpredictable.

Now before you just decide to sit there and take the easy way out because you thought I said planning was “pointless”…

It IS essential that you DO have some basic idea of WHERE you want to go with your life…

Otherwise… you’ll just be a lot like Alice here… in Wonderland…

โ€œWould you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?โ€
โ€œThat depends a good deal on where you want to get to,โ€ said the Cat.
โ€œI donโ€™t much care whereโ€”โ€ said Alice.
โ€œThen it doesnโ€™t matter which way you go,โ€ said the Cat.
โ€œโ€”so long as I get somewhere,โ€ Alice added as an explanation.
โ€œOh, youโ€™re sure to do that,โ€ said the Cat, โ€œif you only walk long enough.โ€

Considering it was written over 150 years ago (in 1865 by Lewis Carroll)… it still makes perfect sense today!


So… as the Cat asked…

“WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GET TO?”

It IS extremely hard to say what it is you might want to “aim for”… what you might want to “do”… or where you want to “go”!

There are just so many variables… and you can certainly get bogged down in details.

And that means it can be hard to even get STARTED on deciding what direction you should head in!

And the end result?

You have no idea what you could or should do… so you do NOTHING!

It’s much “simpler” for us to be lazy. Do nothing, and make no decision! It’s just the “human” thing to do LOL.

And so, you end up nowhere.

This can happen because you might NOT have enough information available about the options available to you… and perhaps you are “delaying” the decision until more info is available.

OR… possibly even when you have TOO MUCH information, which ends up totally confusing you!

But more likely, it is because you have NO REAL CLUE about what you seek from “life” itself… cos face it… who really thinks about that at 18?

Heck, many people still don’t have any idea even when they hit their 40’s or 50’s or …

YOUR MAIN GOAL?
START HERE…

Can I suggest that your main goal for life from 2020 onwards, should be to “seek happiness” in whatever it is you do… and who you do it with.

Because the last thing I wish for anyone would be a lifetime of misery!

So… start with “happiness” as your primary life goal!

Make THAT your “North Star”!

And then the paths that lead you towards that become a lot more obvious ๐Ÿ™‚

Sounds extremely selfish, doesn’t it? Doing what makes you happy!!!

But it isn’t! Far from it!

You HAVE to start with you… and work from there!

Because the reality is… YOU are the ONLY one who really cares about and decides what ACTUALLY happens to you!

You are the ONLY person who IS accountable, in the end, for whatever you do!

And if you aren’t happy… then no-one around you will be either!

So…

START WITH YOU – FROM NOW ON!!!

That means getting to understand yourself a LOT better! The things that make you tick! The things you like and dislike! The things you want to achieve… or avoid LOL

But for 99.99999% of people, this “introspection” can be extremely hard to do, and often lead to the wrong “answers” being uncovered! (*)

Without this self-awareness, it’s like driving around aimlessly in thick fog!

So, if you don’t know enough about yourself yet, then THAT is your first step!

Period!

Once you DO start to understand yourself a little better, you can then start to make a move in a direction that can (hopefully) bring you what you are seeking – ie happiness!

And if you DO make the wrong decision… so what?

You ARE ALLOWED to CHANGE YOUR MIND!

You CAN go in a different direction!

Most of the decisions we make are not life or death ones… most of them can easily be reversed even though there might be some consequences, delays, or even costs!

If what you are doing is NOT making you happy, then arm yourself with awareness, choose for whatever reasons that are right for you, and take a different step in a new direction.

You never know… you might just find the life youโ€™ve been looking for.

MODERN CAREER/LIFE CHOICES

Back in Alice’s day – or anytime in the following century or so – your career and life choices were extremely limited.

What you “did” for your future was quite often pre-determined. And, you probably did whatever your mother or father did.

Only recently (in the past 50+ years or so) has a wider range of career choices become possible.

And now, in the 21st century, the available opportunities are quite remarkable!

As a result of modern technology, no matter WHERE you might live in the world, you are now blessed with a “future” that even Lewis Carroll could not have dreamt about!

But you are blessed ONLY if you are one of the people who CHOOSES to TAKE advantage of the opportunities that are there!

Remember, it IS the human condition to take the easy path… to look for the easy button!

Many will not even SEE the opportunities that may be staring them in the face, let alone ACT on them!

It DOES require you to BE AWARE so you can take action in order to use the opportunities available to you now, and any that arise in the future.

Because… as “life” happens… you WILL be redirected onto other pathways – often unexpected ones.

Without a strategy in place… those “life events” can be hard to deal with, and we end up blaming someone else when things go wrong! (‘cos it is never our fault is it??? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Most people are going to live for 80+ years thanks to modern medicine!

YOUR marathon has begun! It IS real!

Do you have a strategy in place for it?

Because without a strategy, you are Alice!

Just cruising aimlessly through “Wonderland” and being bounced around by whatever craziness happens in your life… for 80 or more years… does NOT sound like a good idea to me!

YOUR STRATEGY

So what’s involved in developing that basic “strategy” which can guide you through life?

Glad you asked ๐Ÿ™‚

Not many people do… and even fewer will bother to even follow through with it, as it’s NOT the “usual” careers advice you would expect either!

Apart from making “happiness” your North Star… which should be your #1 goal and guiding inspiration for whatever action you take…

Realise there is MORE to life than just picking a “career” you just blindly follow through the rest of your life!

Things just don’t happen like that!

And they probably never really did, except “career pathway” through life sounded like a nice, solid concept to follow… back in the day!

THINGS CHANGE

Realise that there are just SO many things that can (and will) cause you to detour off ANY career or life path you start on right now – no matter WHAT your age!

For example, what you LIKE doing now WILL CHANGE over the next 5, 10, 20 or 40 or more years of your life… and that will lead to TOTALLY different jobs, opportunities, and lifestyles in the future.

If you think a lot happened in technology in the last 15 years… wait to see what happens in the next 15!

Just look around!

We are living in such an amazing era of fast progress and innovation!

The development of technology is so rapid that you could easily be doing a job in 10-15 years that doesn’t exist now!

Not to mention future events around family, love, marriage, children, death, etc WILL all have their OWN unique and unknown impact on your life!

The key to navigating this potential minefield that is your future, involves ALWAYS having a deeper understanding and awareness of WHO you really are at the time:)

SELF-AWARENESS

Yes, I went BACK to that self-awareness thing again! Sorry LOL

But it IS important!

Look at this recent statistic –

“53.7 per cent of workers describe themselves as satisfied overall” (*)

Which means that almost HALF (46.3%) of the working population are NOT HAPPY AT WORK!

And that the IMPORTANT DRIVERS for job satisfaction are just NOT BEING MET in the modern workplace! (*)

Why is that?

Why did they let that happen to themselves? And THEY did do that! No-one else can be held accountable for that result!

Sure, you could argue that the employers could perhaps DO more… but if things are so bad that you openly state in a survey that you are NOT satisfied with your job… WHY do you stay there?

Well, they probably put up with it because they are “comfortable” and “familiar” with the whole situation.

Apparently, there is little “risk” in staying in a “known” situation… but is there? Really?

Staying in the wrong place, or the wrong situation may be the WORST thing you could do!

Change can be uncomfortable… but compare it to looking BACK years later and realising things could have been totally different!

I’m suggesting that the actions they took in the first place – and/or the actions they are taking right NOW – are NOT based on any form of understanding what makes them happy – or not!

i.e. they don’t have that “North Star” to aim for ๐Ÿ™‚

More SELF AWARENESS is definitely needed… and that ALSO involves developing an understanding of the things in your life that are HOLDING YOU BACK!

So you can take action to overcome them!

You know, figuring out what might be preventing you from executing on the things you really want is not easy to do…

Often, we don’t want to face these demons, so we “choose” to ignore them, and NEVER take action on these things!

Which is very sad!

Don’t wait until you are my age (64) before you work out why you are here! Before you discover what the meaning of (your) life is ๐Ÿ™‚

You’ll only find it by looking a LOT more closely at yourself right NOW!

And then KEEP doing that on a daily basis ๐Ÿ™‚

OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS

Strangely enough, it is often the opinion of other (important) people in your life, which is THE thing that is holding you back!

The people’s opinions that matter the most to you, are the things you are most vulnerable to!

Unfortunately, so MANY people are addicted to other people’s opinions, that they start DOING what they think THOSE people want… and not what YOU want ๐Ÿ™‚

But sorry – you just can’t be living YOUR life based on other people’s opinions!

Whether it be the opinions of your parents, your family or friends, etc., and ESPECIALLY as a result of some comment made by a random person on social media!

Life is remarkably simple. It comes down to the ACTIONS you take!

It is NOT the talk from others about what you should do, or the talk they make you come out with about what you are “going to do”!

And if things in your life don’t go the way you want… they are 100% your fault!

You HAVE to make yourself happy first… because you’re not making anybody happy if you are not happy!

And if that means that your parents are not “impressed” with a decision you make… well, maybe they are not parenting you properly.

Sure, parents are entitled to an opinion! They should have one, and they should be willing to “discuss” it with you… But that’s that – it’s meant to be a discussion!

Parents should really not be insisting that their grown, adult child MUST do something… or else LOL

Your “friends” are in the same boat!

They too can offer valuable “advice” on life’s little adventures… they wouldn’t be good friends if they didn’t ๐Ÿ™‚ But that doesn’t mean you have to follow it blindly!

But… whatever action you DO take… if things go wrong, please don’t seek further “opinion” and attention by whinging and complaining about it on social media!

Far too many people love THAT pity circle where things are always the fault of someone else… so they never have to take any action for themselves!

So – don’t let judgment from others dictate your happiness!

It is YOUR happiness – not theirs!

When you are thinking about the decisions you might need to make… THINK about how they might REALLY affect you!

While the opinions of others close to you are useful to consider… just make sure you don’t get swept up in their propaganda ๐Ÿ˜‰

SO WHAT’S NEXT?

Have you got that North Star of Happiness in your sights? – ie you are genuinely looking to be happy!

Do you have self-awareness of who you really are, and understand both the good and bad about you?

Do you respect the opinions of significant others in your life, but not cajoled into blinding following them? – ie you can act independently of their judgement!

Good!

That’s a great start!

Now where to from here?

Are your hopes and wants balanced with the REALITIES of your situation?

For example, you probably already know that ONGOING education is going to be very important throughout the rest of your life… Of that, there is no doubt, as you WILL need further education in order to keep up with changes in technology that affect the workplace!

But one big decision you might be struggling with now… or in the immediate future… could be whether to go to university – OR NOT!

Is that the right choice for you? In the first place?

Or specifically, right NOW?

Think about that “realistically” for (more than) a second or two…

A large number of students start university courses and never finish them! Or finish them, and then NEVER get a job in that field!

These people incur thousands in student loan debt that can take a lifetime to repay (if ever)!

And for those 50,000 PLUS Australian students every year who DO drop out – or 1 in 5 students – That’s NOT a great way to start an “independent” life!

“Australia has a strong societal culture that places pressure upon high school students to pursue university, irrespective of their grades, job market potential, or the risk of dropping out.” (*)

This “pressure” from society for you to “do” something is not a good reason to blindly do it (unless we are talking actual LAWS you really should be following or else you end up in jail!)

MEASURING HAPPINESS

Money is not necessarily the “key” to happiness! In fact, LACK OF IT can become a BIG problem when you over-extend your SPENDING and take on too much DEBT.

IF you try to live a lifestyle that your income simply can not support… then ask yourself WHAT can you do about that UNREALISTIC situation?

Most of the “stuff” you want/get, is really not needed to have a “happy” life – unless of course, you measure your success or happiness in terms of how much “stuff” you have!

In which case, I’d guess that you are trying to impress OTHER PEOPLE somehow and allowing THEIR judgment to dictate your happiness!

Again… look to your “self” and decide what “things” are really important to your pursuit of happiness.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see that you CAN get by without a lot of “things”.

And reducing spending (or debt) means you ALSO don’t have to “earn” as much in the first place to support that!

Life’s decisions are so much easier to deal with, if debt is under control!

Your future happiness should not be determined by “things”!

It should revolve around your future intimate relationships (wife, spouse, husband etc) and your family (your children), with all of you striving to live a happy, safe and meaningful life!

Conclusion

We certainly DO live in exciting and rewarding times.

Historically, it is certainly THE BEST TIME EVER to be alive on Planet Earth, so take advantage of that!

Living life fully comes down to the ACTIONS you take… and only YOU being ACCOUNTABLE for them!

And if you don’t take action… if you don’t take advantage of the opportunities that surround you… then look to yourself if you need to blame someone ๐Ÿ˜‰

Be assured that by looking at YOU – thinking about, and assessing what YOU really want from life (and NOT what other people say you should want) – you are off to a good start!

And don’t be scared of what you might find when you actually begin to start THINKING FOR YOURSELF! LOL

When you DO look closely at yourself… it can reveal where you should – or should NOT – go ๐Ÿ™‚

There are many other factors that can impact on your future life and career decision making – and we’ll look at those shortly!

But for now…

If you are still wondering where to go?

Well… look to what you are passionate about (or not), for solid clues on the direction you could head (or not)!

And you’ll be off to a good start!



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