One of the hardest things for young men to do is find their calling. To find something that you enjoy but can also support your life, while bringing you a sense of meaning.
Meaning is more important than anything else.
You can do any job you want with training; your mind is capable of becoming whatever you want it to be. Neuroplasticity.
What do you want to do? What makes you feel confident and where does your self-esteem come from?
It’s much better to be in a low-paying job that has meaning, than it is to be in a high-paying job that gives you nothing except for a paycheck and long, overtime hours.
The most important challenge a young man faces, other than not getting someone pregnant, is choosing a path to follow towards mastery.
You need a path
Your path is your identity. Your path becomes your purpose, your confidence, and your daily cleansing towards an eventual mastery.
The Samurai believed the path, following a skill until mastery, was the way to live; total servitude to an art that can be consistently improved.
You need to find your path.
In truth, there is no mastery. The master is the one who understands the rules, then breaks them. Innovates them. And if the master is a true champion, creates new paradigms within the pursuit for others to follow. This is how legends are made.
Young men need a path. Without a path young men have no aim and no direction. You risk mental illness without a path because you don’t have any meaning in life. Without meaning, you resort to cheap thrills and rushes: drugs, pornography, entertainment; anything to escape a reality without meaning.
Young men and men of all ages: find your meaning. Find you why. It doesn’t have to be perfect and you’ll change later on.
There is no right answer. Pick what you like. But please, pick something.
How to Find Your Path
How do you find your path? You experiment with multiple skills and find the ones that you can do for hours without quitting. It helps to know yourself.
You need a purpose you can easily enter flow with. The concept of deep work applies here.
Deep work is a concept from Cal Newport that can be summarized as, the ability to work on a project or skill without your phone, the internet; any distractions, for long periods of time.
Long is periods greater than or equal to four-hour windows.
Deep Work is the path to Heaven. Flow.
Khan Academy has an excellent education section dedicated to careers. If you use it, you may just find a purpose. Or, you’ll at least be a little better off than you are now.
Khan Academy Careers
Khan has an excellent careers section that is particularly useful for young people who aren’t sure what they want to be or the path they want to follow.
The careers section is separated by career categories. For example, “work in tech” contains interviews, salaries, and information about roles like product design, customer succcess, and even content about what it’s like to be a Startup co-founder and CEO.
It’s not just about technology, either. Khan Academy also lists paths like Police Officer, Welder, Freelance journalist, podcaster, registered nurse, physical therapist and Yacht Captain to name a few.
You won’t find yourself or your path from one website, but it’s a start. It’s crucial to keep reading, listening to audiobooks for free, and following a path to learn about who you are.
Explore the careers resource. What careers do you find fascinating? Try them. Police often offer ride-alongs, and most careers will let you intern for them to get a feel for what they do.
If you find something you like, devour all of the information you can about it. Everything. Find people working in the field you are interested in and interview them for yourself. Tell them, “I’m not sure what I want to do with my life. What you do is so interesting to me. Can I ask you a few questions about what you do?”
80% of people you talk to will be overjoyed for a young person to listen to them talk. They’ll give you everything about the field. They may even let you experience a day in the life with them. You may have to ask first.
We think we know ourselves but we don’t. We learn who we are through action.
Khan Academy is a massive resource for learning everything and for finding a path.
You should also review Jordan Peterson’s self-authoring program. We wrote a review of it that Jordan Peterson himself read and tweeted about.
Think about what you were drawn to as a child.
Often times what we loved most as children is what we should be doing as adults. Kids don’t have an ego yet and they haven’t been taught they can’t do something yet either. All adults eventually learn they aren’t good enough. More often than not, your childhood passion is your true meaning.
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