Everyone, at one point in time, embarks into the unknown. Be it jumping into a new career, passing from one chapter of life onto the next, or traveling in an unfamiliar place, we sail through this sea of limitless possibility, which we like to call the unknown. The simple word unknown often gives rise to a feeling of unease as it means control of the outcome is, in fact uncontrollable. The uncertainty means there’s no definitive destination and this feeling for many of us is paralyzing.
We innately fall back on comfort, security, and habits that we create in our everyday lives, sometimes without even knowing it. So if you’re about to embark into the unknown, which I’m about to do as my University graduation swiftly approaches, I ask you to do nothing more than embrace it. Be not afraid of what’s to come, for it is out of your controllable grasp.
The best part about life is the adventures that arise on your journey, and sometimes, your finest moments come from situations that you, in fact, didn’t plan for. That’s the beauty of spontaneous experiences because they are free of intent, stratagem, and knowledge, and yet they hold so much wonder and curiosity.
For myself, I spent quite some time worrying about my next step. The journey ahead holds an innumerable amount of decisions and of course, opportunities. So I pondered every one of them and found this unwinnable internal battle as to which decision was the best, and which opportunity would provide me with the most happiness. I would ask myself, "of all the 10 of the most important things I wish to find in a career, which one is the best option?"
- Opportunities to travel within the job
- Freedom to travel outside the job
- Ability and time to run my own company on the side
- Team atmosphere and environment
- Both mentally and physically challenging
- Something unexpected everyday
- Something that scares me
- The freedom to be creative
So with my list, I searched endlessly for a career that matched up perfectly with my expectations. And like you would expect, almost every single one fell short of my unrealistic checklist. If you’ve done this, you’ll understand how incredibly frustrating this process is- not the process of trying to find the perfect job, but the process of trying to control the uncontrollable.
Each one us of spends a significant amount of time in this vacant space trying to discover purpose and meaning while stuck in idle. And yes, I agree it’s difficult and rather challenging to be so uncertain about what’s to come, and where you’ll end up. But I have recently learned that it’s much easier to swim with the current than against it.
I ask you to throw any ideas of the perfect career, the perfect “next step” and the perfect destination because to be brutally honest, perfection is merely a farfetched and unattainable illusion. There’s no such thing as perfect. But there is imperfect that we can wholeheartedly accept, flaws and all, and create something incredible. This is why some of the happiest people in the world are those who sit at the bottom of the economic food chain, yet turn their imperfect situations into something of incredible value and authenticity.
We mustn’t dwell on our next decision or our next step because the success lies within our ability to embrace the unknown, and dive headfirst into this sea of limitless possibility. The destination is far out of reach, but the journey is in our hands. With the world at our fingertips, it really doesn’t matter what career you chose, or what your “game plan” is after graduation. All that matters in this world is how much you love and how much you’re loved.
The best part about making these decisions is making one. Be it the absolute worst decision, or the absolute best, the lessons you will acquire from taking that first step are invaluable. Easier said than done, but stress does nothing but fog our minds and distracts us from the present moment. Every decision makes authenticity, every choice creates originality, but neither define who you are and who you’re going to be.
So sit in idle and be free of worry. You don’t need to justify your decisions, or explain what your next move is to anybody; “I’m figuring it out as I go,” will suffice. You are the driver of your own vehicle and letting someone else influence where you veer or the route you’re taking will only result in chasing things that aren’t true to who you are and what you’re searching for.
Follow your feet because I promise, your heart will lead the way. If you’re at a crossroads about your future, your career, your next chapter of life, you are just fine. Good things happen to those who wait, and better things happen to those who can sit back, relax, and embrace the unknown with a smile on your face. Live in the moment, and most importantly, enjoy your journey for the destination will inevitably create itself.