What can I do with my life?

a pile consisting of a cam corder, calculator marker pens, key board and books
By McDonald, T. | Last updated 30th of November 2017

What do you want to do with your life must be the most famous open-ended question ever asked.  It usually strikes fear into the hearts of people while they desperately try to think of something cool to say.  Sadly, some people never find an answer.  Deciding on a future is perhaps one of the most important decisions a person will ever make.  Before deciding on a great future, be honest about what you want out of life, realise the value of education and decide on a suitable educational root while making sure you have the right grounding.   
In order to decide successfully on a great future, you will need to be honest about what you want out of life first.  This is a more straightforward task than you might think.  Look at it this way, do you want to do something exciting like volcanology where people collect lava samples among other things or spend your time watching soaps?  In other words, why settle for a job in a factory when you could have a career in astrophysics?  At this point, I want you to be honest with yourself about what you find interesting and not worry if it would be possible for you to do it.  Hopefully you agree choosing a life as an oceanographer, swimming around examining marine life, would be a lot more fun and satisfying than working in a warehouse moving boxes around; why work in a boring job when you can have an exciting one!  In the same fashion, you could spend your days investigating rock formations up a mountain or flying around in a plane.  Granted, you could go back to the sofa and continue watching some well past its sell by date soap.  All you need is the confidence to take on the life you really want; with that in mind what life are you going to choose?  Be honest with yourself before you decide on your future.

Compus on top of a blue protractor on lined paper with an arrow pointing to the words what to do
Before deciding on your future, realise the value of education.  Why is an education worth it?  In order to answer this question it is necessary to think about comfort and basic human needs.  As an illustration, people need shelter, clothing and food, which all need money.  Subsequently, a job that pays well means more comfort and a better ability to fulfil the need for shelter because more funds will be available.  In addition, more money means more control over your life.  Certainly, money helps; however, it is not everything a human needs.  People often express a need for fun, excitement or denote joy from solving a problem; people have cognitive and aesthetic needs.  Education can help solve the problem of funds and fulfil higher-level needs at the same time.  Likewise, education can enhance an individual’s personal growth not to mention the growth of the human race.  For instance, think for a moment about the achievements of the human race such as landing on the moon, the invention of the transistor or the discovery of the electron, all of which have benefited humanity.  Since most, if not all, high paid jobs require a high level of expertise, an education is essential in order to stand a chance of acquiring a well-paid job.  A good education can provide confidence to embrace a new challenge and provide the empowerment to express an idea through works of art.  An education can change life for the better and that is why I believe education is worth it.

Whatever educational root you decide to take you will need a good grounding.  Education has two main roots: University degree or apprenticeships.  University will be an intense learning experience at a regular bricks and mortar university or distance learning such as Open University while an apprentice will be on the job training.  In either case, it is always a good idea to be proficient with English, mathematics and any supporting subjects.  If you do not have the grounding you need to progress into higher education, you will need to achieve the minimum standards whereas if you have already gained GCSEs and A levels you need not worry as much.   The point I am making is a good basic education can help to get the perfect university placement for you.  If you do not have much in the way of GCSEs or A levels, you can always start by working your way through the revision guides and enrolling in night school.  In the modern world of technology, good quality blogs and video lessons to help you get started in a subject are readily available.  In short, decide on the root you want to take and get the grounding education you need.
Being honest about what you want out of life, realising the value of education and deciding on a suitable root will help you with one of the most important decisions you are ever likely to make: deciding on your future!  Going into further education is likely if you are serious about a great future in any area of life.  


Gross, Richard. ’Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour’, chapter 9 Motivation, fifth edition, [Book], Hodder Arnold,  2005


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