Finding Your Sweet Spot

Yesterday, I had a conversation with an amazingly talented student who will graduate in a few months. In an effort to decide what she should do after graduating, she took a radical step: a ten-day fast from tv and movies!

As she told me about her experience, she taught me an important lesson:

You’re not too busy. You’re too distracted.

It’s uncomfortable to be alone with your thoughts. You’re a complex person whose life experiences make you who you are. Some of those experiences were positive, others not. But your talents, personality, and passions are the result of your response to these experiences.

We find it much more comfortable to entertain ourselves than delve into our thoughts and determine what they mean.

Except that your talents, personality, and passions point somewhere.

The sweet spot. The answer to the question “what should I do with my life?” The place where you can make a huge impact. People usually start hunting for careers by searching for job openings. This approach limits you to what other people have imagined.

Everyone should take a break from entertainment and go through the challenging process of being alone with their thoughts. Imagine a future for yourself, and then figure out how to make it happen.

The result?

  • She’s going to create a job for herself helping high-schoolers land internships and explore college majors to find their paths.
  • Another is double-majoring in Outdoor Education and Psychology so that he can start a “Wilderness Therapy” organization that treats mental illness through adventure experiences.
  • A third (me) found a dream of starting a movement to show college students how to win at life.

You’re not going to find those dreams on a job-search website. Turn off the TV and listen.

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