So your average huh? Welcome to the party, we have T-shirts.
You don’t have a trust fund or a unique talent you were born with as you came out of your daddies ball sack. You don’t look like Chris Hemsworth or sound like Beyonce? Me either.
When people asked me what’s my thing? What do you do? I would feel like a Vietnam vet suffering PTSD. Flashing back to 9th-grade math class, I would hear the teacher call my name snapping me out of the invigorating conversation about the party that coming weekend. Not knowing the answer, I would freeze.
Maybe you can relate to this, or maybe, you were one of those especially lucky people that knew what you wanted to do, only to grow up and learn you couldn’t do it. Because you’re either too tall, too short, too color blind, or maybe too uncoordinated.
Destined to a mediocre existence of wondering, what if…
Or maybe, when your careers teacher asked you, what do you want to be when you grow up? Your answer of ‘Astronaut’ was met with a scoff and an ‘ok, little jimmy enough with the jokes.’
The fat part of the bell curve is something we call home. A place for the faceless mass that is average. Where nothing exciting happens.
To some a safe place, and rightfully so.
To others a destitute barren wasteland of atrophied potential. That if only you or I could find our “thing,” all will be good in the world.
Or just maybe, it hits you a bit later in life. You wake up one day, at 28, 32, 46 or 54, realizing shit, ‘I’m not happy, what do I do now?
No matter when, no matter how this question enters your world, whether it be a slow-growing itch gnawing at your side. Or, a cyst that has continued to grow, now bulging from your neck it stares back at you each morning as you brush your teeth, while you figure how to muster the energy for yet another day of work. Its removal, however, is an easy one.
You simply do.
Your career didn’t pan out as good as Jennifer Lawrence’s, Elon Musks, or Tom Bradys?
So what? Stop asking yourself where you belong, or, begging the people around you to provide some morsel of clarity to the question ‘what can my thing be?’
It is in this talking, the questioning, the pondering, the wondering, the waiting, and worst of all the “trying”, that you lose. You must bring yourself to the realization that stagnation is death. Just find a mission and start, it is the act of doing that you will build the life you want.
So where do you start?
You start by finding a mission. You need no talent, unique skill, or a fucking “calling” for that matter to find a mission.
What’s a mission you ask?
Well first, all I can say is don’t Google it. The answers are as follows;
an important assignment carried out for political, religious, or commercial purposes, typically involving travel.“a trade mission to Mexico.”
the vocation or calling of a religious organization, especially a Christian one, to go out into the world and spread its faith.
So… Yep. If you feel you don’t fall into either of those, try this definition.
A mission is an endeavor worthy of your time here.
Knowing all too well that the word ‘mission’ in itself holds a semblance of weight, and that ‘worthy’ begs us toward the end of the scale where things like ‘purpose’ live. Tempting for this statement to freeze us in our tracks before we can even get started.
It should, just a little. Having a mission brings purpose, vigor and an enthusiasm to your day. It also can and most likely will be the kick that gets everything else rolling in the right direction.
The key thing to take away from this definition is, you are the one that decides what is worthy of your time here. By letting it hold some weight, when you step, no matter which direction you step in, you step with full commitment. That is the underlying theme we are going for here, pick a mission and step with full commitment, over and over and over again.
This is why I use the word mission and not project or hobby. By letting it hold some weight you start to value your most precious resource, time. Half committing, “trying” something, is just a waste of life.
Yes, there is a slight dichotomy here. The aim isn’t to commit to one mission, it is to commit to everything you do.
This commitment to doing is what needs to change in your mindset, for even if you were lucky enough to find ‘your calling,’ I wager you would do nothing with it.
So, to help solidify what a ‘mission’ is and how to figure what one you should choose, here are some things to remember.
#1 – You can have more than one.
#2 – I don’t recommend more than three a year. Any more than that they become hobbies.
#3 – A mission should evoke a level of excitement that makes you become a little obsessed.
#4 – No, most if not all won’t be fun right away. Give it time.
#5- Don’t let yourself get frozen by the outcome, merely the act of pursuing an outcome is often enough.
#6 – Make it a challenge. Because why the fuck not?!
#7 – You can stack them (Also, known as finding the lead domino). i.e., 1 – Start a blog. 2 – Write a book using the following you have built. 3 – Leave said blog behind and travel the world due to being laughed at for writing a shitty book. 4 – Make a movie instead. See what a fun 2-3 years you just had.
#8 – You are allowed to quit a mission. However, you can only quit after 3 months of doing it. But, you aren’t allowed to quit seeking new missions.
#9 – Do not start a mission because you saw some dude/dudette do it on Instagram. We are marketed the exceptions to the rule, not the rule.
#10 – Don’t make money the sole mission, it can be apart of the mission, but it can not be the only thing. Why? In the words of Neil Gaiman “…If you didn’t get the money then you didn’t have anything. If I did the work I was proud of and I didn’t get the money, at least I’d have the work.”
#11 – Commit fully. It is this development of the habit to commit we are after. To act ‘as if’ this mission, even if the mission is only for the next 6 months, is your life’s purpose. That will bring life-changing results.
#12 – You don’t have to quit your job to start a mission. ‘You can do a lot of damage between 7pm and 2am. You aren’t tired, you’re uninspired.’ #garyvee
And #13 – If you can impact others with your mission, you will go further, do more and actually do, you know, some good.
So why pursue a ‘mission’ or multiple ‘missions’? Well… if it isn’t obvious, by the time you get to 89 years old and you are about to cark it, the only thing you will have are your memories and having a story worth reading should be something we all aspire to do in our own unique way.
It is in the living and in the doing, that you will find ‘your thing’ or again just live an interesting life. You don’t need to be born an outlier for that.
It this living that you become, ‘unique,’ as average by definition is a “typical value in a set of data” so to live an a-typical life. Is to become an outlier.
It is also in the seeking of any mission and refining as you go, where you will become closer and closer to finding where you fit in this world. While along the way living your a-typical unique life.
The act of living well is a lifetime endeavor that is overlooked and mistaken for the happiness that we feel fame or fortune will provide. Yet the simplest things experienced and explored often are where life truly happens.
For those who don’t know where to start, here are some examples of “Missions” that should if pursued well and with intent, change an aspect of your life and your mentality toward finding “your thing.”
In starting this pursuit, My advice is simple. Find a mission that motivates you financially. One that motivates you creatively, and one that motivates you physically.
Health & Fitness.
- Learn to box to the point you can spar.
- Run a marathon.
- Aim to Deadlift 200kgs/440pds.
- Get so shredded you can do a photo shoot.
- Take that yoga class daily not just talk about it.
- Buy an investment property.
- Build a stock portfolio.
- Get a side job.
- Start a business.
- Volunteer. Why is this in finance? Where else do rich people hang out?
- Learn a language. To the point where you can have full conversations.
- Learn an instrument. To the point of performing live.
- Travel the world. To the point, you miss home… or you find a new one.
- Move Cities. Just because.
- Write a book. Because it is the best way to ensure you don’t take yourself so seriously.
- Buy a brick wall and paint it.
- Make a movie.
Good luck, and be sure to let me know how you go along the way.