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Jewish Journal

Picking a Path

by Beit T'shuvah

June 12, 2013 | 1:12 pm

By Jaclin Miller

One of the most repetitive questions that I’ve experienced throughout my life since I was a child is “What do you want to do with your life?” Some come from a concerned standpoint, others seem to be genuinely interested, and some I think are aiming to lift my anxiety through the roof. I mean, how many people do you know that have a profession that they dreamed about having their entire life? There may be some, true, but most adults I know today are in a working profession that does not necessarily make them happy, but provides a sufficient income, which is good enough for living in today’s society.

I, on the other hand, am aiming for happiness. Even though I am not that old, I have had my fair share of jobs. Retail, restaurants, administrative work—unfortunately none of them have sparked an interest in me. Does that mean I know what I want to do with my life? Absolutely not.  However, I am more knowledgeable in what I don’t want to do. I think too many of us settle. We settle in relationships and we settle in our profession. Why do we settle on things that do not necessarily make us happy? Is it because we are too lazy to go after something that might make us happy? Is it too much work and not enough time? Do too many of us fear the unknown? Why are we so content with settling?

As Psychologist Abraham Maslow suggested many years ago, we humans tend to be blind to all but our most immediate needs. When we’re young, and unable to support ourselves financially, we make our career decisions based upon money and little else. We don’t realize that our expectations of work will completely change once we satisfy our economic needs, and once we come to a realization that money isn’t everything.

So what would happen if we let go of the thought that work cannot be rewarding and meaningful? Once we admit to ourselves that it is possible then our lives could start to begin. Everyone’s life is too valuable to waste doing something uninspiring. Find something that inspires you and let go of your fears.

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