It’s gotten to the point in my life where I am writing scholarship essays, considering universities on a global basis, and weighing in my options as a student; I am thinking about my future now more than ever.

My philosophy in life, up to this point, has typically been to let everything lay in God’s hands; I tell myself not to fret because everything has been laid out for me and everything happens for a reason. I’ve always believed that, if you work hard, your destiny will show itself to you.

I suppose that that’s a sort of Daoist point of view, but it has been mine for quite a while. So now, when the tables are turning and I have to start making major, life-changing decisions and figuring out my purpose in this world… I have no idea how to do it. I have lived my life for so long depending on an external force that I have no idea how to handle my future on an internal level.

Th whole predicament leaves me with one question: Who am I?

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I feel as if many people reading are going through this same issue. And, I’m telling you now, that there still is a path laid out for us… We simply need a compass to find it.

There are two major steps to discovering yourself:

1.  Distinguish Your Compass 

Compasses typically manifest themselves as passions. My uncle, a man with a PhD in his hands and with thousands of miles of travel experience inside his head, advised me yesterday, “Always follow your passion.” Your passion will tell you where your happiest path lies and how to get there.

So. To establish your “compass,” you must fist start by evaluating your passions. For instance, my passion is writing and reading; therefore, I will most likely follow a career path along those lines.

I have taken multiple career and skill tests, and they all tell me to be a doctor or family counselor… Although those things may be nice and hustle in the bills, they are not, in any form, my passions. In other words, I do not know if they will make me happy. But, I know what does. If you know your passion and know that it will make you happy, follow it.

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2. Embrace New Opportunities;
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Along every path, there are short cuts and areas that divert from the original trail. In these cases, you should allow yourself to take up new opportunities, no matter what it is.

People typically have more than one passion (or compass) to tell them where to go. So, follow as many as you can. My uncle, the man with a PhD, took up a job as a waiter simply because he has a passion for learning new things, despite the environment. Accepting various opportunities increases your experience, increases your knowledge, and therefore increases your wisdom. Wisdom is an understanding of the self, which should be your ultimate goal.

Travel the world. Take up a new job. Write like it’s the last thing you’ll ever do. But always remember to follow your passion– follow your compass– no matter the cost.

Good luck, adventurers. I’ll see you on the other side.