Thoughts on the quote “What should I do with my life?”

When asked to read a favorite quotation from an example of writing that is intellecutally stimulating, this is what I chose from Po Bronson’s article, ” “What Should I Do With My Life? – The Real Meaning of Success-And How to Find It”:

“Asking “What should I do with my life?” is the modern, secular version of the great timeless questions about our identity. Asking The Question aspires to end the conflict between who you are and what you do. Answering The Question is the way to protect yourself from being lathed into someone you’re not.”

I always find myself thinking about what I want to do with my life. Will I devote myself to an inspirational cause? A powerful job where I can lead people in a pre-determined direction? I have no idea and perhaps this is why I like to read articles on these sorts of topics. Nothing or no one other than myself can provide me with the answer to this personal question, but perhaps insight into how to think about it will help me. Maybe.

A similar discussion of this topic is found in many commencement speeches. I particularly like the one given by Steve Jobs, which I just listened to the other day in my Management & Organizations class.

I love keeping track of quotes that I like and one in particular that I love comes from this speech, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”

I think it’s going to take me a long time to figure out what I should do with my life, but every step along the way (reading an article, writing about it…) will certainly help. Maybe the answer to “Why I Write” is tied up in this same question, too…

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