Fonkou Djoendia

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Why is life so complicated?

First of all, I want to say thank you for even taking the time to read this! My name is Fonkou, I am 16, currently a high school junior! My question is, why is life so complicated? My dream in life is to be a talk show host, or a well known motivational speaker. But there is really no specific path that will lead me to that. If someone wants to be a doctor, they can just go to medical school, earn a degree and woohoo! That's not the case in the things I want to do. I am not good at math and science, I have no interest in them whatsoever. I want to major in communication when I get to college, but I have websites, my parents, friends telling me that a degree in communications will get me absolutely no where. I just feel like a total failure right now. I feel like I have nothing going on for me. I wish I loved chemistry and math. My father wants me to do something in the medical field, because of the job stability but I don't want to, cause I know I won't enjoy it, and I don't won't to spend my life doing something that I dread doing. To sum this up, I have an idea of who I want to be. I don't want a mansion, three cars, millions in my bank account, I wouldn't mind having those things though! But I know those are not the things that will fulfill me. When I close my eyes, I see a nice house, with my partner, beautiful kids. Me on my own talk show, or me giving a speech in front of hundreds of people, helping people as much as I can, and doing everything that I want will bring joy into my life. I feel like everyone else got a life's instruction manual and I somehow didn't get one. Any advice would truly help. I respect everyone in the Ted community, its filled with amazing, intelligent people. Thank you so much.

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    Oct 10 2012: My first piece of advice is to look up one of the active members, James Zhang (Type it in the search box). He is a communications major of some sort and likely considered where it will get him.

    Second, you mention talk show host or motivational speaker. The thing about television jobs is that many more people want them than can get them. But if you enjoy interviewing people, you could start doing that anytime and write up your interviews in a blog. There are lots of free sites that host blogs. You can start with all your friends and relatives as an audience and you can get used to interviewing people.

    Motivational speaking? You are a high school junior. There are some things you have probably learned that would be valuable to kids at the grade school where you went, or the middle school. Maybe a teacher you had would be interested in your coming and talking to the current kids about how to manage the late grade school and middle school years.

    The bottom line is, a good first step is to start engaging in a version of the sorts of activities that interest you rather than strategizing at this point about how to become famous. Maybe in a few years doing something meaningful will be more important to you than being famous.
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    Oct 10 2012: Dear Fonkou...nice to see you again:>)

    You write..."I just feel like a total failure right now. I feel like I have nothing going on for me"

    What you have going for you my friend, IS YOU! You have a vision of what you would like your life to be like later, and that is valuable.....what about now? Life is a journey, and it is only as complicated as we make it. In order to get to that destination, which is your vision, you need to follow the appropriate paths, and we find the appropriate paths by exploring.

    In helping people, you also help yourself, so how about volunteering? How about being a mentor to a younger kid? Being involved with your high school news paper? That may give you experience with interviewing people....gaining knowledge, communicating? If you don't have a high school news paper, what about starting one? That is something that might be fun now, as well as prepare yourself for your goal. None of us got an instruction manual my's all about exploring the life adventure:>)

    My life experience tells me that when I am open hearted/open minded, one step leads to another....things evolve when we are open to the possibilities. Feeling like you have "nothing going" for yourself simply uses up energy you may use in a more productive way. Realize what you DO have going for you, and use those skills wisely while you are on the path to your dreams. TED is a great place to start when one's dreams, visions, goals are about communication:>)
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      Oct 10 2012: Thank you so much Colleen! You are an amazing woman!
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        Oct 11 2012: Thank you Fonkou!
        I am a simple person, sharing the life experience with many other people. In my humble perception, you are also amazing...believe in yourself:>)
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    Oct 10 2012: Fritzie's advice is spot on. One other thing you should consider is that public speaking requires skills that you can only really learn by doing public speaking, whether it be in a classroom or not. There are several different formats of speeches, and the techniques for them vary. Plus, good public speakers develop Leadership Skills that not only make them good public speakers, but will benefit them in other areas of their lives too.

    I would highly recommend you join a Toastmaster's Club if there is one in your area. It is informal, not "instructor oriented", but includes people who have already acquired the skills you are seeking. The experienced members basically volunteer their time as "mentors" to help you gain the skills and confidence you seek. Yes, you will give speeches during the meetings. But it will be in a much more relaxed arena where nobody will worry about you "freaking out" during your speech. Most everybody at a meeting is learning the same things you will be learning.

    Good luck! And don't give up. You are capable of much more than you probably think you are. It's a joy when you acquire a new skill like public speaking that scares the heck out of most people.
  • Oct 10 2012: First of all, you are not a failure. You are learning to be a successful adult and part of that learning is to realize that sometimes it is a struggle. Part of the initial struggle is finding out what you want to do in life. Your parents are trying to guide you to what they believe is the path to success. I really like Colleen's advice about volunteering and Rick's advice about Toastmasters. If you are still in High School, you might go to a Debate club meeting to learn some of the skills associated with persuasive argumentation. Perhaps law would interest you. You also have guidance counselors that are suppose to help you with these decisions. Perhaps they can help. They are free now, but later you will have to pay for their advice.

    I looked for opportunities where my hard work would be formally recognized with an achievement or degree. Community college is a great place to try new things until you find something you like. One of the things that will almost be a good asset is hard work. Take all your jobs seriously. work hard and professionally at all tasks. This sort of behavior is habit forming and usually gets noticed. I happen to like math an science for exactly this reason. Usually, the harder you work doing practice problems, extra work and correcting mistakes, the better you do in the class. It is not easy, but in the academic arena it is usually rewarded. Other subjects are a bit more subjective, but still the hard work formula will usually do you well.

    Helping people as much as you can is a great idea. You might consider a volunteer assignment in an area you are interested in. You might try something in the medical area just to give your dad's idea a chance. Volunteers can help the elderly, talk to people that are sick and scared to make them feel better, or perhaps just do minor chores around a hospital. Use the opportunity to observe an see the different roles do in the process of providing health care.

    You need to risk a few small failures to win!
  • Oct 10 2012: That's exactly what I was thinking when I was 18(just two years ago).
    I'm with you. My life has changed in a less complicated, yet profoundly meaningful way.
    I think you really well posted your question here. Because quite often, I've been finding answers here TED site. Sometimes, my life still looks quite vague. There seem to be no way. But I think(maybe I'm a bit young to give you this kind of advice here, though)life isn't that complicated. Once you start to hope and live your life according to your own conviction, things that have seemed to be troubling your mind will eventually disappear as time goes by as if you prune your rose bushes. There would be many challenges and obstacles waiting for you, but…. Don't worry, but think. Worrying and thinking are different.
    Above all, don’t listen to your parents all the time(oops..). They actually don’t know you that well as much as you know yourself. Take their sincere advice, but listen to your heart and others’ different views, not your parents expectations(don’t get me wrong lol)
    Fritzie's idea is also very great! Fyi, Colleen Steen and Don Wesley are also one of very insightful TEDsters to talk with.
    You might not get the right answer all the time because there's no ‘answer sheet’ here. But you will find yourself enjoying communicating with many wonderful TEDsters while finding and creating your own answers.
    I really wish you all the best. :D
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    Oct 10 2012: i am happy that you have a big dream and i think you dream is not everyone can achieve .because there isnt so much stages and too many people want to do what you want .my advice is that you just try your best and do not care about the result ,

    you can do many other thing to help people and motive people .just Frixies said you can have your own blog and interview your friends and show your kindness .i think one day you will make your dream true.
  • Oct 10 2012: As usual, Fritzie's advice is excellent.

    Seems to me your interest is people more than communication.

    I suggest studying people. College courses, of course, but start today. Observe everyone doing everything all the time. This is how many comedians get their material. Keep a journal and write down your insights. Test these insights against later observations and readings, expanding on them or correcting them. Also read about people, especially biographies and autobiographies. With autobiographies, you have to keep in mind that human memory is usually inaccurate, though not always in a flattering way.

    Good fortune..
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    Oct 10 2012: QUOTE: "First, say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do." -- Epictetus.
    On a much less august level, my own personal experience has convinced me that the better path to career fulfillment is to keep doing something different until you find the thing that won't let you move on. When you say, "I cannot do anything else, I must do this." you have arrived.
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    Gail .

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    Oct 10 2012: Watch this video by the best motivational speaker on earth today. Then watch his others. He is an amazing man.

    Born in an abandoned building in Miami's slums (Liberty city), and adopted by a very poor single mother with a prison record, Les grew up being told that he was educable mentally retarded. But he had a dream. Les can tell you how to uncomplicated what you are making complicated, and how to develop the courage to live your dream.

    Remember to watch some of his other videos.
  • Oct 10 2012: "Why is life so complicated?"

    It would be boring if it wasn't complicated, but you do see the world as more complicated than it actually is because you are 16.
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    Oct 10 2012: Life is neither complicated nor simple as a whole or at any time point. Ups and downs are there.....but as a wholeor any time point it is what it is as one wants to see it like.......

    I don't know anyone who has got any manual from anywhere that instruct how to go through the journey of life. Rathers it's at one's own hand......

    Learning defintely not related to having opportunity of attending some BIG name schools or unversities....neither its a matter of acquiring flowering degrees....partcularly if it is about communication , I don't know there is any course or degree out there that can make one a great communicator.......Sometime back I came across one talk of a great motivational speaker from US , who started his career as a Garbage Collector and had no scope to go to even a school.....but later he even spoke to big name Universities , professional communities etc and actually earning more than CEOs of business field ( forgot his name if I can remember will share)

    What I feel , to be a great communicator one needs to be very good observer and have the intension to learn from observation. EQ is another important element in it, which enables one to deliver in right time in right place to right person, right amount of information / data which is able to trigger the right action or emotion from the recipient....

    I am a beliver of the saying , communictaion means what recipient understands from the message not what the communicator communicated through the message.....

    I admire your desire of living as per your passion .....sure you will achieve what you want to be if you remain focused....
    Have a good day.
  • Oct 10 2012: Breathe deeply. Breathe slowly. Relax. Enjoy.
    Positive words have positive impacts. Positive cause/Positive effect.....not complicated. Hang out with positive people.
    Eat, drink, move and sleep healthfully.