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How to achieve your potential when you don't know what you want to achieve?

No matter what motivation or support is thrown at me I seem to be stuck in a rut in life. I was predicted top grades and I have an unquenchable thirst for learning, yet I have never lived up to this potential and now at 21 I feel myself losing direction compared to my peers around me.

I'm interested in how and when you found your direction in life, as well as an example of an experience (or multiple if you wish) that you've had, which helped to uncover or discover this direction.


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    Jun 17 2011: Hi Jonny
    I'm from Leeds too by the way!
    I think Nietzsche said something on the lines of you can't get what you want until you know what it is, but you don't know what you want until you've found it.

    My advice is this: Do something, even if not exactly what you dream of doing. Study some more; go volunteer for charity work overseas; take a crappy junior job but in an interesting(ish) industry (like jouice-boy at an internet start-up, fruit-peeler at a movie company etc). Two or three of these experience might go nowhere, but you'll meet someone or have an idea and something amazing will happen in the end. What you must not, i repeat not, do is do nothing. Never do nothing.

    Some of my businesses have been successful, more (well, it's about 50.50) have not, but some of the less successful ones begat the more successful ones. You don't marry the first girl you meet, but you might marry a girl your ex introduces you to. I don't think often anyone is struck by inspiration for what they really want to do, but bit by bit the jigsaw comes together and you figure out a plan.

    My other advice is that I'm note sure anyone really has a plan, but the happiest and most successful folks are super-opportunistic and take advantage of opportunities as they arrive, as opposed to go looking for opportunity,
    • Jun 17 2011: Hi James, it's always nice to hear from somebody who is a fellow Leodensian! This is sound advice and I guess even when you know something, it helps to hear it from the mouth of somebody who isn't your grandma! I guess the fact that my mind is so active, combined with being a total cynic hasn't done me any favours!

      Thanks for your thoughts and keep posting!

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