Imagine for a moment, you arrive in Paris airport. You’re all really excited, a bit nervous. It’s your first time in Europe, let alone France – and you don’t really speak much French, except a little you learned in high school.
So where to from there? You try to get some help. You manage to get a map. Great! This big map of Paris – its got the whole city mapped out. It’s got everything you’d want to know, right? It tells you the whole story… But where am I on this map? And where am I wanting to get to? Hmm, see how a map by itself is pretty useless. That’s what it’s like with information. Information alone is worthless without direction.
They are very different concepts, though obviously they both have their place.
Abundance of Information
How many times do you hear how we live in the Information Age where everything you’d ever want to know is just a click away. “Google it!” has become the catch-phrase of our times.
Want to know how to do something? “Look it up on YouTube! There are so many great instructional videos.”
Anyway, you get the point! How much more for you if you’re a University student, I’d say.
Have you ever walked into the Library and been overwhelmed by the vast reservoir of knowledge that is available to you, in just about every field of knowledge that there is? And that’s just the physical books in the brick-and-mortar library! There are so many eBooks, journal articles, reports, theses – all stored online and easy to access.
But, like the map, all this information doesn’t actually really help you know what to do with it.
So where do you start?
But Where Am I Now?
Actually, this is probably THE most important and profound question. And really, it’s actually pretty personal, in terms of how exactly you’d like to answer that.
Are you a Student, just finished high school, and embarking on the beginning of your journey to discover your life’s purpose?
Are you like me, someone a bit older, returning to study, knowing that you’ve really already done a lot in your life, but you’re looking to open a new chapter, a change in direction?
Self-awareness is such an important key to discover where to from there. There are so many ways to even do that. I would say personally though (maybe being something of an ambivert) that I really have benefited a lot from connecting with others. Mentors, fellow students, Career Direction counselors, people in the Industry already.
But still, at the end of the day, what really matters is your mindset.
Everything they tell you could be just more information. Really what you need is to identify:
- Your innate talent – What flow works best for you – creating things, connecting with people, managing projects, engineering systems?
- Your passions – What really gets you out of bed in the morning? If you had unlimited money and time, what would you be doing?
- Your values – What do you believe is worthwhile?
Where Do I Want to Get to?
So once you get an idea of where you’re at, then you can begin to think about where you want to go. Even just to draw a straight line, you need at least two points, right? Not that life is ever really a straight line!
But what are you wanting to achieve? Where do you feel you could most employ your natural talent? How could you contribute in a meaningful way that genuinely fires up your passion, and would leave you feeling at the end of the day that you have really accomplished something valuable?
I know this is a lot of questions, and not just information. But that is kind of the point. I’m not writing this to just give you information. I’m here to stimulate you to think, because really what you need to tune into is your internal compass, I would say.
But There Are So Many Options!
So once you’ve got a picture of where you’re at, and where you’re wanting to go, now is time to explore your options.
If I was at Paris Airport and I wanted to see the Louvre Museum, well, there are probably different ways to get there, right? Do I want to get there quick? Do I want to take my time? Do I want the most scenic route, so I can take in different sights along the way.
Life is a lot like that too. There are lots of different ways to get to where you’re wanting to get to.
Looking for Direction, Not Just Information?
So I can only imagine that if you’ve read this far, then you’re considering your direction right now. As I said, I’m not here just to feed you more information. There is the whole World Wide Web out there to do that for you. What I’m wanting to do is stimulate your inner compass.
You can do that in different ways.
One of the best ways I find is to do it collaboratively, to communicate with others who you can bounce off your thoughts.
Well, I’m here! I don’t know where you are, but the Internet has made the world a small place. So even if you’re not in Brisbane, Australia (where I am) feel free to leave a comment, or shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Or if you’re in Brisbane, you could even meet me, if you’d like. I love meeting people, connecting with them where they’re at, discovering where they most want to go, and consider how they might get them there.
And if you’re not ready for any of that, then at least, seeing as you’re here, feel free to browse around. I have lots of food for thought in my blog – and I hope (depending on the intention of your heart and your attitude) that it won’t just end up a bunch more information. That it could help you find your direction on your journey.