It’s Okay if You Don’t Do What You Went to School For

Danny Forest
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You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. — Mae West

Do you dislike what you’re doing, even if that’s what you went to school for?

You’re not alone — far from it!

If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re having serious thoughts about where your life is heading. I don’t know where you are in your career or life in general, but let me re-iterate the headline:

It’s okay if you don’t do what you went to school for.

Is “wasting” 4+ years of your life that bad? What if you did something you don’t like for 30 years? What is worse: “wasting” 4 years or wasting 30 years?

You have two options:

  1. Stay in a job or field you’re not passionate about; or
  2. Re-inventing yourself.

Life is too short to waste your time doing something you don’t like doing. I try to reinvent myself about every 6 months. Most of the time, people who reinvent themselves end up happier. It’s a damn hard decision to make, but future-you will thank you for it.

I never finished my Software Engineering degree. I didn’t like school. As an entrepreneur, I didn’t feel like I had enough flexibility in the way I wanted to learn. I wasn’t bad. I was actually quite good at University, just not in subjects I didn’t care about and knew I would never use in my life.

Life starts with being happy with your situation. If you’re unhappy, you won’t have the energy to get through the day. If you don’t have energy, you won’t have any motivation. Doing things you like helps you be happy.

I’m not saying to quit your day job and rush headless into your ideal situation. It won’t work.

Think things through then follow through. — Eddie Rickenbacker

Not everything you’re going to try will work, and that’s okay. What’s important is that you don’t get too comfortable and stop trying new things.

My friend says: “What’s the worst that can happen?”

That’s a very important question. A lot of times we’re scared of doing something for fear of making our situation worse. A lot of times, that’s all it is — fear. A lot of ideas are not as scary as they seem.

I used to be scared of dying. It was probably my number one fear. I mean, there’s still so much left to do in this world and I’m aging faster than I wish I would. But this quote changed my perspective on that:

“It is not death a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” — Marcus Aurelius

I was scared because “I didn’t do anything”. By that I mean that I was simply doing my 9–5 job and playing video games after work, looking forward to weekends.

I thought to myself: “What kind of life is that? Is that really what life is all about?”

I bet you’re wondering the same too. Or maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who found their true purpose in life. Nonetheless, the important thing lies in the quote above: “beginning to live”.

What does that mean?

It means something different for everyone.

For me, it meant doing things out of my comfort zone. It meant conquering all my fears. It meant learning as many skills as possible. And ultimately, it meant becoming the best version of myself, and do the same for people around me, whether online and in person.

  • What does it mean for you?
  • What do want to change?
  • What are you afraid of when thinking about changing your career or lifestyle?
  • What’s the worst the can happen?

Many people have done it and have never looked back. This could be you.

You can do this!

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