How do I find direction?

Direction seems to be a large problem in the minds of adolescents and young adults.

“I don’t really know what I am interested in specifically – how am I supposed to find something and go with it??”

“I am interested in too many things – how am I supposed to narrow anything down??”

“What I am interested in doesn’t seem to be very career or money-making friendly… so what do I do?!?

Do any of those questions sound like something on your mind? Personally, my problem is the second one – I have far too many interests, it seems, to narrow down anything specifically at all and go with it.

When I began to plan this entry, I was able to see that I didn’t know quite as much about the subject of direction as I would like to. I have an issue with making plans and then setting them aside when other elements of life get in the way. I don’t know if that is because of my own hesitance to commit to something, and/or push through challenges, or what.

Some of the questions that came up in the planning were:

– What is “direction”?
– Do I need to pick just one thing?
– What if I have no idea where to start?
– What if I am afraid of committing to just one thing, even if I know it is only for a short while (such as 3-4 years before moving on)
– What if I am always making plans and then always changing them and often feeling like I am getting nowhere, or even going backwards?


– What if I am trying to write a blog entry answering all of these questions, while half of them are MY questions????

After much mulling over the subject and getting absolutely nowhere, I sat down with my friend, mentor, employer, etc., Blake Boles to discuss the entry. He suggested that I be completely honest with you all: I don’t have all the answers. This made me grimace, of course; the whole point of having the blog “Life Without College” is to give the answers about having a life without college… right?

Wrong. Obviously. Even if this was 80 years down the road and I knew everything about having a life without college, as it applied to my own life, I wouldn’t have all the answers.

Still, I will tell you what I think and know; and, really, I believe that these can be applied no matter where you are in life or what you are doing. So:


Direction is the path you have chosen to go down. It is the path towards your passion, whether you want to work in the field of your passion, or in another field so you can pursue your passion with the time and money that job creates. Direction can be pursued in an infinite amount of ways depending on what is best for you in your life at the moment.

In order to continue having direction, you must set goals. Being realistic is certainly mandatory, but those with direction never stop dreaming. If you want to reach for the stars, if that is what you feel in your heart that your direction is, then do it. Just remember there are steps in between, even as you can see your dream looming in the distance.

Map things out carefully, but don’t forget to acknowledge there are always multiple alternate routes to one place, or even two, three, four, or more different places which you may discover as you go along. Keep a balance of looking at the map, and keeping your eyes on the road. Don’t get distracted by people and things you pass, or who pass you, that don’t matter.

Lastly, don’t lose sight of where you are going, and don’t get jaded in the present; but, most importantly, never forget where you came from. Because, no matter what, that is why you are where you are and who you are now.

That is what I know about direction.



One response to “Direction

  1. Thank you for writing this, Jess. Even if you don’t have all the answers, it’s always reassuring to know that others have the same questions. My life right now is basically a big ball of ALL the questions you brought up, and sometimes it feels like everyone around me knows what they want! I feel a lot better for being reminded that I’m not alone.

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