A few years ago I was trapped in the Denver airport by a snowstorm. I spent 3 hours in the terminal sitting near a 92-year old fellow trappee who was full of energy and seemed to know the answers to all my questions about the 20th Century. I asked if she had a philosophy of life. She said, “Mike, confusion about life is a waste of time. All you need to know are the answers to two questions, ‘Where and Who.’”
I must have looked confused so she continued.
“You need to know Where you are going in life and Who you want to take with you. If you know those two things, the answers to a lot of the other questions will fall into place.”
First: Where do you want to go?
The answer may not be as obvious as you think. Ask yourself where you want to go professionally, physically, spiritually and intellectually. If you are not happy where you are in life, where do you think you would be happy?
Ron Rice, the inventor of Hawaiian Tropic Suntan products, once told me that the key to a happy life is to go where you want to be, then think about what you can do for a living that allows you to live there.
Second: Who do you want to take with you?
You should not only think about your family, but who are the people with whom you would like to surround yourself in your work life? An interesting way to figure that out is to ask what topics make you feel alive when they are being discussed? A friend says that different professions speak different languages. What language makes you feel authentic and alive?
For now, simply roll those two questions around in your mind. Where do you want to go? Who do you want to take with you?