Angel M. asked me the following question:
I have recently finished high school and I am planning to go to college, but I haven't decided the course that I want to take. My parents and relatives are pressuring me to choose nursing. But I am least interested in becoming a nurse. Is there any way in which I can use the LOA to find my purpose and my career?
Here are some tips that have helped my own teenage son... plus a special manifestation tip.
Tip #1: You don't need to have all the answers right now. A lot of kids your age don't know exactly what they want to do with their life. That's totally normal. Heck, a lot of 30-somethings still wonder what they want to do when they grow up. Besides, few people end up with the same job they started out with initially. Life is full of detours, and many of them are surprisingly delicious.
Tip #2: List what you don't want to do. If you can't figure out what you want to do, try a process of elimination instead. Make a list of things that you absolutely don't want to do. Maybe you don't like math, physics, and chemistry. That means a STEM major would probably be out for you. If nursing is not your thing, put it on the list too.
Tip #3: Follow your passion, but keep it real. What potentially marketable skills do you have? Are you good at languages? Are you very creative and artistic, or are you more the organized type who feels best if everything is neatly structured? Or maybe you're both.
What subjects were your favorites in high school? What do you do outside of school for fun? There are also tons of online quizzes titled something like "What Should I Major In?" Take some of them; they might give you additional hints.
Manifestation Tip: Let yourself be guided and don't be afraid of detours.
Here's a personal story. For years, I felt like I was working toward something I couldn't quite put my finger on. All I knew was that one day soon, I'd be in the limelight somehow. I prayed about it and asked for answers, but I didn't get anything definitive. I did the Goodwill Manifestation, with blessings for myself and my path in life.
I thought my path might lead me to become a somewhat well-known author—maybe I'd do readings or book signings at bookstores, maybe my LOA or other nonfiction writing would take off and get me speaking gigs.
All I knew was that I would be on a public stage, in whatever function. So I started public-speaking lessons and became a member at Toastmasters International (if that's something you're interested in, Toastmasters clubs are everywhere in the US and around the world). I told my dentist repeatedly that I needed healthy, great-looking teeth (I had to deal with a lot of crowns and stuff).
Over time, I became more and more politically interested, but I didn't put two and two together. I started out as a liberal in a very blue (liberal) state, but then made a complete turnaround and became a conservative.
This caused me to lose all of my friends, which in turn led me to a search for other conservatives. The only kindred spirits I could find were a handful of people who made up the Republican Town Committee.
Before I knew what was happening, I was made a town committee member... and then a county committee member... and just a few months ago, I opened my big mouth again at a meeting and spoke up about some things I thought needed changing... and the county committee chairman suggested I should run for office this year.
I have to admit, I was so shocked that I said no at first. But then I slept over it (which I highly recommend for all important decisions!) and said okay, I'll do it.
And today I'm running for a seat in the Vermont House of Representatives this fall. Trust me, no one has been more surprised than I was. But from experience, I know that when things fall into your lap like this, you need to say yes to all those opportunities... and keep saying yes as long as it aligns with your goals and values. You'll be amazed where you might end up.
The best part is, all the skills I have accumulated over the past few years—all those skills I didn't know what they'd be good for—are coming in handy now. It couldn't have worked out more perfectly, and I'm extremely thrilled with this new challenge.
So if things aren't 100% clear this very minute, don't worry too much. You don't have to know today where destiny's winding paths will take you... nor can you actually know it. Embrace life as a great adventure, prepare for greatness, develop as many different skills as possible... and then go with the flow.