One of the most common questions people ask themselves at one point or another is “what should I do?” I know that sounds like a general question but it can be applied everywhere. For the purposes of this article, what I’m referring to is the following: People question what kind of business they should start. People wonder what their “purpose” in life is and what they should do to fulfill that purpose. People grapple with trying to know what their “passion” is. What people are really asking themselves is “how should I spend my time?”
It’s something I ask myself nearly every single day of my life. Seriously. And it’s probably a question I will never, ever stop asking. On the one hand I think that’s a good thing because it means how I spend my time is important to me. On the other hand it can be a tumultuous drain trying to figure out what I like, dislike, etc etc. If you put too much pressure on yourself to be doing the “perfect” thing at all times of the day you’ll likely find yourself not doing enough and searching way too much. That’s a big no no.
If any of you out there are having a hard time figuring out what you should be doing with yourselves, here’s something you might not have tried. Pay attention to some of the things you always seem to come back to. Often times the things we should be doing more of are right in front of our faces. We just don’t realize we should be doing more of said thing. Notice I’m not saying we need to be doing 100 things at once or at all. Sometimes it’s just a few things that we hold dear that will keep us stimulated.
I always come back to the piano
If you’ll notice the above picture you’ll see that I chose a piano to include in this article. The reason is because if there’s one thing in my life I find myself going back to time and time again, it’s playing the piano. I began playing piano at around the age of five. And until around the age of 12 I had what I considered to be one of the best teachers a student could have. Unfortunately my teacher moved to Florida and it crushed me way more than I realized. I had an extremely hard time with her absence and just couldn’t find a replacement teacher that matched up to her.
The biggest mistake was letting go of the piano. I literally stopped playing for years. It wasn’t until around the age of 16 that I started hitting the keys again. I started playing my own music and found myself truly enjoying the piano again. Granted my skills had diminished but that didn’t matter. Piano had found me again. And what happened after that?
I stopped playing yet again. College happened. The real world happened. Family happened. I just wasn’t playing nearly as much as I should have been. But you know something? A pattern emerged. I always came back to it. No matter how much time elapsed in my life I found myself hitting those keys at some point in my journey.
I even took lessons again years later at the age of 40. If it wasn’t for COVID I’d likely still be taking lessons today. The point of all this is simple. The fact that I keep coming back to piano, almost involuntarily, tells me something simple: I should probably be doing it more.
It doesn’t mean I need to cut an album anytime soon. It doesn’t mean I should be playing 8 hours a day. But it does mean I should likely have a bit more consistency with it.
What do you come back to again and again?
Piano is just one example of something in my life I’ve always returned to. Another one is reading. Any time I go a long period without reading a book and then I find myself in the middle of a great book I always ask myself “why the hell did I stop reading?” In fact I wrote an entire article on the subject. The point is that we need to listen to ourselves more when it comes to the things we have interests in.
What in your life do you find yourself coming back to repeatedly? What have you done about it?
Perhaps it’s time to think about it.