What to Do Next

I’m above average at a lot of things, and truly great at zero.

For instance(s): I’ve been published, and won contests for my writing. I’ve been a paid programmer for years and years now. I’ve written and performed songs – albeit comedic songs – for audiences. I’ve done more than 1000 shows of sketch and improv comedy.

I’ve made dumb little games in Flash. I’ve made a hojillion little websites. I made five figures on the sale of my first business, though I’m yet to repeat that feat. I’m not an artist, per se, but I think I draw very well for a non-artist.

I’m 38, and I honestly have no idea what to do with my life.

I think what I want to do is write. I think. But then I don’t spend my free time writing.

This last month I’ve gotten back into playing pointless video games, of all things. That’s definitely not what I want to do with my life, but there I go, whittling away the hours on pointless crap.

The thought I had yesterday was this: nothing – even the tasks you love – will bring much fulfillment if they’re not accomplishing something meaningful. In my case, I love to make people laugh – it’s the highlight of my day – but I don’t want to be a comedian. I don’t believe I would find satisfaction in it. It’s nice when you can bring a smile to others\’ faces, but I want to do more than that.

I think what every individual would find satisfying is to look at the problems in the world, decide which one bothers them the most, and work to fix it.

I like that. Find the problem that bothers you the most, and work to fix it. That seems like the surest road to satisfaction. Even when you fail, you’ll be failing at something meaningful. It may cut deeper, but when you succeed, it will fill you more than anything lesser pleasure could.

The real trick is believing you can make a difference. Like, I want to fight world hunger. I want to fight political polarity. I want to fight slavery, and child abuse, and addiction, and crime.

Thazza lotta fighting. Especially for someone who hates conflict as much as I do.

I just like making people laugh.

But that’s not going to fill me.