Updated: June 4, 2022
Last week, I was invited to give a talk about money management to College of Arts and Letters students in UP Diliman.
My initial plan was to speak about financial strategies for teenagers, but later on decided to instead, share stories from my life.
I told them that I was a licensed civil engineer, who later on shifted to freelance software development. Then, I narrated how being self-employed helped me discover entrepreneurship, which eventually turned me into an investor, years after.
I shared stories about my travels, my unique hobbies, my advocacies, and despite the many years that have passed, why I still consider myself an engineer. That I may not be an engineer by profession anymore, but I am still an engineer of my own life design.
The talk was meant to inspire them and at the same time, make them realize the important role that financial education plays in helping them achieve their goals.
Afterward, I opened myself for questions. And among those which were asked, one question stood out for me.
A sophomore raised his hand and bravely inquired, “Did you know back in college that you’ll be where you are now? Was it planned? If not, then how do you find what you’re meant to do in life?”
Below is the answer I gave.
Try as many things as you can
Back in college, I did not know that I’ll be where I am today. All I knew back then was that I wanted to be an engineer, and that’s what I planned for.
However, when I felt that it’s not really working out for me anymore, I began to try new things. I did not let my college education limit my choices and dabbled into whatever I can get my hands on.
It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do in life. No one is really ever sure of their life’s purpose until they experience it.
And thus, the first step to finding out what you’re meant to do in life is to try as many things as you can. Do not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.
When you discover a passion, pursue it
Truth be told, I never really expected that I’ll be an entrepreneur.
My first business was only born out of necessity because I needed a more constant source of income than my freelance job. But the experience fanned a flame that I never knew existed within me.
As you try new things, you’ll fail in some and you’ll do good in others. Sometimes, you’ll feel out of place, but there will be those that’ll genuinely excite you.
When you discover something that makes you feel alive, give it a chance and commit to pursuing it further. It is the next step to finding out what you’re meant to do in life.
Learn to be great at what you do
When you’re doing something that you love, it’s easy to be good at it. But it will require extra effort, sometimes to the point of giving up, to be great at it.
In his book, Malcolm Gladwell wrote that it takes 10,000 hours to achieve greatness. So, if you spend 4 hours every day practicing a skill, then mastery will come in around seven years.
It will require enormous discipline and dedication. But if you’re pursuing something that you’re meant to do, then it won’t feel that long. And it will always be worth it, in the end.
Don’t stop at being above average and continuously learn how to become better at whatever you’ve chosen to do.
Serve others through your skills
I discovered my passion for writing during high school. And I did my best to improve this skill over the years, which has served me well personally, and professionally.
I fell in love with telling stories, and I knew it was one of the things that I’m meant to do in life.
That’s why after many years, when most of my blogger friends have moved on to other things, I’m still here writing my stories in this blog.
The world is full of problems, pick one and provide a solution. Learn to serve others because there are only a few things in life as satisfying as helping other people through your skills.
Manage the income that will surely flow
You’ve discovered what you’re meant to do in life, you’ve worked hard to be good at it, and when you’ve learned how to use it to serve others, money will surely come.
Because value begets value. And when you offer something of great value that solves a problem, people will pay for it.
However, remember that it’s not really how much you make, but how much you save and invest that makes the difference in the long-term.
You are not meant to work for money all your life. So learn to manage your wealth properly as it comes.
Repeat as many times as you want
I am a writer and a book author. I am a financial literacy advocate and a Registered Financial Planner. I’m a small business owner and a tech startup cofounder. I’m all these and many others because I chose to be all of them.
There’s a dreadful myth that most people believe about their life. And it’s thinking that you’re only meant to do one thing throughout your lifetime.
It only takes 7 years to master a skill, which means if you start at age 14, you have 8 opportunities to be great at something before you reach 70.
So don’t worry if you really don’t know what you want to do in life, and just do what’s within your reach for now. But don’t waste your life doing only one thing.
Be a great writer, a great cook, a great painter, a great teacher, a great singer, and a great whatever-your-heart-desires.
Choose to make the most out of your time on Earth because the truth is – that’s really what you’re meant to do in life.
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Photo credits: zabara_tango, simonarcherhurlstone and fortunelivemedia
Thank you Sir Fitz for sharing this. =)
Great post Fitz :). Truly inspiring. I hope it reached more hearts than ears of those whom you have spoken these words :).
This is inspiring Fitz 🙂
Thank you sir it’s really inpiring. Thankz for sharing the idea to others like me.. 🙂
It keeps bothering me about this for quite sometime now, whenever i see this in face book i startled and puzzled. Is networking business really gives you the idea that someday you’ll become rich for a lifetime? Some friends are inviting me to join them? but i doubted. Just wondering how they receive big sum of money in checks for a week? If this business offers this kind of compensation for each of us who works 8 hrs a day then a lot of people will no longer look for a job to earn.
Wow! awesome words of wisdom…appreciate much..
There are a lot of articles like this but when the author is a Filipino, I’m somehow biased and don’t mind reading it all. My inspirations are Jim Rohn and Tony Robbins. However, I absolutely liked this article. I’m an Accountant by profession and currently working as a Consultant for an I.T. company. I also started my own website and trying out so many things because I want to know what I am meant to do. Can I expound this topic and post the link of your article to my website? Can I also get tips from you, if you allow? Thanks.
Your story is truly inspiring! I may not be so vocal about my discoveries but your blog is one of my treasured discoveries. Can’t help but to send your link to my friends and relatives so they too may learn more wisdom and understanding through it, just like me. I just wish my time will come that I may be able to inspire others too the way you do. I always look forward to the realization of my dream. Keep inspiring more Sir Fritz…..you’re doing a great job!
Thanks everyone for the encouraging comments.
Of course! Go ahead!
Thank you Fitz. Yesterday a friend told me to choose one thing I want to do with my life (career, job) and focus on it. To be honest, I have some weird hobbies, I am also into photography, once in a while I sing in a bar and I am fascinated with the Japanese language. I also dream of becoming a chef and an ESL Teacher. I always believe that time is not wasted when you spent it with a smile on your face.
Thank you so much sir fitz, very timely & moving post. Really need this words of wisdom 🙂
kaya fan mo ako sir fitz e
I also considered myself lucky to discover your R2BR website. I really learned a lot from it and was able to convince some of my friends too to subscribe and they are now enjoying the benefit of having the same kind of knowledge i had. We slowly take most of your advises and it really works..thank you so much 🙂
Wow! Thank you sir fitz for helping me discover what I really meant to do. Few years back I am a reader and a avid fan of your site which I am still to this day. Your teachings inspire me a lot…to do the things I love doing which is writing, I may not be so good at it but I continue to learn.
Hi Sir Fitz,
First let me thank u for the post. I found it exactly just when I needed it.
Sir, I opened up to someone just few days ago about being confused of what I’m supposed to do with my life. Sinabi ko sa kanya na hindi ko alam bakit di ko makita kung ano ba ung purpose ng mga ginagawa ko. Then I asked him, if he already found what he was supposed to do in his life. I was expecting an encouraging answer from him pero di po ung an nangyari. I was instead accused by him of ‘becoming insane’. I asked myself ‘how could i be insane just by wanting to know what I’m supposed to do with my life?’.
Nadisappoint lang po ako dahil isa ko syang tinuring na mentor haha, considering na dahil sa nasa maganda na syang corporate position sa isang bank sa SG.
Anyway, nagising po ako sa advice na ‘try as many things as you can’. No one ever told me that. Kung may nabasa man po ako, I would always see ‘Find your passion and pursue’ and iikot na lang dun sa passion ung advice. Di ko na nun mbabasa pa kung pano mahanap un passion na un. Kumbaga, you gave me an idea on how I should start. Direct to the point po ung mga payo niyo, wala ng palabok. And above all, madali pong unawain. As a novice po, aminado naman po ako na hindi lahat ng mababasa kong business and career articles ay nagsisink in kagad lalo na po kung sobrang madaming metaphors. Kaya natuwa po ako na nakahanap dn ako ng reliable at detailed and direct to the point na mga payo nio.
And what I liked the most about ur posts, personally-touched po sila, nakakarelate po ako unlike dun sa mga ‘too good to be true’ stories ng ibang mga article at blog writers.
Again thank you Sir, I bookmarked this post since ito na po ung gagawin kong method to discover what I want to do with my life. At least I discovered my first step in your post.
One more thing po I needed coaxing too since I guess I have put too much pressure already on myself to find what I should do with my life.Only to find your words ‘So don’t worry if you really don’t know what you want to do in life, and just do what’s within your reach for now. But don’t waste your life doing only one thing’. Words of wisdom ko po maituturing ung mga payo nio.
Kaya thank u po ulit and keep inspiring and sorry sa napakahaba pong comment. Haha.
have a good day Sir.
I always look forward to read your article Sir!!!
I admire your spirit and drive. The situations you’ve been are somehow where I am today. Like you I am a licensed Engineer but I have this constant longing for a craft or a sense of purpose I could say; something that will showcase my truth and my passion. What you’ve given us, your readers, is a spark of inspiration that will fuel us in our search. Accept my warmest “Thank you” and God bless you more. Keep inspiring people. 🙂
very inspiring sir. I found a mentor thru your blog..
[…] What to read next: How To Find What You’re Meant To Do in Life […]
Absolutely WONDERFUL post Fitz. I think the COVID-19 virus has had an effect on my beautiful bride during the long 2020 lock-down period. Just this morning she was updating me on her progress on launching a fourth business. Believe it or not, it goes all the way back to a feasibility study she wrote in college 20 years ago that became a model paper for the way her school wanted these types of things to be accomplished. Here we are twenty years later and all of her dreams and desires are coming to fruition! Thank you Fitz for a nice dose of inspiration.
I will do it again, update on my post of one year ago. A fourth business launched. Beautiful Bride saw a need for on-line tutorial services with so many children at home around the world. Not only homebound but kids in need of supplemental materials to help them grasp important concepts in their day to day school life.
Slowly, at first, sales of the educational kits and tutoring videos trickled in. A few suppliers and friends that were gifted kits, posted a pic of the product and their reactions on various social media. 3,2,1, IGNITION, the business has been steadily growing ever since. In fact, several schools have contacted my wife about wholesale size orders for their classroom use. One school in Australia inquired about her custom manufacturing their in-house developed teaching aids on a yearly basis.
The COVID-19 struck again, equipment sources and materials have dried up and Beautiful Bride is on the hunt for new sources and larger supplies of the materials she needs to produce her products. I am overjoyed to watch & assist as so many new projects and ideas come to fruition. I must believe that all issues sourcing equipment and materials for the tutorial service and educational kits will soon be solved. Maybe in one more year I can report back how this one worked out and the problems (including COVID related delays) of a growing business were solved?
[…] And the good news is that sometimes, that one thing can become your life’s purpose. […]