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How do I focus on a fixed goal when i'm interested in too many things ?

I can't focus and work on a single goal since I have too many interests, my mind keeps getting distracted and i'm unable to work on any of them.
The problem is I want to do too many things, I want to be a journalist in BBC or NHK, get a degree in law, become a dermatologist and on stage musican.
Whenever I find something new, it catches my interest and I start digging around it.
Ultimately, I want to travel the world, explore cultures and have a lot of fun.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Abby’s Answer

Hello Krishank, I empathize with your challenge of having lots of interests! To help you navigate this, here are some suggestions:

Firstly, for every interest you have, try to pinpoint exactly what fascinates you about that particular field or job. For instance, if you're interested in journalism, ask yourself: Is it the research, writing, engaging with diverse individuals, working under tight deadlines, travel opportunities, or something else that draws you in? By doing this for all your areas of interest, you might begin to notice recurring themes.

Secondly, gathering real-world insights can be extremely beneficial. Try to establish connections with professionals in the fields you're interested in, such as journalists, lawyers, dermatologists, or musicians, to gain a deeper understanding of what their jobs entail. This may require some effort and introductions from others, but most people are usually more than willing to discuss their professions!

Here are some questions you could ask them:
1. What motivated you to choose this career path?
2. What aspects of your job do you find most rewarding and what are the biggest challenges?
3. How has a mix of formal education/training and on-the-job learning contributed to your success?
4. In retrospect, is there anything you wish you had known or done differently in your career?
5. What advice would you give to someone keen on learning more about this field?

The answers to these questions will provide you with valuable insights to help clarify potential career paths and how well they might align with your interests.

Lastly, don't let the multitude of interests overwhelm you. It's completely okay to pursue the path that seems most appealing and stimulating at the moment, and remember, you always have the freedom to make different professional decisions in the future.
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Chris’s Answer

There's already some fantastic guidance in this thread about using your passions and abilities to help refine your options.

I'd suggest adding another perspective to your considerations, which is the real-world consequences of various career paths, weighed against your unique circumstances and requirements.
- Certain careers necessitate specific education and experience, including commitments and investments spanning several years (like tuition fees). Are you prepared and equipped to undertake these commitments? Are there any limitations that might (at least temporarily) steer you away from these options and towards others?
- Careers offer different short-term and long-term financial growth opportunities and accommodate different ways of life. Do you have particular responsibilities (such as looking after others, settling some bills) or goals (like being debt-free, owning a house, or supporting a family)? If so, which careers would or wouldn't pave the way for these?

There's an abundance of information available about what different jobs involve, including salary scales (many US states now require employers to include salary ranges in job advertisements, and there are also broader salary surveys that give a general idea... some college job centers gather and share this information too). I'd advise exploring this as well as speaking to people in various fields you're interested in to understand the reality of their daily lives.
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Monique’s Answer

Hi Krishank,
You are off to a great start with so many career interests! Career planning is the process of making decisions about what you want to do with your life and how you will accomplish it. This is an ongoing process that you revisit. For example, I started my career in legal and now work in Human Resources.
Here are a few ideas:
1. Consider your interests -interests you are passionate about. Do you notice a theme?
2. Evaluate your skills – skills what you excel at.
3. Understand your values – ways in which you want to make a difference. For example, get a degree in law. Do you want to be a prosecutor, general counsel or you want to specialize in international law?
4. Determine your preferences – Imagine your dream day at work. Do you want to travel for work or earn enough money to be able to travel the world?
Wish you the best of luck!
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Hailey’s Answer

Hi Krishank! Wow, can I relate to you! There has been a lot of great advice posted so I am going to take a bit of a different perspective- I am also someone who has many interests and I am still in the bubble of trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I think that this is a pretty common theme among all generations, especially as more people starting spending more time on hobbies and passions. Starting out with education, if you are considering college, focus on your general education classes because there are many different topics covered and it can help you explore deeper into some subjects. Having a college degree can open a lot of opportunities, but it's also okay to take your time and figure out what the best plan is.

Don't get too caught up in one thing, times are changing, you don't have to be just one thing your whole life if you don't want to be. Rather than trying to figure out first what you want to do for work, figure out what brings you joy and go from there. You have said you want to travel and explore different cultures, maybe look into being a flight attendant or a travel agent. Regarding your journaling passions, you could travel to other parts of the world and start a blog about things you've learned. Another option is looking into news media and being a traveling journalist for a media outlet. Being a musician could be an awesome freelance opportunity too if you didn't want to make a whole career out of it. Remember that not everything you love needs to be a job, it can sometimes just be a fun passion and hobby as well!
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Amalya’s Answer

Hello Krishank,

It's interesting that you have so many passions!
I would like to mention a few key points. Firstly, it's impossible and most importantly, not necessary to get busy with all the things you've mentioned. But even if it was possible, let's imagine a situation. When someone asks you about your occupation, you have to answer: "My occupation is working with everything."
It would be a good idea to become a journalist for famous companies and magazines, travel the world, and discover new things. Think about your talents and skills: Are you better at writing or music? So make a decision based on your strengths. Also, imagine yourself in a very distant place, without any equipments. Would you prefer to write, to play on a musical instrument, or do something else?
Reconsider your options and enjoy the freedom to choose a great career!
Wish you all the best and good luck in your future achievements.
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Laura’s Answer

Hi Krishank. It's great to hear that you have so many interests and are passionate and curious about a variety of topics and professions! A few things you could consider are:
Which field is likely to hold your interest for the long run? Becoming a journalist, a lawyer, a doctor, or a stage musician all require many years of education/practice before you even begin your career.
If your ultimate goal is to travel and explore cultures, consider how you can incorporate travel into your career. For example, if you decide to pursue a law degree, investigate at the outset the type of lawyer who is more likely to travel and less likely to practice within a specific region.
Use your connections on LinkedIn and other platforms and reach out to people in these professions and ask them about their careers, how they like the work, and what it took for them to succeed.
Good luck to you!
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Jonathan’s Answer

It's hard to say this particularly being on a site like CareerVillage where the questions are always about what is next/right path forward but it sounds like you are right where you need to be?

Being able to call out such different interests professionally and also passions for travel/people that could apply professionally and personally is a great starting place.

What happens next is really going to be about learning what resonates within you as you try out new avenues (your own values), who in work/extracurricular/life settings you resonate with (your group/people who think and view like you), what priority you put on professional vs personal passions and success, and what necessities/realities might constrain you (temporary job/earnings towards longer term goal).

I would say get curious about yourself and your interests - an easy step consider doing the variety of personality tests or strengths finders to see what themes come up that (self-report informing outside perspective) OR even asking family, friends, or teachers who know you well what they see of you and your strengths (outside perspective).
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Ellie’s Answer

Hi Krishank,

I love your question. I had a tough time figuring out what to do and how to nail it down for the same reasons: it was all interesting.

Ultimately, I picked one path and did what I could to push myself towards it, that wound up being law school. So, I majored in political science in college which is a really traditional pre-law major in the U.S., and I tried to take non-prelaw classes I was curious about, outside the major.

I'd say, as you're moving towards a goal you pick, be really mindful about how it feels, how much you enjoy the day to day of it. I didn’t like poli sci that much relative to my other classes which I did better in more easily. I should have allowed that to tell me something but didn't. Very egoic. You may be more in tune with yourself than I was, listen to yourself. If you love what you choose, that's great. If you don't, that's great too. The awareness will help you refine your path.

Also, just generally, be conscious of the financial burden you take on so that if you find you don't like where you are, it will be less of a challenge to pivot away from it. Then if you need to, pivot! For example, are public schools available rather than private, will they cost less? Can you get a tuition scholarship by working for the school while you're a student there? Can you work to avoid using any loans while you're in school?

Here’s how my brother handled the same sort of question: in college he studied what interested him (great at physics, studied philosophy and religion), and after that he wanted to go to Japan so he worked in a restaurant kitchen to save up money to move to Japan while studying the language on his own; pretty sure he did not take Japanese in college; he moved to Japan after a summer and stayed for three years. I think that was really a good way to launch himself towards what he wanted. It has led him to different jobs, great community, and lots of travel.

Also, I’ve found that meditation and practicing affirmations helped me focus a lot. So, I totally recommend that.

Thanks for your question, it was cool to think about. Good luck!
Ellie
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hey there, Krishank!

Juggling a multitude of interests can make zeroing in on a single goal seem like a daunting task. But remember, it's perfectly okay to have a variety of passions. The key is to learn how to prioritize and direct your energy towards achieving a few goals at a time. Let's dive into some strategies that can help you stay focused on your goals while still enjoying your many interests:

1. Reflect and Set Goals: Start by taking a moment to think about what truly fires you up. What are you most passionate about? What has the potential to make a lasting impact? Once you've identified your top interests, set clear, achievable goals related to them.

2. Prioritize and Manage Your Time: It's important to rank your interests based on their significance and feasibility. Find the goals that match your values, skills, and long-term dreams. Break these goals down into bite-sized tasks and set aside specific time slots for each activity. Using tools like to-do lists or productivity apps can help you stay on top of things.

3. Explore and Experiment: Focusing on a single goal doesn't mean you have to give up your other interests. Give yourself permission to explore and experiment within reasonable boundaries. Designate certain times or days for discovering new topics or hobbies, but always keep your main goal in sight.

4. Stay Committed and Disciplined: Once you've pinpointed your main goal, dive in headfirst. Cultivate discipline by setting deadlines, forming routines, and holding yourself accountable. Keep reminding yourself why it's crucial to stay on track.

5. Seek Guidance and Support: Surround yourself with people who share similar goals or have found success in their own fields. Look for mentors or experts in the areas you're passionate about. Their advice and experiences can provide invaluable guidance and help you stay focused.

6. Be Adaptable: As you work towards your goal, you might stumble upon new interests or opportunities that complement your main goal. Welcome these changes and consider how they might enhance your current pursuits. Just be careful not to let these new interests distract you from your main goal.

Remember, focusing on a goal while balancing multiple interests is a journey that requires patience, determination, and self-discipline. By prioritizing, managing your time, experimenting within boundaries, staying committed, seeking support, and staying adaptable, you can successfully juggle your interests while making steady progress towards your main goal.

Top 3 Authoritative Reference Publications or Domain Names Used:

1. Harvard Business Review - www.hbr.org
2. Psychology Today - www.psychologytoday.com
3. Forbes - www.forbes.com
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