Focus on Your Future: Forming the Trajectory of your Life

For many students, exam season is taking over your everyday thoughts, it’s easy to forget; what’s next?  What is it all for? Throughout school, there’s always been a clear trajectory in your life with goals, expectations and the next steps all laid out. Monday to Tuesday, go to school, say you will remember everything and not write notes, do your best at an exam or coursework, go home, rinse and repeat. But soon enough, school ends.   

Suddenly, your life’s trajectory is entirely up to you, and that’s scary! What’s next? What do you want to do? How will you make it happen? In many cases, for better or worse, we can’t predict where life will lead us. It can wobble up and down, turn around, do a loop, send you back or go beyond where you ever expected. The only thing you can control is to get off to a good flying start with a clear idea of what you want. 

The Destination

The destination can be anything, it’s yours to choose but it needs to be a realistic destination. For readers in the UK, you may struggle to be the next US President, though it would make for an interesting trajectory! If you find a career or place in life you want to be in, a job as a doctor or living in a city for example, you can start researching how to get there.  

School is the starting point, where you are now is the launch pad, what would it take? Your first point of information will likely be the Internet, which will give you all the information you need. But for a more personal approach, speak to your teacher or parents/guardians. Say what you want to do or be and discuss how you can do that together. Even contact outside of school, like further education or businesses in the field you are interested in. They can offer more information, even in-person events and meet-ups.  

The Journey

Every journey is unique and can take days or years depending on the destination you have decided. It’s important to remember at this stage, despite working towards said destination, it’s not a final decision for the rest of your life. You could be 50 years old and suddenly think, “I’m going to do something else!” You can change your mind at any point or allow it to develop into something you did not expect. But that’s the journey! It can be a smooth trajectory or a skipping stone of multiple destinations.  

So, what do we do first? Break it down. If you wanted to be a doctor, it would require a medical licence, which requires applying for further education, which would require certain grades to enter. Despite all these steps, the only part you currently need to focus on is the grades. Which ones are a priority? What overall score do you need and how can you get there with the subjects you are good at? Many places require good grades in English and Maths, so break those down to reasonable bite-size study sessions and aim for a realistic grade that you feel confident about.   

Stay Positive

Looking at the peak of a mountain from the bottom can be daunting, even when the path ahead is crystal clear. It can be easy to not even try, or worse, compromise and settle for a smaller hill you don’t even like. Be realistic but don’t be dissuaded to be a little ambitious! Maybe the first astronaut on the Sun is a bit unlikely but a career in physics, astronomy, or even in space on a satellite? Is that something you could do? There’s only one way to find out!  

At some stages in your journey, you may experience setbacks that may or may not be in your control. But as we said earlier, the trajectory of your life is rarely ever a straight line. There will be wobbles, turns, and pauses. Stay resilient and keep a positive mindset! At the end of the day if it does not work out, or you don’t have the same love and passion for your destination, change it up. There’s no harm in having a backup plan!  

Are You Ready to Take the Next Step?

Forming the beginnings of your life trajectory can be a challenge, with many tasks and obstacles ahead. If you require some guidance through the messy journey we call life, check out our book Don’t Get Your Neck Tattooed! Listing the Z to A of life skills that will help you from exams to beyond. Figuring out how to get to that destination, despite any wobbles along the way. 

Listen to our podcast!

Z to A of Life Skills Podcast with Mark and Jules Kennedy.

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