Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Laozi, Chinese Philosopher

Taking the First Step

Although you may think you are ready to jump straight into your new job or career, the truth is that a little time spent soul searching is never a bad thing. The concept of the gap year might be strange to some, but the very idea of giving yourself a year to explore the world and free your mind is exactly what you need.

For many, this is the year taken off between high school and college; for you, it can be the time when you not only ask yourself what you want to do, but why you want to do it. A little introspection never hurt the creative- and independent-minded individual. It helps to understand your goal as best you can before you take the journey and making it a reality.

Explore Your Goals

Whether you know exactly what you want to do or you’ve just got an idea, explore these concepts fully. If you want to create something useful for the world, go out and make an attempt to learn about exactly what the world needs. Don’t just say that you want to do something meaningful; go out and do the research necessary in order to make that dream a reality.

A gap year is the perfect time to let the cosmos show you the way. For example, if your goal is to start your own business, taking a gap year can give an entrepreneur the perfect opportunity to start thinking about developing a business plan. However, the idea of taking a gap year is not necessarily to start a business immediately. Rather, this time should be used to encourage free thinking, as well as to help a person find his/her feet.

Become Truly Independent

Many people considering a gap year are focused on becoming a self-sufficient individual. Because of this, there will be times when it seems like you are the only one who truly believes in your journey, so it is important to become comfortable with who you are and what you stand for.

Taking advantage of this gap year will give you the opportunity to be self-reliant and craft your own future. While high school graduates may use this time off as a chance to earn some income and pay their own way, you can use this time to build up confidence within and prepare yourself to achieve your goals.

Use This Time Wisely

Don’t just assume that a gap year is a chance to take a break. This could be the most important time in your life, but it’s up to you to make it meaningful. In so doing, you will also discover one of the most valuable of life’s lessons: Only you can give your life purpose. Don’t look for others to make your life great, as you are an independent soul who is destined to craft your own destiny. Make the journey of life both enriching and fulfilling through your own efforts. You are your own person, and you shouldn’t have it any other way.

A version of this article, written by Megan Ritter, originally appeared in WeWork Magazine.

Image via Leon Bliss, Creative Commons.

WeWork Magazine is the publication of WeWork, the community for creators. WeWork transforms buildings into beautiful, collaborative workspaces and provide infrastructure, services, events and technology for entrepreneurs, startups, and freelancers, so they can focus on doing what they love.

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