Am I Wasting Time Studying What I Don’t Like?

Usually that question comes from university students.

At this point of your life, you should be able to make your own decisions and try things you are interested in. You should be given some room to move on your own, especially in this stage of your life.

Perhaps in this stage you don’t know what you like, you don’t know what you passion is, and you don’t know what to do with your life. That is okay. I can even say that it is normal. You are in a stage of your life where discovery and exploration are the norm.

You should not rush the process. Besides, life is not a race. Take a time out, sit down with your thoughts, and slowly figure out what would you like to do. You can even start with a guess. When you start your pursuit, things will become clearer and you will modify your goal to something more meaningful to you personally.

You can start with a few basic questions:

  • What are some of your interests?
  • What are the things that you want to learn?
  • What makes you feel excited to wake up in the morning?

Set a goal that you want to achieve (even if it’s a badly crafted one) and start moving towards it. See where the journey leads you. If it goes somewhere, Alhamdullillah. If it goes nowhere, also Alhamdulillah. Because now you can cross off one thing off your list.

That is not a waste of time. That is a part of the journey that leads you to learning more about yourself. Not only should you learn about your capabilities, but you should also learn about your incapabilities. You are a human being after all, so both are part of the package.

You are in the process of searching for an answer to the question: “What do you I want to do with my life?” When you found out something doesn’t work out for you, then that is an answer to the question. The answer is, “Maybe not that. Try something else.”

This idea of wasting time is only there because you think of your life as a straight road where there’s no left or right turn, and there’s no going back. Also, you think that life is a race and you need to have everything figured out by a certain time. Otherwise, you will be left out.

There’s truth to that statement, of course. But it is not to say that you should be like everyone else. You have your own journey to take, they have theirs. Let them focus on their journey, while you focus on your own. As long as you keep on searching, you are not wasting time because there’s much to learn in the process.

So really enjoy this process of seeking and trying to figure out what you want to do with your life because it is also a way for you to find out who you are and where your place is in this vast world we are living in.

Your process may take longer than your friends but it is okay. Don’t compare your journey to their journey. If one thing doesn’t work for you, then you have discovered one pathway that is not for you.

There is a famous story about Thomas Edison when he tried to figure out how to build a working lightbulb. He failed like a thousands of times in the process of creating one working lightbulb. Somebody asked him, “How is it to fail one thousand times?”

To that, he replied “I did not fail one thousand times. I just found one thousand ways how not to make a lightbulb”

In short, he didn’t take his experience as a waste of time. He took it as a journey full of learning opportunities. In your case, maybe you have found many ways not to build your lightbulb.

That’s okay.

Keep on trying until you find a way to make your bulb lights up.


AIMAN AZLAN, #YouthMentor
Need a one-to-one session with me? Click the link below:
www.aimanazlan.com/mentorship