About the Wiser Next Week Series: These entries will involve posting my book, Wiser Next Week, chapter by chapter, freely available to the public. Additionally, I’ll be recounting a story about something I’ve learned based on the chapter’s topic since the months that have past when the book was published in December 2018.
Back during last December, I talked about how I felt stonewalled. At that point, I was in Thailand and had a couple more months as an English Teacher and I knew I wanted to spend several months as a WWOOF volunteer farmer, but I knew that wasn’t a long term plan.
I was grinding on this issue for the longest time. I wasn’t able to find a solution for what I wanted to do next.
Ask and You Shall Receive
I’ve never been much of a party goer, but I didn’t want to leave any stones unturned so after exploring Bangkok’s red light district a little bit, I was on the metro heading back to my apartment when a thought popped into my head:
Go to Africa
I talked about this back in January, but a few key things to note are that:
- Africa has the world’s fastest growing population
- Africa is the richest continent on earth in terms of mineral resources
- Most countries in Africa are still considered developing nations, so just as in 19th century America there was a saying, ‘Go West Young Man, Go West And Grow Up With The Country.’ Same could be said about many parts of the African continent.
And I kept on grinding on the issue to see which business opportunity to pursue. I recognized that much of the population is under 25 so there would be a large demand for education. Me with a limited background as an educator that is still in regular contact with some of my university professors, the tentative plan is to start a branch university of an American college.
I’ve never heard of anyone attempting this so it will be interesting to see what will happen. Of course execution is key and none of these words mean anything (yet).
To Get A Good Answer, Start By Asking the Right Questions
- What’s great about this problem?
- (i.e. What are some potential opportunities involved in solving this problem?) (I still have a few months in Thailand plus several as a farmer in Latin America to figure out the next step. Better information will come along as I keep looking for it and it’s great that I’m capable of thinking medium term.)
- What’s not perfect yet? (I still lack the skills, experience and economic worth that society values. That’s why I need to keep working to get to where I want to be.)
- What am I willing/unwilling to do? (Well I’m willing to do just about anything short of things that’ll cause long term injury, whatever it takes to get to where I want to go.)
- How can I enjoy the process? (There are plenty of interesting people I’ll meet along the way, and the experiences I take away during this journey will be priceless)
- What am I happy, grateful, and excited for in my life? (I’m still blessed with youth and still have years ahead of me before I have any real responsibilities. And I plan to milk this privilege as much as I can given the knowledge I have available now)
When I was riding the metro home on a Sunday night. I was spacing out with my headphones plugged in when the “Africa as the next opportunity” thought popped into my head. I spent so much time thinking about my next step after Thailand and after Latin America that the thought became ingrained into my subconscious and manifested itself out of nowhere.
Here is the “On Finding Solutions” chapter of Wiser Next Week. Take it and implement it into your own life.