Easy. You get up and you do stuff, preferably stuff you can do.
Early on in life, I was primarily motivated to live outside of my parents' house. As my savings and my ability to earn grew, my motivations changed because I was able to do more things with it.
At one point, I had saved up a month's worth of living expenses. So I took a month off of work and built an iOS app that propelled me into my software career. That app still makes passive income for me.
Once I was able to leverage that success into something more lucrative, I started investing in nicer computers and gear (for a little while). As soon as I exhausted my spending power on tools that might make me more productive, I started putting all of that extra money into investments.
Now I'm in this weird spot between having "FU money" and what you might call financial independence. I have enough to walk away from a bad situation but not quite enough to fully pursue only the things I want to, all of the time.
This is okay. This is normal. I should be so lucky to have this as my sole problem.
You often see people doing the opposite, or following their passion before putting themselves in a position of power. That's almost never a good thing. Nothing makes you more burned out than failing to earn a decent living or feeling like your life isn't going somewhere. Passions can quickly turn dark.
So whenever I have to make a decision, I always ask myself if it will make me more powerful. By that I mean, will it increase my net worth or will it decrease it? Will it cost me, or will it pay me in dividends? Will I have more control over my life or less?
You can't achieve anything until you have enough control over your life to achieve it. Nobody was inventing computers when our primary concern was avoiding mountain lions and trying to feed ourselves. Only now are we so lucky that we can work a job for ten years and save enough to never have to work again.
Depending on where you start, the path to getting where you want might involve all kinds of things that seem tangential to the goal. I'm talking about weird things like washing zip lock baggies so you don't have to spend stupid amounts of money buying them over and over again. Decisions that make you more powerful are often right under your nose.
I didn't really intend to become an iOS developer. I saw an opportunity and went for it (but only after being financially stable enough to do so). The experience I gained propelled me toward that, I specialized, and then got so good people started paying me ludicrous sums of money to do it from home.
Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy it and sometimes find it pretty satisfying too. I also find it frustrating, but that's fine too. Nothing in life is perfect like that.
I would say do what pays well in the moment, and study for the next thing in your free time.
I'm doing that right now. I work during the week and I make game prototypes on the weekends because that's what I'm into. The games might or might not do anything for me, but at least I'm building them from a position of strength. Eventually, I'll have enough saved to do that full-time, whether it makes money for me or not.
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