Sheryl Sandberg at the Fortune Global Forum in San Francisco on Nov. 3, 2015.
Kimberly White—Getty Images for Fortune
By Quora
Updated: December 16, 2015 8:24 PM ET | Originally published: December 15, 2015

Answer by Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook and founder of LeanIn.org, on Quora.

Find work you love. When you believe in what you are doing, you can combine passion with contribution – and that is a true gift. Keep trying and you will find what you love to do… and once you do, you will crush it.

Believe you can do anything. This is important for everyone and especially for women. Don’t let anyone tell you can’t have both a meaningful professional career and a fulfilling personal life. When you hear someone say you can’t do something, know that you can and start figuring out how. Ask yourself, “What would I do if I weren’t afraid?”

There is no straight path to where you are going. If you try to draw that line you will not just get it wrong, but you will miss big opportunities. As Pattie Sellers of Fortune Magazine says, careers are not ladders but jungle gyms. You don’t have to have it all figured out. I recommend adopting two concurrent goals:

  1. A long-term dream: It doesn’t have to be realistic or even specific. For example, you might say you want to work in a specific field, travel the world, have more free time. Even a vague goal can provide direction.
  2. An 18-month plan: Set personal goals for what you want to learn in the next year and a half. Ask yourself how you can improve and what you’re afraid to do (that’s usually the thing you should try).

This question originally appeared on Quora: Sheryl Sandberg: What would you tell your younger self when you were just starting out?

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