What am I doing with my life?!
Over the years I’ve asked myself this question a lot. Especially when I feel stressed about how slowly my career seems to be progressing or when I compare my level of success to that of my friends. Or when I see my bank balance.
As daunting as this question may sound, it doesn’t have to seem impossible to find and follow your Life Path. It just takes some patience and faith in yourself that you already know the answer. You just have to find it within you.
Here are some suggestions to help you find and follow your Life Path:
What do I want to do with my life?
Great question. And without this answer you’ll most likely remain stuck for a long time. You have to know which direction to steer your life or else you’ll be like a spinning top – always moving in circles.
When I start questioning what I’ve done with my life so far, that’s a sign that I need to take a breather. It’s time to stop and ask myself once again what I want to do with my life. It’s always good to check in periodically and see if I’ve ventured off course or if my goals have changed.
Sometimes we get stuck in the minutia of our daily life that we forget to see if we’re still happy with where we’re heading. It’s best to be aware of this early on so that you can course correct.
Maybe you don’t want to go to med school anymore or become the newest reality star on cable TV. Maybe instead you want to settle down or find a steady job with 401k benefits. Or maybe you’re more of an adventurer and want to sublet your apartment and take a trip through Europe with no planned return date. Whatever the answer is for you, it helps to know it.
There’s no wrong answer. The trick is to tune into your heart and listen. I do this through meditation, free writing or quiet walks. Sometimes the answer doesn’t always come right away so you have to keep at it. But believe me, it’s worth the wait.
What’s important here is to ask yourself what you want. Friends are great when getting advice for which jeans look the most flattering or for boyfriend troubles. But it may not be helpful to ask many people what you want to do with your life. They know what they want for you but it may not match what you want for you. Also, don’t fall for the parents saying, “I know what’s best for you” line, because it’s probable that advice could send you down a path you don’t want. And don’t try to just do the opposite of what they say because that too is a waste of precious time. Besides, you’re not in high school anymore. Believe that somewhere inside of yourself you already know the answer.
Know where you want to go.
This may seem obvious but it’s tricky. If we all knew where we wanted to go then we wouldn’t be asking ourselves the, “What am I doing with my life?” question to begin with. It can be frustrating.
When I applied to college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. So how was I supposed to pick a major? With the deadline looming, I foolishly picked computer science. I took some classes in high school which I really enjoyed. But I didn’t really think about what I’d want to do with my degree after graduation. If only I had asked this question before suffering through a semester of computer programming and Layout & Design, I could’ve saved myself countless hours toiling away in the basement computer lab. If I took the time to listen to my heart I would’ve realized I wanted a job with a creative outlet.
Know how to get there.
Once you’ve had that “aha!” moment and discovered what it is you want to do then you can make a game plan. This may entail continuing your education through evening classes, getting hands-on experience through an internship to learn more about a specific field of interest or creating a business plan on how to start up your own emu farm.
Once you take those first steps to fulfill your heart’s desire you’ll feel great. You’ll feel alive, happy and excited to keep moving forward. And that’s how you’ll know you’ve found your Life Path.
Enjoy the ride.
As long as you’re enjoying the ride, keep doing it. Finding your inner happiness is why we’re here. And don’t give up so easily. If you believe you’ve truly found your calling then keep at it, no matter how long it takes. The journey should be as fun as the destination. Of course it will have its bumps and potholes, but for the most part it should nourish you. But if you realize later down the road that this isn’t fulfilling you like it once was, then just go back to step one. There’s no limit to the number of times you can try to find happiness.
Go for it.
Featured image via Shutterstock.