What Should I Do With My Life? We may find ourselves at a dead-end, a crossroads, or on a path that appears to lead nowhere and declare, “I don’t know what to do with my life…” If you’re unhappy with where you’re at in life or aren’t sure how to go, it’s time to rethink your options.
I recall thinking in high school that I needed to choose a career that would make me happy for the next 50 years or so of my life. What a difficult task. How do you know what will make you happy for the rest of your life, especially if you’re only 16 and “The Breakfast Club” still gives you a thrill?
You have no way of knowing. Even five years from now, you can’t predict what will make you happy. But you can figure out what makes you happy right now, and if your present job or education track isn’t it, you’ll need to make a change.
When some of my mentees were thinking about their college studies and job prospects, I always advised them to attend classes or try things they thought may be interesting, and if they didn’t enjoy the class, workshop, or whatever, to check it off their list. It’s a lot of fun to try new things and figure out what you don’t want to be when you “grow up.”
Personally, I have discovered that following these 13 things will help you to find out what to do with your life, feel good, and get you unstuck.
1. It’s OK if you can’t see the whole picture.
Remember, you never know what’s going to happen next. Life is full of exciting twists and turns, but if we keep doing things we enjoy, whether for a profession or a hobby, the journey will be more interesting and enjoyable. Perhaps you are currently enjoying making jewellery. You might be able to sell it. You could be a successful jewellery designer in five years, or you could have gone on to another craft. It makes no difference. You’ll be able to draw on your jewellery design skills in the future to aid you with new tasks.
2. Make an effort to be at ease with discomfort.
Life can be unsettling at times. We don’t always have enough money to do everything we want to do. If you truly want to pursue anything, you must be willing to put up with a certain degree of discomfort in order to do so. If you like to mush sledge dogs and run the Iditarod, for example. To do so, you may have to give up your nice suburban home and relocate to an Alaskan cabin. At the cabin, you may not have running water or regular electricity. Your cabin may also be far smaller than your previous home, but you wouldn’t need to pay attention to those because we live in a lovely location and you will get to pursue your goal.
3. Life is unpredictably unpredictable; embrace it.
Things happen. I thought I had it all figured out. I had a wonderful job and was getting ready to marry. Then, in the same week, I was fired from my job, lost my house, and went back to zero. I was depressed for a few days on the couch, but I later pulled myself together, formed a plan, and relocated to where I am now. Take the concept of uncertainty and flip it on its head. Every setback is an opportunity to do something positive. After all, it’s never too late to turn your life around if something goes wrong!
4. Eliminate Distractions and Procrastination
You don’t seem to be getting any younger. Sorry, but this is correct. If you don’t start pursuing your aspirations now, you can wind up with nothing but a lot of Facebook posts and a bunch of TV episodes you were compelled to watch at the end of your life. If you’re serious about chasing a dream, whether it’s making jewellery, skateboarding professionally, or becoming a wealthy and well-known computer genius, you’d better get started. Make the initial move. Turn off your Facebook notifications so you can focus on your work. You won’t get very far if all you do is fantasize about how amazing you could be.
5. Pose Questions to Yourself
Allow yourself some alone time. Pose big questions to yourself. There are also little ones. Find out more about yourself. Meditate. Make a list of the activities that interest you and that you could picture yourself doing if money and time weren’t an issue. Make grandiose plans. Close your eyes and visualize yourself doing those activities. You’re developing an invincible Motivation Engine like this by asking yourself relevant questions, and you’ll know how to deal with obstacles whenever they happen.
6. Do some volunteer work or shadow someone.
If you’re interested in a particular job or activity, such as dog grooming or zookeeping, volunteer or job shadow to see if it’s something you actually want to pursue. You can dream all you want, but it won’t assist you unless you get your hands dirty. Sometimes we believe we want to do something, but after trying it out, we find it isn’t the type of work we want to perform. Or it could be more complicated than we thought. Before we give up our existing lives to chase a dream, it’s critical to obtain hands-on experience and read a lot of books written by people who have been there.
7. Put money aside
If you need to relocate or return to school to pursue your new ambition, it may be necessary for you to acquire a job doing something anything and save up the necessary funds. I spent years building my writing and editing portfolio, and now I can write and edit articles from the comfort of my small home, get paid, and use the money to buy the equipment and food I need to manage my capacity development organization.
Wouldn’t it be great if I could make money just by writing storybooks? Sure. But I can’t do that right now because I’m still growing and honing my skills as a writer. I don’t have a firm reputation as a writer yet, but I do have clear goals I am pursuing. So I work one job that I enjoy in order to pay for the other.
8. Knock on the Door
Opportunities may be knocking, but how can you take advantage of them if you don’t open the door? When possibilities present themselves, you must seize them. It’s not always the best time, but that doesn’t matter. Opportunities present themselves when they do. If you don’t answer the door, the opportunity will pass you by and you’ll have to knock on someone else’s door.
9. Get up and move about to clear your mind.
“Knowing exactly what you want but not being able to obtain it is a lot better than not knowing what you want but not being able to get it; at least you have hope.” I once went through a particularly difficult and emotional period, and all I could think about was how to get to the following day. There were no ideas in my head about what I wanted to do in the future or how I wanted my life to be. It was simply a matter of getting through each day.
Exercise and workout was the solution for me during this difficult moment when I was telling myself, “I don’t know what I want to do with my life,” to help me get through the day. My alarm would go off at 6 a.m. every day. By the bed, I’d have my running gear ready. I’d get ready, walk out the door, and go for a 45-minute run.
For a long time, getting out of bed and going for a run was difficult because I simply wanted to hide. I began to look forward to my morning run as I felt more invigorated and slept better as time went on. It doesn’t have to be a morning run, but finding a method to move can help you clear your mind and boost your mood. Exercise has been shown in numerous studies to lower depression symptoms, which might help you find the mental space you need to plan your next steps in life. Find what works for you and your lifestyle, whether it’s running in the morning, yoga in the afternoon, or weekend riding.
10. Limit Your Options and Awaken Your Conscious Mind
“No one will live your life for you. You must do it yourself, whether you are wealthy or impoverished, if you are short on cash or if you are the beneficiary of a bizarre fortune or a terrible injustice. Self-pity is a path that leads nowhere. You have the option of driving down it. It’s up to you whether you choose to stay parked or turn around and leave.”
Life is unpredictable, and the answers we seek to our life’s concerns aren’t always neatly packaged. When you don’t know what to do with your life, there are no rules to follow, and you must work hard to establish your life path. One step in figuring out what we need to do next in our lives is to awaken our conscious minds to accept our reality and embrace change.
The power of choice paralyzes us rather than liberates us. When we are given a large number of possibilities, our brain is unsure what to do with them all. When it comes to choices, research has proven that there is a sweet spot. We feel limited if we have too few. We become overwhelmed if we have too many.
What does this mean in your day-to-day life? Limit your possibilities to five or six alternative sectors if you’re changing job fields and aren’t sure what to do. After you’ve sat with the options for a few days, choose to cross one off the list every few days. It will become simpler to recognize the direction you truly want to travel in as your brain focuses on fewer and fewer options.
11. Begin with little steps by participating in a 30-day challenge.
Set a 30-day challenge for yourself to reprogram your conscious mind and stop stating, “I don’t know what I want to do with my life.” Why 30 days, you might wonder? Because this is how the modest movements you take become powerful habits over time. In truth, the power of these small behaviours is far beyond your wildest dreams! This is why.
Setting a deadline has a strong motivating effect. Time and time again, research has shown that deadlines, even self-imposed ones, can reduce procrastination and lead to better decision making. Set one to three goals for yourself to attain during the 30-day challenge. Perhaps you’d like to learn how to code. Set weekly goals for free online courses, and by the end of the month, you’ll have gained a significant amount of knowledge.
Maybe you’d like to spend more time with your children. Make it a point to have one family night per week where you focus solely on your children. You can even enlist their assistance in planning your big night. After one month, achieving these goals will give you the confidence and self-belief to keep going. It also prevents you from doing nothing while you’re stuck. Once you’ve shown yourself that you can achieve one goal, you’ll want to set other ones.
12. Seek the advice of those who have been there before you.
“The better a man’s understanding of what has been done, the greater his ability to know what to do.” Disraeli, Benjamin When you’re saying, “I don’t know what to do with my life,” reading other people’s tales about how they lived their lives, their life philosophies, and how they conquered their obstacles in life can be a valuable source of motivation and knowledge.
Their experiences can motivate and inspire you, especially if you’re unsure about what to do next. Even better, discover someone in your life who has been in a circumstance comparable to the one you are in today. Inquire about how they overcame it, the measures they took, and how they changed their mindset. You don’t have to learn from your own mistakes; you may also learn from the mistakes of others.
13. Get to Know Yourself
“The best thing you can do in each moment of decision is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” -Washington, D.C.’s Theodore Roosevelt
Learn about yourself, your passions, and what you want to do with your life. It’s possible that you’re stuck because you’ve lost touch with your most real self. It will be quite tough to get back on track if you have been disconnected from your own objectives and dreams. You must let go of the past and embrace change in order to move forward. Change necessitates reinvention. It’s far more difficult to move forward in life if you don’t know who you are or what you want.
The foundations for developing your confidence, resilience, courage, and accountability are having a life plan and vision, as well as knowing your purpose and how you want to live your life. You won’t be paralyzed by the fear of not knowing what to do if you have a purpose and a vision; instead, you’ll see it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Make a list of your priorities if you’re not sure where to begin. From there, you can figure out where you want to focus your energy and which aspects of your life could benefit from your attention. To begin, you might want to complete our free Life Assessment and receive a customized report to determine which elements of your life require more of your focus right now.
If you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t know what I want to do with my life,” examine the techniques I’ve provided to help you better your life over time. Perhaps you discover that you enjoy writing or that you want to start a business. You can build on these foundations to create a life you enjoy. It will be a difficult path, but it will also be rewarding because you will discover your life purpose and passion. You will understand what you need to do in your life and the steps you must take to get there!
When trying to find out what you want to accomplish with your life, the most important thing to remember is that no action is an action in and of itself. You must make choices and attempt new things, even if you dislike them or wish to do something else. It’s important to remember that it’s never too late to start over.
You will not regret trying things and failing, but you will regret not trying at all at the end of your life. Close the laptop and get your life together.