When your life is lacking direction, it is frustrating. I remember talking to a friend back when I was in college, and she literally did not know what she wanted to do with her day, never mind her life. For her, she knew what she liked to do and what she was passionate about, but she couldn’t make up her mind on what she really wanted to do, so it became overwhelming and she just gave up. That seems to be a common thread nowadays when we can pretty much take a chance on anything we want to do! And, it’s very overwhelming to have all these different dreams but not be able to choose which direction to go.
For other people, it can feel like they have no purpose in life. In this case, the words, “I don’t know what to do with my life,” take on a very literal meaning. They have no passions that they want to pursue and no idea why they were even put here. This can lead to anxiety and depression, which makes it even harder to find the actual passions that they have in life and get busy doing what they want.
So, whether you have too many choices or feel like there are no choices at all, you need to get unstuck from where you are and start moving towards a life full of meaning and fulfillment. Here’s how to do that.
Ask The Right Questions
When you are upset and can’t figure out what to do with your life, you ask unhelpful questions. Things like “Why can’t I just pick something?” or “Why am I so talentless?” It’s no surprise that you can’t figure out what you want to do with your life when you are focused on negative questions like this.
Instead of focusing on what is lacking in your life, try asking yourself some questions that can help you figure out what you can do right now.
– What would I do if there were no limits on me? Why?
– What have I enjoyed doing since I was young? Why?
– What would I do if no one was around to judge me? Why?
– If I could give all my money to one cause, where would I give it? Why?
– What have I always been curious about in life? Why?
– What do I find myself drawn to in stores? Why?
– What do I spend a lot of time doing? Why?
– What problems do I like to tackle the most? Why?
– What type of TV program am I most likely to keep watching? Why?
These are the types of questions that will get your creative juices flowing. You will start to make discoveries about yourself and what you most like and are drawn to. You can use these answers or the little clues you get to help you start taking action on things in life that may give you some more direction.
Try Something New And Repeat When Necessary
The best way to really get a handle on what you are most passionate about is to constantly try new things. The more you are exposed to new things, the clearer it becomes what you feel passionate about and what you don’t. But, you can’t just try one new thing and give up. You have to continuously do things until you really get a sense of what you want to do with your life.
Take the answers you got from the questions above and make a list of how you can pursue what interests you in different ways. For instance, if you would travel if you had no limits, then try something where travel is the focus. This doesn’t mean you have to travel yourself, but you could work at a hostel where you will meet a ton of travelers and get insight into whether or not the life is really for you.
Speaking from experience, you may not want to try something too big, such as paying out thousands of dollars for an education or selling everything you own and taking off. If it turns out it is not something that you want to do, then you may wish you hadn’t gotten so gung-ho about the whole thing. You have time, so take it.
For people with too many passions in life, trying something new will help them narrow down exactly what they feel called to do. The more they do something and feel amazing while doing it, the easier it will be to see how important it is in their life and how badly they want to make it a permanent part of their life.
For example, my friend who had too many passions started doing volunteer work at an animal shelter, taking reflexology courses, and painting in her spare time. She quickly realized that art was her biggest passion and she wanted to be a working artist. Once she decided that she loved being an artist, it was just a matter of taking action on getting her art out there to help her figure out exactly how she could go about making art a part of her life.
For people with no passion in life, trying something new will help them to discover something they are excited about. I really believe that everyone is passionate about something deep down. As Deepak Chopra says, “We are all born as infinitely creative beings.” Nobody is born just to sit around and be miserable. The potential for every living being is there, and it is just a matter of finding it and lighting that spark.
Think Back To When You Were Young
If you still don’t know what to try, think back to your childhood. As a child, you probably had some very deep passions in life. Maybe you loved pretending to help other people or do something good for the environment. Maybe you enjoyed cooking as you made mud pies and weird ‘meals’ for your family.
Find adult ways to express that creativity. Volunteer at a hospital or take a cooking class and see if one of those things stirs some passion inside of you and gets you thinking about what you want to do with your life. If it doesn’t, then try something else that you have some sort of pull – no matter how small that pull is. If your inner voice is telling you that it may be something worth trying out, then that’s a good sign that it could lead to some type of awareness that will help you discover what you want to do with your life.
The bottom line is that trying something new is much better than sitting around wondering what you should do. The fact that you don’t know what to do with your life is very real, but you have choices that will help you solve the problem. When you constantly put yourself out there and try new things, you are taking positive action on finding a solution to your problem instead of just throwing your hands up in the air saying, “I don’t know what to do with my life!” and dwelling on that fact, which, by the way, will never help you discover an answer.
Remove The Desperate Need To Figure It All Out
Children can easily focus on things they are passionate about. Usually, this comes from trying something new and enjoying it, not having a desperate need to figure it all out.
I remember playing with a scientist kit for months on end, and because I was having so much fun, I ‘knew’ that I wanted to be a scientist. Of course, with the lack of experience in real life, I wasn’t really sure that it was my passion, and an attempt at a Chemical Technology course when I was older showed me that it really wasn’t.
With the experience of what I didn’t want, I was able to play around and discover what I did want. And I found that once I reverted back to childhood, and gave up the need to find my purpose, I was actually able to discover more passions in life.
While you are trying new things, don’t focus on the need to figure out what you want to do with your life, just enjoy the process of learning new things or doing what you think you like to do.
If you want a quick way to remove the need, here are some insights:
– Focus on having fun: That’s what it’s all about anyway. Once you start having fun and playing around with new ‘toys’ in your life, you will have a much better chance of letting go of limiting beliefs that are keeping you stuck on what you should be doing instead of what you enjoy doing.
– Try new things without prejudice: Picture a kid seeing another kid with a shiny new toy. Their interest is piqued, they walk over and ask if they can also play with it, and if they like the toy they ask their mom if they can have one. Don’t just try things you think you want to do. If an opportunity to try something new presents itself, and you are not repulsed by it, then try it. That’s how I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. I saw an ad that got my interest, I clicked on it, I played with the idea for a bit, and then I realized that this was something I wanted to do with my life.
– Don’t limit yourself: Kids don’t tell themselves that they shouldn’t try something new or will not be good at it. If they are interested, they go for it! Take on this attitude as you try to figure out what to do with your life. You never know if something that you once thought was impossible is actually exactly what you are supposed to be doing. An astronaut? A world class skater? A best-selling author? These are all things that people can become, so don’t limit yourself by your fears.
– Give it a shot before you give up: We give up too easily as adults. When we come across an obstacle, we are more likely to turn back than to try to overcome it. You have to be willing to give something a fair shot before you decide whether or not you are supposed to be doing it. This means doing it until you find some level of success with it, and then if you start to get bored with it, move on to something else.
– Don’t think in terms of time: Kids don’t think they have to figure it all out because they only have so much time. In reality, we have a pretty long life to live, and many people don’t figure out what they truly want to do with their life until they are in their 40’s or later. You have lots of time to figure it out, and if you are enjoying the process as you go along, then nothing you do is a waste of time! It all adds to who you are and who you are going to be, so cherish every step along the way and don’t rush things.
The bottom line is that when you remove the need to figure out what you want to do with your life and just enjoy the process of finding out, you will open yourself up to more possibilities and have a greater shot of figuring out what you want to do.
Remember There Are Multiple Possibilities For You
It’s a common belief that we have to be one thing for our whole life, but why? We are capable of having many dreams, likes, and passions in life, so why can’t we be capable of doing many things in life?
Lots of people have made radical career changes in their life. Someone who thought they wanted to be a lawyer can easily end up selling fruit on the highway in Maui if they are called to it. One calling wasn’t better than the other, they were both just passions that the person was called to live out.
Maybe you were meant to take it easy in this part of your life and do little things that help you become stronger and more confident in yourself. Then, you may be destined to do something bigger that has a huge impact on the world. Or maybe you are meant to make a huge impact right now and then settle down into a quiet life in the woods and get back to nature. You will know what is right for you at the time, so go with it and embrace all the possibilities you have in life.