If you’re somebody who has no idea what to do with your life, you’re not alone. Every year, thousands of people struggle to figure out how they should use their time, given seemingly infinite possibilities.
The problem is that most people have no idea what they want to do, even if outwardly they appear as though they do. Take the young trainee doctor, for instance. On the surface, it seems like he has his act together. He has a career goal, and he’s going for it.
Deep down, though, things are different. The doctor probably has no idea whether he really wants a career in medicine. It’s just something he’s settled on before even trying it out. A year or two into clinical practice, he might hate his work and wish he’d become a writer. You just don’t know.
It’s essential to keep this idea in mind if you’re looking at your career options. People around you might seem as though they know exactly what they want out of life, but they don’t. Everyone is essentially taking a shot in the dark. Nobody knows how precisely the reality will play out.
Not knowing what you want to do in terms of work can feel like a weakness. You can become depressed that you don’t have a clear purpose in life because you feel like you should. It’s a toxic combination.
In this post, we’re going to have a frank discussion about approaching the problem of what to do with your remaining time on Earth. It’s important to do something, even if it isn’t what you initially imagined. You can find meaning all over the place.
Be Open To Fulfillment
The idea that you have to have a particular kind of life can get in the way of following paths that will yield fruitful results. There might be multiple opportunities open to you, but you might be skeptical that they will lead where you want to go. As a result, you ignore them.
Strangely, though, success rarely comes from a plan. Usually, it emerges from following a random idea, having a bit of luck, and then taking advantage of opportunities as they come your way. Nobody ever really knows where their fulfillment is going to come from in advance. It’s tough to predict and boring to pretend otherwise.
Being open to fulfillment means following paths that run counter to your romantic perceptions. You might think, for instance, that the only way to get satisfaction in your life is to become a business leader. But that notion can prevent you from taking other opportunities that will also make your life feel worthwhile.
Think About What’s Important To You
If you feel like you’re living a life “on rails,” it can sometimes be hard to know what’s important to you and what isn’t. You spend so much of your time listening to how other people think you should live your life, you don’t think about yourself.
A parent might have told you that you need to get a career in banking, so you went for it without considering if it was what you wanted. Or a teacher might have told you that you need to become a doctor to make a success of your life. If you don’t, you’ll be forever scrabbling around for money, never really achieving fulfillment.
All of this advice, though, is about other people’s ideas about your life. It isn’t fundamentally to do with you. And that’s where problems can start. If you have to go to a job you don’t love every day, it can take an enormous toll on your well-being.
Think carefully about what motivates you. Try to push the inner voices of other people out and listen to your authentic self. Create a list of essential motivations and goals, and then look for jobs that match. If there aren’t any, consider creating your own.
Test The Waters
Not knowing what you want to do with your life is a rational feeling. Nobody knows whether they want to do something until they actually do it. It’s only during and afterward that they find out if it is a worthwhile pursuit.
A lot of people, therefore, like to test the waters and try things out. It doesn’t have to be for a year or even a month. It’s just a chance to find out whether it offers the kind of lifestyle you want. Sometimes, you’ll find you join an organization and it becomes your home for life. Other times, you can rule out particular careers and leave them to somebody else.
Sometimes you don’t know what you want to do because you haven’t yet learned enough about the things that interest you. Often, you’ll find a problem in a particular area that you desperately want to solve, and that fires you up. Other times, you’ll learn about the importance of certain activities and pursue careers related to them.
When you keep learning, you remain open to ideas that could help you thrive in the future. The things that interest you often have genuine market value. If you love engineering, you can solve problems for companies. If you like writing, you can create content for businesses online. If you like self-help, you can coach people over the internet. The possibilities are virtually unlimited.
Talk To People In A Similar Situation
If you can’t figure out how to spend your time, it can be helpful to speak with people who have been through similar situations. Chat with them about how they found a way out of their predicament and what gave them value. You’ll often find that they just slipped into something that suddenly became the central focus of their life’s work. Interestingly, it typically doesn’t matter what the job involves. Just doing it can create its own joy and get rid of the annoying feeling you’re wasting time.
So, do you know what you want to do with your life? If you don’t, it’s just an opportunity.