Maybe its exaggeration or bias, but it honestly feels like it’s harder to know what we want from life than ever before. Technology has made the world smaller and opened up infinite possibilities – which is great and all, but how on Earth are we supposed to pick one path out of millions?
It’s not selfish or ungrateful to feel lost in the weeds. To feel like you lack purpose, or like everyone else has some secret answer that you don’t. Burn out is real, and so are the pressures brought by watching everyone’s lives play out on social media.
It’s not wrong or unnatural to feel that way – but it can be overcome. Follow these steps to start figuring out what you REALLY want from life.
- Ask the taboo questions
We’re told constantly what success should look like and what we should aspire to. But if the thought of a top floor office or a million followers on Twitter gives you hives, maybe it’s time to accept that you need to figure out your own priorities.
Ask yourself: How might I feel if I stop caring what other people think? What might I do? What would I change this week, this month, this year?
- Forgive yourself
Yes, it’s cliché, but the fact is you’ll never find answers if you’re too busy revelling in guilt. It’s okay to not be sure. It’s okay to want a different path. It’s okay to change direction. What we want is a moving target, as it should be if we’re growing and learning. Show yourself some compassion and maybe the answers you find will surprise you.
And remember, when you leave something behind, you’re not leaving empty handed – you’re taking all that experience and earned wisdom with you.
- Get morbid with it
It sounds weird but fantasising about your own death can help direct your life. Try working through this exercise from the Animas life coaching website:
Imagine you are dead and eavesdropping on your own funeral. Your most beloved friend or relative gives the big speech. Write down what you hope they say about:
- What kind of spouse you were?
- What kind of child/sibling you were?
- What kind of friend you were?
- How you conducted business?
- Your character and qualities?
- Your achievements and legacy?
Sometimes it’s easier to start at the end and work your way back. How can you get to that amazing speech? Where can you start today?
These steps will only take you so far: you need to commit to the process. Re-evaluate regularly to see how your core priorities and goals have changed. Try to keep your eyes on your own paper, and don’t get sucked back into following someone else’s path. And if you do go astray, forgive yourself, and make your way back.
Here’s one final, bonus tip: play it forward. Find new purpose in what you’ve learned and become a life coach in the UK with Animas.