There’s no human being on earth who never feels lost. We all experience it, and yet somehow, we always forget that…
Being lost has a different meaning for all of us. Perhaps you’ve just finished high school and you think it’s time to finally get a job. Or, perhaps you’re generally stuck in a rut.
Either way, you think ‘’I don’t know what to do with my life… I don’t know who to be.’’
Since I perfectly understand what you’re going through, you will be offered life-changing pieces of advice. Do you want to know what those are? Then, read on and watch how you can take control of your life in no time!
Is It Okay That I Don’t Know What To Do With My Life?
I know it’s hard being uncertain about which step to take next, but that doesn’t say anything about you.
Life can be messy, but you should embrace it as frustrating as it is. This is not your fault, and being lost at times is perfectly understandable.
You aren’t defined by only one thing
Walt Whitman once said: ”I am large, I contain multitudes.”
Well, you are indeed large, and not at all defined by your inability to choose a path in life. Rather, think of the paths you’ve already chosen. Acknowledge all you’ve achieved so far. THAT is who you are.
Instead of going on a guilt trip over what you can’t do, look back and celebrate yourself and all your victories, even the ”minor” ones.
This is only a setback and not proof of your failure. Besides, isn’t it more fulfilling to get something you want after really fighting for it?
Others rarely know what they’re doing either
When you feel lost, you often believe that you’re the only one feeling that way. However, there are actually a lot of people who share your sentiments and who struggle daily because they can’t figure out what to do next.
Don’t make things harder by convincing yourself that you’re alone in this. It’s only natural to be confused at times; others just don’t talk about it. They perceive it as a weakness that is not worth sharing the same as you do.
But it’s not a weakness. It’s just a normal part of human existence, and you should accept it.
Do it at your own pace
I know that scrolling through your social media and seeing others achieving their goals makes you feel awful. It puts enormous pressure on you because you are socially conditioned to believe that you have to achieve certain things at a certain age.
Well, know that you don’t have to. It’s okay if you don’t want a job at this moment. You don’t have to marry before you’re thirty years old. The only thing that is important is that you do what makes you happy regardless of your age or other people’s lives.
Remember – there are no rules; only the ones you make. Your life is your own, so treat it as such. Don’t compare it to anyone else’s.
Be gentle with yourself
It’s understandable to be upset if you come to the point where you think ”I don’t know what to do with my life.” Just make sure that you don’t judge yourself for it.
People will often tell you that self-criticism is the greatest motivation, but what they don’t tell you is how important it is for your well-being to just be gentle with yourself.
Practise self-criticism to determine which areas of your life need altering, but stop being self-deprecating because that will do you more harm than good. Instead, implement emotional self-care into your daily routine.
How Do I Know What I Should Do With My Life?
I know that sometimes, you get stuck in one place and you don’t exactly know where to go. You yearn to change your life, but you don’t even know how.
What’s the right thing to do? What should you be like?
If this is what you are contemplating, here are some general tips:
1. Take it slow
You don’t have to figure it all out in an instant. Think about it. You only have one life.
Do you want to choose a path only for the sake of choosing?
Wouldn’t you want to be enthusiastic about it?
Trust me, when you least expect it, it will come to you. Put in the necessary work to improve your life, but delay making any important decision just because you think you HAVE TO do it now.
Make small plans, but also go with the flow.
2. Think about who you are
Sometimes, the people around you will try to convince you that being a doctor is the ideal job while you have a start-up company of your own in mind. Or, they will tell you that it’s time to settle down despite knowing that being single makes you happy.
You probably get annoyed and dismiss them, but constantly hearing it influences you. Your plans escape you, and you unconsciously start sharing their opinions. Don’t let that happen. Think about who you truly are.
Do you want to stay unmarried, and instead, go on a solo trip around the world?
Do you want to do what you love despite not being paid well?
Take only YOUR wishes into consideration because they are the only ones that matter.
3. Think about who you’d like to be
While it’s important to know who you are, you also have to think about what you want to change.
Do you wish to have better time management skills?
We all have different goals, and even the seemingly small ones are life-changing. Nothing is unimportant if you have even the slightest desire for it.
4. Find your inspiration
Whenever you start thinking ‘’I don’t know what to do with my life,’’ go to the source of your inspiration and don’t abandon it until you feel otherwise.
However, don’t become too immersed in it either. Seeing others living the life that you want can affect you to the extent to where you easily forget about yourself.
Remember – you want motivation and not an escape from your reality.
5. Get out of your comfort zone
I’m sorry to say this, but you can’t have the life you want if you stay where you are comfortable. Sometimes, it’s necessary to get out there and do the thing that terrifies you.
It’s valid to be afraid, but you can’t let it control you. Once you step out of your comfort zone, it’s going to be really hard at first, but eventually, you’ll see that it isn’t so bad.
If it is, on the other hand, you can always take a step back and seek what you want elsewhere. The important thing is to try.
6. Stop finding excuses
Oftentimes, we are motivated one minute, and the next, we find an excuse to abandon our pursuit of happiness. The fear of trying something new has overwhelmed us and we just want to go back to our bubble to feel safe again.
Stop this. As comforting as it is, your bubble doesn’t let you feel the joy of fulfilling your own wishes. Expand it.
Staying in the same place doesn’t do you any good, and you feeling guilty about it doesn’t change anything. What you should do is convince yourself that whatever you imagine is yours to have because you DESERVE it.
7. Make peace with possible failure
There’s nothing quite like the fear of failure to stop us from reaching our goals. Although this kind of self-sabotage serves as a way to protect us, it actually does the opposite. Don’t let it.
Go out there and fail big if need be. There’s truly nothing shameful about that. It may sound cheesy, but failure really does help you learn.
You can’t always succeed. There are always going to be bumps in the road, but that doesn’t mean you suck at life. The day you realize this will be the day you change your life entirely.
8. Create a vision board
There’s nothing more motivating than having all of your life goals in front of you whenever you wake up in the morning.
Do you want to go to college? Is your biggest wish to visit New York?
Visualize your ideal life and put it on paper. Find quotes and pictures, or draw something yourself. Make it a creative project. What’s important is that it inspires your personal growth.
Don’t let anyone tell you that this is meant for those of a young age. In reality, it’s more meant for adults because we are the ones with a bunch of goals, are we not?
How Do I Find A Career I Love?
Finding your dream job can indeed be challenging. Perhaps you already know what it is, or you’re still trying to figure it out. Either way, things aren’t going the way you want them to, and you constantly think to yourself ”I don’t know what to do with my life”.
Where do you start?
Should you let others guide you to the right decision?
Should you reject any opportunity that doesn’t lead to your dream job?
If this is what you’re wondering, here’s what to do:
1. Know what your strengths are
I’m sure that upon reading the title, some of your desirable traits came to mind. We all have them, but sadly, we’re often not aware of it.
If you’re not certain what yours are, discover them, or ask someone else to give you feedback. Either way, determining your talents is crucial in finding the perfect career path.
Be aware of what you’re good at and use it to your advantage. You will soon thrive and be capable of pretty much anything.
2. Be aware of your weaknesses
Ignoring what you’re not good at is simply not an option. To find the perfect job, you need to figure out your weaknesses so you can work on them.
For instance, if you want to be a teacher, you need to be able to convey your knowledge to others properly. How do you think you’ll manage that if you’re not good at explaining yourself?
Don’t be hard on yourself, though. You can’t be good at everything, but you do need to look at the situation realistically in order to succeed.
3. Try different jobs
While it’s useful to go in the direction of success, it can be exciting to try something a bit riskier. You don’t always need to look for a long-term job that will fulfill you for life.
Why not try doing a bunch of short-term jobs you know nothing about?
If you want to be a cashier at the moment, but aren’t good with calculations, does that mean you should never give it a shot?
It may not always be wise, but it’s still an opportunity to learn a new skill and to gain an amazing experience overall!
4. Notice what fills you with enthusiasm
You probably don’t associate anything positive with the word ‘job.’ It feels more like an obligation that you have to fulfill in order to have a decent life. However, it doesn’t have to be that way…
Just think about the thing that makes you so excited that you want to do it every day. Can you turn it into a profession? If you can, then go for it!
Of course, not everything has to be monetized, but money isn’t the point here.
If you could have the chance to both do something you love AND get paid for it, wouldn’t you take it?
5. Don’t listen to others
As we’ve previously mentioned, others filling our heads with their ideas of who we’re supposed to be can have a great impact on us. It’s crucial that you ignore them and figure out what YOU want.
Sometimes, we unconsciously go in the direction that they advise us to, believing it to be our choice. Be careful about that, too.
You can let others offer you advice on what to do, but it’s not on them to make that decision for you.
How Can I Have A Better Life?
I know that it sometimes feels like having a balanced personal life is out of your reach. But, trust me, it never is.
It’s just not enough to only think ”I don’t know what to do with my life.” You need to work for it and accept that it can’t change in a single day. It’s fine if it takes you a long period of time, even years, because the importance lies in your daily efforts.
One day, you will look back and suddenly notice how different your life is from what it used to be. Just be patient.
If you’re not so sure where to begin, here are some useful tips:
1. Have a good sleep schedule
As good as it feels to be a night owl, it does you no good, and that’s a fact. You simply CANNOT function during the day if you’ve slept only a few hours. Your body needs as much care as your mind.
If you’re having trouble fixing your sleep schedule, you can always take baby steps. Start going to bed and waking up only an hour earlier or even less because you can’t change all of a sudden. It needs to be gradual to be effective.
You don’t have to give up the joy you feel at night entirely, but keep in mind that continuously staying up late is self-destructive. So, get enough sleep and you’ll see how much better you’ll feel!
2. Don’t forget to eat and drink water regularly
This one might be obvious, but I know a lot of you skip meals and don’t drink water regularly. You’re either too sad to care or too happy to remember. Whatever your reason is, make sure not to do that anymore.
If you want to have the life you desire, you need to feed your body properly. Eat three meals a day, and drink about 2 liters of water as experts advise. You will see how much better you will feel, and more ready for new victories.
3. Exercise daily
I know the mere thought of physical activity makes you roll your eyes and sigh, but it really is a crucial component of self-improvement. What’s the use in feeding your mind if your body’s neglected?
You don’t have to devote two hours to exercising. In fact, you shouldn’t. That will only deter you from doing it again because you’ll be too exhausted.
However, if you start small, and increase the time bit by bit every few days, it’ll keep you motivated. You will have the energy to accomplish anything you set your mind to!
4. Go for a walk
There’s nothing better to help you clear your mind than a nice, long walk. It’s the perfect opportunity for contemplation, whether you go by yourself or with a loved one.
Just being outside gives you a whole new perspective of your situation. Every problem somehow seems more solvable, and every goal seems more reachable.
Listen to music or to the sounds of your surroundings, and dive deep into your desires. I assure you that the more walks you take, the better you will feel, both mentally and physically.
5. Spend time in nature
Contemplating your life may be important, but simply allowing yourself to just ‘be’ sometimes is entirely necessary.
Go into the woods or sit by a river. Let go of all your problems and just enjoy the sounds of nature. Live life in harmony.
You’ll see how you’ll forget yourself in an instant! All that exists will only be what surrounds you. You will merge with it, and all your problems will be non-existent for a while.
‘’Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.’’ – Henry David Thoreau
6. Start a hobby
We all have a daily routine. If you don’t want to add anything to it, that’s fine. But, if you get bored and think ”I don’t know what I want to do with my life”, finding a new hobby is the perfect step!
It doesn’t have to be something you’re good at. Try something you have never done before. The purpose of this isn’t to show how skilled you are, or even to become skilled, for that matter. It’s rather about taking your life into your own hands and making it more fun.
You can take piano lessons or practise drawing. I even bought a color book to find my inner child again. A hobby doesn’t necessarily have to be a sport or anything of the sort. It’s whatever you find amusing. Go and do it NOW!
7. Set daily tasks
It doesn’t matter if you’re doing housework or doing research on an interesting topic. What’s important is that you set tasks for yourself every day.
This helps you be more organized as well as motivated. It’s fine if you don’t fully perform them. You can do it the next day because it’s all about training your mind and making yourself a more hard-working person.
You can download To-do list apps, or simply write the tasks down. It’s not necessary to devote your whole day to them. It can just be one hour. It’s all up to you.
8. Don’t forget to relax
As essential as daily work is, you shouldn’t overexert yourself. Make time for relaxation for the sake of your mental health. Reward yourself for all you’ve achieved that day.
Whether it’s watching your favorite TV show or eating chocolate, it’s crucial for your further progress and motivation.
Not allowing yourself to rest can cause extreme fatigue, which can prevent you from fulfilling your tasks successfully. Moreover, you will grow resentful even if you really enjoy doing them.
That’s why you should always find a balance between work and play. That one bar of chocolate might just increase your efficiency at work!
How Can I Improve As A Person?
Self-improvement isn’t an easy task at all. It’s especially hard because even when you know that you need to change, you fail to be honest with yourself.
Do you lack principles and never question anything?
What would you do if someone came to you with their problems?
If your answers aren’t what you’d wish them to be, this is what you should keep in mind:
1. Be aware of your flaws
You can’t let go of your old self if you’re untruthful about who you are now. Self-improvement comes only when you admit that you are a flawed human being who doesn’t always make the best choices.
And, that’s fine. You can’t be perfect, but what you can do is pay attention to your flaws. After you acknowledge that you have them, figure out why they’re there in the first place. Take a psychology class or simply read self-help books, but either way, work on them.
Your flaws don’t define you, but how you deal with them does.
2. Practise empathy
Improving yourself sometimes means shifting your focus on other people. It’s true that you’re the most important person in your life, but giving full attention to yourself is both self-detrimental and outright selfish.
So, if you’re still thinking ”I don’t know what to do with my life,” there’s your answer. Ease someone else’s pain by listening to them. Be their emotional support, and you will instantly feel better about yourself.
”If there’s any kind of magic in this world, it must be in the attempt of understanding someone; sharing something. I know… it’s almost impossible to succeed, but… who cares, really? The answer must be in the attempt.” – from the movie, ”Before Sunrise”
3. Treat others with kindness
There’s nothing that screams ‘insecurity’ more than mistreating others in any way. But, your arrogance really won’t get you anywhere because it comes with a delusion that you don’t need fixing when you so clearly do.
Kindness, on the other hand, is what requires true strength. You’re kind because you’re aware of how words can affect a person. You know that we are all equally important.
Naturally, you should stand up for yourself if need be, but don’t strive for power. That, in essence, is nothing but weakness. Instead, strive for kindness and observe how proud of yourself you will be.
4. Be genuine
There’s no better company than an honest person, and there’s no better person to be than an honest one.
Speak your mind and say how you really feel. If you dislike someone, stop pretending to enjoy their presence.
Not only is this trait admirable, but it’s also easier for you to live a life devoid of pretense. Think about how liberating it must be to be nothing more than yourself.
5. Follow your principles
We all have certain principles in life. The problem arises when we don’t follow them ourselves, but only preach them to others.
So, I want you to think about your values and write them all down.
How many of them can you find in your own practise?
Which ones do you need to work on?
After answering these questions, make a thorough plan on what you should do next. Perhaps you want to become more ethical or more protective of the weak.
Whatever it is, imagine how fulfilling it must be to finally become the person you admire.
How Do I Find My Purpose?
Simply figure out what fulfills you.
I know you’re overthinking this because it’s natural. We all want to know why we’re here, secretly wishing that it’s for a grand purpose that will forever change the world. However, this is rarely so…
Your life purpose may be being a nurse who saves lives daily, but it can also be making people smile. Think about what drives you and what you couldn’t be without. That’s why you’re here.
On the other hand, maybe none of us are here for a reason. But, that doesn’t mean that we can’t make our existence meaningful on our own. Don’t think too much about it. Simply feel it and you’ll find your answer.
How Can I Just Enjoy Life?
Being lost doesn’t always mean that you’re going through a heartbreak or trying to find a new career path.
When your head is full of ”I don’t know what to do with my life” thoughts, sometimes it simply means that you want a break, but you’re not quite sure what to do…
Well, the key to having a fulfilling life is rediscovering your inner child!
Regardless of your personality type, here are some ideas that can help you live your life to the fullest:
- Run a marathon.
- Play a musical instrument.
- Compose a song.
- Do research on an urban legend.
- Visit all the continents.
- Practise archery.
- Go swimming with dolphins.
- Practice self-defense.
- Go stargazing.
- Travel somewhere by yourself.
- Sew a Halloween costume.
- Visit a haunted house.
- Dye your hair an uncommon color.
- Go wine tasting.
- Sleep in a treehouse.
- Make a time capsule.
- Climb a mountain.
- Go on a blind date.
- Visit a castle.
- Go LARP-ing (Live Action Role-Playing).
If these are too much or too out of reach for you, you can always have a picnic or go for a walk in the woods. There’s beauty in simplicity. Go and enjoy it.
Being lost doesn’t mean that you’re incapable and that you will never find your path. It simply means that you’re struggling right now. What you feel isn’t final.
I hope that the next time you start thinking “I don’t know what to do with my life,” you remember the importance of daily efforts.
There are no big changes, only small ones that eventually turn your whole life around. So, don’t despair. You got this!