Have you ever stopped to think, what am I doing with my life?
I’m no gambler but I’d put money on the chance that you have. It’s not a bad thing like you may be thinking it is. In fact, it’s probably the best thing to happen to you. Why? It can lead to some pretty amazing revelations, ideas and changes.
Chances are you’re asking this question because you’re not leading your life in the direction you wanted or want. If you’re already successful and on the “right track,” you may be taking too much time flower picking. Or are just in right field when you really want to be in left field.
So what am I on about? It’s great to love life and go with the flow, but you have to always be bettering yourself or you’re just leading yourself to disaster. How else can you expect to reach your goals if you refuse to think about it, have no time-frame, framework or understanding of how to get there? The question “What am I doing with my life?” is the sprout that leads to a root of something really amazing.
Captain Kirk didn’t just say pop it into warp drive for no reason. He was a man with a plan. And when he had it, he made sure it made sense by backing it up with hard core data (often by Data himself) and then he’d warp and lay down a serious case of butt kicking. If you want to be the captain of your own ship, you need to have a plan.
Here’s how to snap out of that panicked “omg what am I doing with my life thinking” into something more constructive that will lead to a better life.
1) Where am I going?
You can’t go where you need to go by only knowing where you’ve been. Just like how you prepare for a word trip or vacation, you need to map out where you want to go in life; goals and prioritizes. It doesn’t have to be year-by-year specific. If you’re not sure where to start, think about what you don’t want to do. Check out this post on Fortune about how to build and evaluate your goals and proprieties. This will help you frame your short, medium and long term plans so you know what you need to be doing.
2) What are you doing now that you shouldn’t be?
We’re all a mess in one way or another, so what are you doing that you could not be doing to make your life better?
Here’s a short list of pretty typical human shortcomings (ps don’t ever shoot to be typical):
- Wasting time gaming/watching useless tv shows
- Not learning new things
- Hating your job
- Biting nails
- Spending time with jerks
- Drinking too much
- Belittling people via gossip
- Swearing in front of kids
Make note of your own and change the behavior. If you slip up, don’t get upset and give up. Put that angst into motivation to change.
3) The blame game
I think the biggest flaw in modern society is our ability to share the blame. Well not so much share as to push it completely onto other people. The reason why you aren’t as rich and famous as Richard Branson isn’t because someone one day said something to you that demotivated you. Or some shortcoming you have (his happens to be dyslexia btw). It’s because you didn’t want it as much as he did. Are you ready to will it all the way?
4) Dream real dreams
Maybe you think you’ll magically win the lottery and all your problems will be solved. False. Money will not bring passion and purpose life into your life. Sure it’ll be easier to pay the bills, but it does not give you purpose. You should be living a life as happy as if you did win the lottery. The amazing talents you were born with do not change based on the + or – in your bank account.
Don’t just dream about the Lamborghini without actually thinking about what it is that you plan to do that leads you to being able to buy it. Basing your hopes and dreams on reality will actually get you where you need to go. So wake up and live it in! Anything is possible, but you actually have to do it.
If you’ve learned anything, I hope it’s that the question “What am I doing with my life?” is the beginning and not the end of your fairy tale story in the making.