A while ago, I wrote about the best jobs for highly sensitive people. But even with a list of suggestions, people can still find themselves unsure of what to do with their life.
In researching this topic, I put together what I felt were some of the best pieces of advice to answer this question. Hopefully, one of these ideas will give you the aha moment you’ve been waiting for.
Do not be afraid to travel a new path; it may be the way to find what you’ve been looking for all along.– Anonymous
1. Learn how other people figured it out
Whenever I’m unsure of something, I like to see what ideas other people have. If you hear enough different opinions, usually, one of them will end up being insightful for you.
Someone asked this very question you’re thinking about right now. Here were some answers provided when someone asked, “What’s the best advice you would give to someone who doesn’t know what to do in life?” See if any of the answers give you some perspective.
2. Reflect on your past
Pondering these types of questions tends to make me nostalgic. I like to look back on the things I really enjoyed in life and consider if that might be my answer.
- What was some passion you once regularly enjoyed?
- What was something that you once really wanted to achieve someday?
Life’s responsibilities and hardships may have dimmed that light of inspiration you once felt for your passions. Maybe you can try engaging yourself in your former interests to see if there’s something still there. If there is, that could be the answer to what steps you should take next.
3. Try different things
While reflecting is helpful, you can’t just sit around and expect the answer will magically pop in your head. You have to try something and see what happens.
Don’t worry too much about if it’s the perfect thing to do right now. Even if the choice you make turns out to be a mistake, it’s still a lesson. And the more you learn, the better you can be at making decisions about what to do with your life.
“Try new things and discover yourself every single day.”Bhavya Choudhary
4. Ask yourself what do you want
This is a question I return to a lot sometimes. If you’re like me, what you want probably changes from day to day.
Some days you may want to get up and move somewhere. Other days you may just want to simply feel better. But it might be beneficial to try to be more specific.
- Do you want to own a home?
- Are you wanting to fulfill a lifelong dream?
- Do you hope to get married?
One thing that helped me was thinking in my head, “What do I want to be able to say that I at least accomplished that in my life?” Perhaps narrowing my focus in that way is part of what’s led me to accomplish pretty much most of what I wanted.
I know I won’t look back too much and be disappointed about never having done this or that. Decide what’s important for you now so you can say that you at least made that happen before your time was up.
“Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.”H.L. Hunt
5. Think about what you’re good at
Writing has always kind of come to natural me. I like going into detail with my words and saying things in the best way possible.
It almost felt inevitable I was going to do something in my life that involved writing. Lo and behold, here I am writing for my successful blog. I may even try to be successful at more kinds of writing someday, like writing a book or songwriting.
Think about something that’s come naturally to you. How can you use that talent or skill to earn a living for yourself? Research different ways other people achieved financial success with the natural ability you have.
6. Ask yourself what you don’t want
It could be the answer to what you want lies in knowing what you don’t want. Maybe you don’t want to work a regular nine to five job anymore.
Maybe you don’t want to have a boss to answer to. Perhaps you don’t want to sit at a desk and stare at a computer all day.
The things that you don’t want could give you the clues you need to decide on what you do want. List out all of those things you’re fed up with, and think about what alternatives you would prefer.
7. Who do you want to be around
While I’m the type of person that likes to work alone, some people prefer being around other people with their work. The question is, what type of people do you want to be around.
- Do you want to be around creative types?
- Do you like being around intellectual types?
The type of people that come to your head could end up being a good place to start. Think about what work would get you to engage with the type of people you want to be around.
8. Ponder what fascinates you
I find animals and nature to be fascinating at times. Maybe I would have tried studying to be some kind of animal researcher if I was back in my college years.
What fascinates you? There’s probably at least one thing you’ve always found really interesting to talk about or watch. It’s possible that could be the thing you’d enjoy pursuing a career in.
9. Ask yourself who you want to help
There are lots of people in need in this world. Some of us have a heart for certain causes more than others.
And those causes can sometimes be something we want to make our life’s work. Consider the issues you feel a lot of passion for. See if there’s a job opportunity that could allow you to help with making things better.
10. Try life crafting
If you’ve read this blog often enough, you know I like to find some kind of scientific study to help with life’s problems. There was research published a few years ago that suggested life crafting can help us find our life purpose.
Life crafting involves reflecting on your present and future life, setting goals for the important areas of your life, making concrete plans, and taking action to make changes that’ll fit with your values. It sounds like a mouthful, so here are the steps in bullet points.
- Reflect on your current and future life
- Make goals for the important areas of your life (career, relationships,etc)
- Put together concrete plans.
- Take action to make changes that match your values.
Final thoughts on discovering what you want to do
It’s best not to expect that you’ll figure things out overnight. Look at figuring out what you want to do in life as a journey.
Trust that things can come together at the right time. Everything you’re going through now could be potential preparation for where you’ll eventually end up.
Continue learning about yourself and learning about different things in life. You never know what next piece of knowledge or information will lead you to your destiny.