Still have no idea what you’re doing with life? You’re not alone. And maybe it’s time to look at why…
…but only if you really want to know.
It’s amazing how things change as you get older. People move overseas, get married, have kids, change careers, start buying houses, start new fitness programs, start their own businesses, have a bustling portfolio, get promoted, and all manner of different activities. Any of these we would say resembles progress in your life.
And yet for many people, there’s still a massive uncertainty about what exactly they’re supposed to be doing. Start a degree, finish a degree, still haven’t used the degree, lather rinse repeat. Start a job, hate it, find another job, hate it, lather rinse repeat. Start volunteering in an area, feel burnt out, start volunteering somewhere else, lather rinse repeat. There are so many of us feeling trapped in a cycle.
And as much as we pretty it up sometimes and try to make ourselves seem sophisticated and intentional and bold, you yourself feel like you still have no idea what you’re doing with life.
But what do you do about it? Many of us feel like we’re still wasting time and not finding any real place that we fit or belong.
Well, I’m keen to share some reasons with you, but you may not like it. But if you’re serious about it, hopefully together we can find exactly why you’re still so unsure, and move forward from there.
Are you ready?
Because you haven’t really given enough time to think about it
A sad hard fact of your lack of direction is that you probably haven’t given enough focused time into working out what to do with your life. Sure, it keeps you up at night. Sure, you mention in passing to friends that you’re trying to work things out. Sure, you take a look at some different courses every now and again. But have you actually set aside 15 minutes, or a day, or a week, or whatever period of time is suitable, and give your unfocused attention to working it out? As in, intentionally looked at the question, “Why am I alive?”
I have literally seen someone work out the focus for their life in 15 minutes, just by asking the right questions and actually focusing on it. Maybe you can too. Hopefully reading an article like this be part of it.
Because you’re avoiding something because of pressure
We don’t like feeling pressured. In fact, we will often avoid things that people pressure us into. A group of people, or a parent, or some friends, or a mentor – they’re all telling you what you should do and who you should be. But because they’re always on your case about it, your response has been to avoid that path in your life completely.
But maybe they’re right.
Maybe what they’re saying is the right path for your life, but your avoiding it because you don’t want anyone to be able to say “I told you so”. Human pride at its finest.
Often others can see things about us that we can’t. And I’m not saying that what you may be pressured into is the right thing to do. I’m just saying let’s not write it off so quickly.
Because you haven’t committed long enough to see results
Speaking of writing things off too quickly…
We are a generation who likes to switch between things. We love the previews, we try before we buy, all the rest of it. As a result, we have a tendency to give a very surface level commitment of our effort and time to things we’re trying out. After 2 weeks, 3 months, 1 year, we think we’ve done enough and it’s time to move forward. Tried the job for a few shifts, seen it all. Went out with them once, seen it all. Worked on a project for an hour, seen it all.
But there is phenomenal power in staying the course.
I remember a while ago some people were surprised at the position I hold in my industry (it’s not even really super high up). But in reality, it’s just from staying in the same field and giving my best to the career path I’ve chosen. Maybe many of us are surprised at the success of others cause we haven’t spent the years required committing to something, whether that be a career, a degree, a relationship, whatever it is.
Imagine if a farmer planted a seed in the ground, and then after 2 weeks of seeing no growth, re-plowed the field and started again. Ridiculous, right? And yet many of us live our lives in the same way.
Give it time to grow.
Because we can’t be led by fear, dear
Many people will give the advice that you should follow a sense of peace when you’re deciding what to do. Whether people pray about their decisions or not, usually we’re looking for an internal sense of ease about the choices we make and the paths we take.
What does this exactly look like though?
I’m all for letting peace be your umpire – I think it really is one of the great ways we are led in life. But I think you need to be honest enough to ask yourself when a particular path seems a bit unsettling, is it because you don’t have the right peace, or is it because you’re just afraid?
Fear unfortunately guides many of the decisions we make. As a result of remaining in fear, many of us abdicate decision making processes and just choose nothing. And in choosing nothing. you’re left in the place where you still have no idea what you’re doing with life.
In the words of Deas Vail, “We can’t be led by fear, dear”.
Because you need help to do it
Partnership is an amazing thing, and if you want to achieve what you’re called to in life, you’re going to need some help.
You’re going to need financial investment to make your dream a reality. You’re going to need friends to your person and to your future. You’re going to need partners, whether in business, ministry, marriage, or otherwise.
As long as you continue trying to do things in isolation, you’re not going to have the clarity or the support you need to achieve what you want and need to achieve with your life. Maybe you still have no idea because you have no idea how you’re going to do it alone. The answer is simple – you can’t do it alone.
Open your life to the right people. We are better together.
Because you’re waiting for someone else to decide for you
This one’s a simple one – you’re not in primary school anymore. You’re a grown man, or a grown woman. You dressed yourself today. You brushed your own teeth. You bathed yourself. You wipe your own self after using the bathroom.
So stop waiting for mummy and daddy or your teachers to force you down a particular path. It’s time to start owning your own decisions. Get guidance, absolutely. But the decision to move is up to you.
“Well what if I make a bad choice?”
Then own up to it. Accept responsibility for living your own life. You’re not gonna like to hear this, but you are responsible for most of what happens to you in your life. At the very least, you control how you react to it.
Because you’re not saying what you really want to say
I find usually whenever I’ve felt unsure about what I want to do in a particular area of my life, a lot of the time it’s coupled with some internal dishonesty. That is to say, I’m not always completely honest about what I really want.
Cause it’d be selfish to go after what you really want… right?
I know many people who have felt bad for wanting what they want to do in life. They feel bad for wanting to start their own business, or to support someone else, or to be a stay at home mum, or to pursue marriage, or to pursue ministry, or to stay faithful in the same job for a long amount of time. They aren’t communicated, and we don’t really want anyone to know what we really want.
One of the patriarchs of faith, Abraham, is held with some of the highest respect of anyone in history. But if you look at where it all came from, it’s all because he wanted a son of his own. That was it. There’s your great faith leader – a man who was just open about his desire to share his life and his wealth with an heir, to enjoy the experience of being a father.
If you’re more spiritual than Abraham, then by all means continue feeling bad for wanting what you really want.
Because you’re not asking the right questions
I mentioned earlier that sometimes we’re just asking the right questions. Here are some I find super helpful. I have literally seen people go from completely unsure to completely focused within a few minutes of giving these questions some serious thought.
- What annoys you? What gets your attention? It could be anything or anywhere – for me, one thing that really breaks my heart is seeing Christian leaders go unappreciated
- What are your spiritual gifts? Are you pastor/prophet/teacher/evangelist/apostle? What sort of insights has God given you?
- What are your natural gifts? What are you good at, or interested in? Is it IT? Is it writing? Is it fishing? Is it medicine? Is it that you like having people over? Is it that you’re really good at knitting sweaters?
- How can you use your spiritual and natural gifts to do something about the problems in the first question?
Give those ones some honest answers. See how you go.
Some of my favourite moments in life have been seeing people light up and realize exactly why they’re alive. I hope if you’ve found yourself unsure in your life that some of these thoughts have helped you work out exactly where your source of uncertainty has been, and also given you some food for thought as to where you go from here.
I believe all of us were created for a purpose. You’re not an accident, friend. You have some amazing things before you.
But only if you decide to say yes to those things and go for it.
So how about you? What do you reckon you should do when you still have no idea what you’re doing with your life?