Where are you going with your life?
That’s a scary question for many of us.
Of course, nobody knows the future, but if the question makes you uneasy, you may already feel that your current path is leading toward unhappiness.
Don’t suppress that feeling. Investigate instead.
Find out where your life might lead you if you continue down the current path.
Maybe you need to change a few things to find the right life direction for you!
What are the sources of your unhappiness?
Can you pinpoint where your unhappiness stems from?
One way to find out is to write down the ‘unhappiest’ moments of your day. Maybe over the course of a week keep a running list, to avoid being distracted by random events.
What are the “lows” of your week?
Is it your job? Your relationship? Is it excessive stress? Or is it a sense of boredom, emptiness, or repetition?
Or do you simply lack any life direction at all?
Where are you going if you continue your present path?
Now, try to imagine a timeline where you continue doing what you are doing right now. With all those ‘unhappiness triggers, what do you imagine will happen to you?
If there was one thing you could stop doing right now…
Ask yourself if there is one thing you want to stop happening. Don’t think about it too much, just follow your ‘gut’. Choose the one thing that takes you farthest or fastest away from your happiness.
That thing likely represents a core ingredient of your current life direction. A direction you don’t want to take.
You may not be able to change course right now. But use it as an indicator.
What is the one thing you wish you could do right now?
If the answer is ‘nothing’, or ‘sleep’, then you are already exhausted from running in the wrong life direction. Give yourself a chance to rest and recover.
Then ask yourself again.
Don’t think too much about it. Follow your inspiration.
What inspired you in the past?
Was there a time in your life when you were on the path to your true life direction? What was that path?
How did you lose your inspiration?
If your present path leads to unhappiness, then, what happened to you? Stop and think. How did you lose your life direction? How did you lose your inspiration?
Who chose the present path?
Was it really you who chose the path to unhappiness? Or did you let yourself be influenced by other people? Or perhaps, by other people’s fears?
Unhappy people often don’t believe it is possible to choose your life direction. And they sometimes try to prevent others from following their own happy path.
Maybe it’s time to make your own choice.
Change fear to hope
It’s time to investigate the sources of your fear. Old fears can hold you back. Seriously consider what would it take for you to change your mind from fearful to hopeful.
Revisit your childhood dreams
Maybe you didn’t dare follow them. Or maybe you did but forgot to update them. Why not find a new way to follow the life direction that stirred you many years ago?
It might be useful to look at your childhood again and reconnect to yourself, with the help of a counselor.
Interview people who seem to have found their life direction
Do you know anyone who seems happy with their choices? Why don’t you ask them? Their answers could be a shortcut for your own search.
Imagine yourself in 5, 10 or 20 years time
That’s a fun game. Or it can be very frightening.
Either way, it may help you stay in touch with the fact that life is short but full of potential. You might even come up with some playful ideas that really pay off.
Are you ready to pay the price?
If you connect to your true life direction and find the courage to make some real changes, you will pay a price. You will need to welcome some uncertainty into your life. You will have to move out of your comfort zone.
But your current unhappiness and lack of direction are already extorting a heavy price from you. Your ‘comfort zone’ has already become uncomfortable.
Perhaps the most uncomfortable, yet the most productive, question is: what is the price you’re willing to pay for a happy life?
There are more ways than one to get to your “Happy Place”
Life direction isn’t about one specific job or one specific relationship. Life direction is about who you are and who you are trying to become.
You can follow a single direction in your life. Or try different professions. Choose to live in different places. You can recover from loss and separation and still pursue the life direction you want. You can come much closer to creating the life you want if you spend some time and effort seeking out your true life direction.
If your present path leads to unhappiness, you can change it. Remember, when you do find your own life direction, you will also find friends along the way.
For further information, please take a look at my specialty page on individual counseling.