Don’t know what you want?
Don’t even know where to start?
On top of all this, you may feel like you need clarity, and you need it now.
Yet the problem isn’t what you think it is. It’s not your job to figure your life out. In reality, you don’t have a job.
This may not make sense, so keep reading.
When you want to figure life out, what happens within you?
You may notice that you are not satisfied with how life is right now. Even before this, there are unpleasant sensations in the body.
Thoughts and stories come in to distract from these sensations, because we’ve never learned the magic of staying with unpleasant sensations.
Right now, these thoughts say that if you could just figure life out, gain more clarity, everything would be okay, but that’s false.
Now, this doesn’t mean you don’t strive to improve your life. What I am pointing to is the mechanism of distraction.
Moving from this place of discomfort only leads to more confusion.
Look back at your life when you’ve tried to force clarity. Did it work?
So now what?
Take a few deep breaths and relax.
This can be challenging because the mind wants to figure things out so there can be an illusion of certainty and control.
Tell your mind and thoughts that you will conduct an experiment.
Take a moment to relax. If you have a meditation practice, do that. Let go of entertaining thoughts for a second, and just breathe. Thoughts can be there, but try not to engage them too much.
When you’re relaxed, put your attention in the heart area, and ask:
What do I need to know right now?
Is there a next tiny step that would be best for me right now?
Then listen. You may not get an answer right away. That’s okay. Make this a daily practice and you will eventually start to connect with your intuition.
As Lao Tzu said:
“Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.”
I’ve learned that I cannot force clarity, nor can I make answers happen. They arrive on their own.
There Are Two Kinds of Figuring Things Out
There’s the figuring things out that happens naturally.
Then there’s the figuring things out where you try to push, force, and manipulate life.
The difference between the two is the underlying feeling. The first one happens naturally, without stress. You’re relaxed and life happens.
The second one is plagued with frustration, stress, anger, and confusion. That’s because you’re trying to do something you cannot do.
Now, what does a more relaxed approach look like in real life?
A Practical Solution: Your Inner GPS
Imagine you’re walking in a fog.
As with any fog, there’s a circle of clarity around you. You can see, but you can’t see far.
As you keep moving forward, you see more, because where you go, your circle of clarity goes.
Life seems to work much the same way. You can’t plan out your whole life. You can decide on a direction, sure, but then you have to come back to this moment, and let life move you.
I like to use the example of using a GPS in a car. Instructions are given step-by-step, not in one go.
So what I do is move in the direction that feels the most magnetic. I keep putting one foot in front of the other, and I do the best with what I have.
But What If You Need an Answer Right Away?
If we’re talking about your life path, you don’t need an answer right away. You just think you do.
You only need to experiment with life. You think you need an answer because you think a wrong step will ruin your life.
But a sure-fire way to ruin your life is to try and figure it out, to try and overanalyze everything. It will drive you mad, which I’m sure you already know.
You assume you have to figure things out, but you don’t.
None of This is Your Job
I mentioned in the introduction that you really don’t have a job when it comes to living life.
Notice if you can predict your next thought? And I don’t mean the thought that says “Okay, now I’m going to think about a pink elephant.”
That prediction thought was the one you needed to predict.
There are so many things that just happen in life. When you see this, you begin to relax. You see that you don’t have to pretend to control everything.
Don’t take my word for any of this. Experiment. Let go of the steering wheel for a minute, for an hour, for a day, and see how life flows all by itself.
Here’s the gist: You don’t have to figure life out just because you feel confused.
I’ve given you a few tools in this article. Play with them. See how they work for you.
Give yourself some time to entertain a different way of living. You’ve probably been doing this for your whole life, so why not try something new?
Become curious about how things truly work.
What is going on?
What is this life thing?
Enjoy the ride,
P.S. Would you like to learn more about tapping into your Inner GPS? I invite you to check out my popular book Follow Your Heart: 21 Days to a Happier, More Fulfilling Life (Amazon affiliate link that supports my work at no extra cost to you).
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