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. It’s your job to live life, and to do the best you can in this very moment.
Doesn’t make sense, does it?
That’s why we’ll dive deeper into this, right now.
Before you continue reading the rest of this article, watch the video below, because it will help you gain more clarity.
Also, in this video I share a handy little exercise that’ll help you get unstuck if you don’t know what to do, or where to go next.
And remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel, because not all videos I record end up on this blog.
The Real Problem
What does it mean to want to figure life out?
When I want to figure out my direction in life, I want to know what step will lead me to happiness, success, and whatever else I desire.
I also want guarantees. I want to know that the effort I put in today will bear fruit. But life doesn’t offer guarantees. I have to try things, experiment, and learn.
So the problem isn’t that you can’t figure life out; it’s that you think you should.
You think you have to know where you’re going in order to live a fulfilling and happy life, but you don’t.
The question then becomes: How can you dance in the fog, despite the confusion that seems so inherent to life?
The Real Answer
Here’s what I do…
When I feel like I need to figure something out, I don’t act on it.
I’ve learned through experience that when I’m a low mood, I tend to make bad decisions. The key then is to wait for my mood to improve, for the murky water to become clear.
As Lao Tzu said:
“Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.”
I also know that it’s not my job to force clarity. Life rarely gives me clarity about the future. All I know is what next step I feel drawn to take.
If I try to figure life out, I end up frustrated and exhausted.
But how can you live a purposeful life if you’re not figuring things out?
There Are Two Kinds of Figuring Things Out
There’s the figuring things out that happens naturally, with time.
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 you let life happen.
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 taking 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 take action from here.
I like to use the example of using a GPS in a car. It gives you instructions step by step, not all 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.
Now, sometimes you need an answer right away. In those cases, I do my best, but I try to give myself room so that I have time to make great decisions.
In short, you don’t need to figure life out just because you feel confused.
You have a ring of clarity around you, but in order to see further ahead, you have to move forward, you have to take action.
So stop overanalyzing, and move in the direction that feels the most magnetic. Trust your inner GPS, but don’t expect it show you your future.
The mind worries about the future, but the truth of the matter is that you can only ever make decisions in the now.
So bring your attention to the present moment, and notice what next tiny step you can take.
Cheers from the North (Winter Has Arrived),
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.