Life is a strange journey. We spend a certain amount of time just learning how to physically survive on the planet... and then we're expected to also figure out what amazing things we're going to do while we're here. And hopefully, we're going to mess up as little as possible while we're here, too. But the truth is that figuring out our "purpose" can take a lot of trial and error and it's not a super simple process. It can definitely ebb and flow over a number of years. And then sometimes when we do find our purpose, we realize we've been already been living it the whole time anyway. But since finding our life purpose feels like such a super important thing, we sometimes spend a lot of time trying to figure it out. Here are 15 things you can do when you're struggling with your life purpose or when life just isn't making sense.
15 Do Something For Others
Too often, when we're stressing out about life, it's because we get so trapped in our own thoughts... and forget about everything else that's happening in the world. Yes, of course, our large and small problems matter, but in the grand scheme of things, there are always so many other things going on and it can be really easy for us to lose perspective. One of the best ways to get that perspective back is to do something for someone else. It could be donating your time or even your financial resources to a charity. Or you could take someone to the airport when they need a ride, even though you really hate doing that. Being selfless for a moment and paying attention to someone else's challenges can make you realize that your life isn't that bad even when it isn't making any sense. It will honestly help you a lot.
14 Read A Book
If you're already a book fan, then you know how reading books can readjust your mindset. If you're not a big reader, you might want to consider pausing the Netflix to dive into something. Both fiction and non-fiction are really awesome for getting perspective on life, but for different reasons. Fiction is so engaging because you get to take in a completely made up world, and there's nothing like reading through descriptions to get your imagination busy creating images. Looking into the mind of a fictional character is fascinating because they have different experiences and thoughts than you do, which can be quite enlightening and give a lot of perspective. And then nonfiction books can be enlightening in the same way, getting inside the heads of real life people. Not to mention anything that's self-help or spiritual in nature can literally demonstrate new ways of thinking that can be helpful.
13 Get Serious About Goal Setting
Are you totally unhappy with where you are in life at the moment? Maybe you should work on getting somewhere else. Goal setting requires both getting real about what you want but also putting a plan into action so that you can actually give yourself a chance of doing it. You don't even have to understand the total end goal if you're working towards things either, the more you can stay active in life the better chances you have of stumbling into something even better along the way. Think about what would make you happy in the large and small scale, and then actually do something about it. Want a boyfriend? Maybe join a dating app even though you don't think it'll work. What it will do is provide you with more possibility. You never really know what's going to happen. Maybe you'll go out with someone and then run into your soulmate on the date. Who knows?!
12 Talk To A Wise Person
Another really good way to find some perspective in life is to talk to someone who has already been through it. It's almost impossible to always live life with the knowing that everything turns out as it should, but most older people will tell you that this is the truth and that in retrospect your priorities look different. You can probably already see this within your own life as well. Think about what your concerns were in high school, and how silly they seem now. At the time you were consumed with certain things that were right in front of you and didn't really have a clue about what else was happening outside of that bubble. Then as you matured and maybe got out on your own your concerns became very different ones... and in some ways, you wish you could tell your younger self to just chill out and enjoy yourself.
11 Give Yourself More Credit
If you're someone who's super hard on themselves, it can be hard to keep perspective and give yourself credit for how far you've already come. But that's a really important thing to do and you should definitely be doing it. You might not be running your own company yet, but maybe you traded your horrible job for a decent one that's giving you a little more free time to pursue your real interests. There was a time when all you wanted was to get out of that bad job and you managed to do it, so pay attention to the fact that you set a goal and reached it even if now in retrospect it seemed like a pretty small one. The fact that you ever took control to get yourself to the next stage means that you can do it again, and again, and again. You just need to stay clear about what you want and the fact that you're perfectly capable of getting it.
10 Write Down What You're Grateful For
We're nothing and have nothing if we don't appreciate the present moment and what we have in it. Keep in mind that if you can't find happiness here and now that different circumstances might not make you happy later either. In fact, the best way to bring good things into your life and make sure that you're seeking out the things that will actually make you happy is to figure out how to cultivate that happiness right here and now. The best way to do this is take into consideration all the amazing things that you're grateful for. Got good people around? Not everyone does, so lucky for you. Able to pay your rent even if you're not rolling in dough? That's pretty important and amazing that you're out living on your own. Even being able to have the option of hustling towards your dreams is something to be grateful for.
9 Honor Your Relationships
Be mindful and don't forget about the people you have around when you're trying to focus on finding your life purpose. At the end of the day, everyone shares a portion of life purpose, which is having relationships. When you think about it no amount of success or creativity or fun makes sense without having people in life to enjoy it with you or experience the work that you do. We need people. Sure, that includes romantic relationships, but it also includes every other kind of relationship, too. Being nice to your neighbors and not cussing out other drivers when you've got a wicked case of road rage is just as important as supporting your best friends. Just because someone doesn't seem to matter to you in any way doesn't mean that's actually true. We're all existing on the same planet trying to find the same happiness, so might as well make it easier on everyone else when you can.
8 Pick Up A New Hobby
When we get super caught up in the big picture of life, we can get stressed out and feel a little stuck because we just don't see where we should go from here or what the next step to take is. The best thing to do is just keep moving anyway, and picking up a new hobby is a great way to do it. A hobby is just a hobby so there isn't any pressure involved with doing it "right" or being good at it, or even how much effort you put into it. It's just supposed to be fun and something to do in your spare time. But the interesting thing is that when you spend time on hobbies your mind expands anyway, and you might realize that you have a new passion for something you never expected. Having a hobby is also a great way to meet new people who might send you on your path towards your life purpose as well. The more open doors we have, the better.
7 Be Patient
Being patient can be extremely hard, especially in this generation when we've grown accustomed to being able to find and get anything online in a matter of seconds. But not all of life works that way. It's important to find a way to be at peace with waiting because a lot of life is waiting. We might have to learn certain lessons in relationships before we're presented with the love of our life, meaning those crappy dudes you date serve a purpose. Be patient while you grow. Sometimes our life purpose doesn't show up until later because we have to become a different version of ourselves before it would make sense. Maybe your life purpose is to be write books about being a mom but you're not a mom yet. It'll make sense later, so try to be patient now and do your absolute best to stay ready in the meantime so that when the opportunity does arise, you're ready.
6 Get Active
Sometimes the best way to get out of your head is to get active. Then again, sometimes going on a long walk will make you think way too much about the stuff in your life that isn't going the way that you want it to be, but it can be in a more proactive way to deal with stuff than just stressing out on your couch. Think about stretching and strengthening your body as a way to stretch and strengthen your mind as well. Having some sort of goals relating to health and fitness and meeting them can be another way to remind you of how good you are at handling your business. Not to mention that working out is a great stress reliever in general, and when you feel good physically it's a lot easier to feel good mentally as well. Approach exercise how it works for you to make sure that you stick with it. Group classes are very different than nature walks, but both may appeal to you in different ways, or even on different days.
5 Assume You've Already Made It
We tend to have this idea that what we're looking for exists somewhere in the future but that we haven't gotten to it yet... but what if that isn't true at all? We've also heard stories about people who seem to have everything in life but just aren't happy. In fact, we see that in celebrities all the time, right? How often does someone blow their fortune on nothing? That definitely happens when they think they need more things and activities to make them happy, but really often what they need is to slow down and get in touch with who they are and what they feel inside. You can't ever escape yourself no matter how much money you pile in. Assume for a minute that you've already made it, that this is it and you're enjoying your life and where you are. You might find that you're actually happier than you thought and that anything that happens from now is really just a bonus.
4 Take A Trip
Sometimes to get some life perspective you have to actually get out of your current life. Of course, it's hard to imagine where you're going in life if you're in a routine that doesn't ever show you anything new. Taking a trip doesn't necessarily have to mean jetting off to Italy, although that could be great. Even hopping in the car to take a road trip for the day can give you some much needed change. Traveling near or far has a way of reminding us that unexpected things always come up regardless of how well we planned, and sometimes we even end up places that we had no intention of going. The point is that it's always an adventure and for some reason, we have an easier time embracing that when it's a trip we're on as opposed to our day to day life. But if all, if life isn't an adventure, then what is it?
3 Embrace Your Fear
Getting ahead in life doesn't necessarily mean that you won't be afraid of things anymore. That would be great but it's just not happening. So go ahead and give up on the notion that you're not ready for something. Many people with stage fright will always have stage fright, but the love of performing outweighs it and sometimes it even turns into the good kind of adrenaline. Falling in love will never be completely comfortable because your world is threatening to change with a new person entering into it. This is just how things work. Get rid of the idea that the fear shouldn't be there and just acknowledge it instead and go about your business. A lot of the time fear is pointing to old insecurities that don't even need to be there anymore, so if you keep working through it sometimes the fear starts to fall away anyway.
2 Give Up Control
One challenge that a lot of driven and motivated people face is releasing control. There's a difference between wanting or intending something to happen and holding a forceful group trying to make it happen. A lot of life is about allowing and going with the flow. You've probably heard the saying about keeping a loose grip. Imagine trying to hold a handful of sand, the harder you squeeze it the more it falls away. It's actually keeping a relaxed and open palm that will allow you to hold onto the most sand. It can be really hard to trust that this is true in life but it just is. You can't force anything to happen or force any person to act a certain way, so making your needs known and then just allowing things to fall into place is absolutely the way to go. This works with goal setting, and it works in relationships as well.
1 Stay Ready
You do not have to sulk around while you try to figure out what your life purpose is. You should actually be trying to thrive in every way possible so that when it becomes clear to you, you will actually be in a position to do it. You don't really know why you're waiting for things or when they'll happen, so you might as well get good in the meantime. Take care of yourself mentally and physically. Remove stress wherever possible. Get your finances on the right track even though you're not making enough money. Work on healing your past relationship wounds so that you won't have to take any baggage into the next relationship. Meet people and try new things to dissolve your fears and pave the way for new life to come crashing in because it always does. Especially when you're walking around like everything is already amazing.