There are times in everyone’s life when we find ourselves at a dead end, or a crossroads, or on a path that seems to go nowhere and we ask ourselves the very same question, “I don’t know what to do with my life…”
Students in high school mostly come up with this question when they are asked to pick a career. Most of the time, students do not seem to figure out their interest at which they would be happy for the next 50 or so years of their life. How do you know what’s going to make you happy for the rest of your life, especially if you’re a student finishing your high school exams.
Get more information – Whatever problem you may be having at this moment, you can rest assured that someone else has already had that problem. And they’ve solved it. In addition, they’ve written a book or an article about the problem and what they did to solve it, or they’ve created a YouTube video explaining what they did. Look for that information and use it to plan your next step.
Find a mentor – When you’re facing a problem and you don’t know what to do, find a friend or acquaintance who has already been in the hole you’re currently in. Then, ask them for help getting out, or for some advice or ideas on what to do.
Talk it out or get a second opinion – In the process of talking aloud, your thoughts often become more clear, the dots connect. Similarly, by getting another’s feedback, you get feedback about whether or not your thinking makes sense. This can come from a friend or family member, a person working on another team at the office or someone working in the field you are thinking of moving into.
Trust your gut – If at some point your head starts to spin with too much information, it’s time to look down and check out your emotions and instincts. Here, affirming your values and reflecting on your past experiences in making big decisions are good ways of getting to those gut reactions.
Sleep on it – No, you don’t want to be impulsive, but you do want to take action. You want to get information but also trust your gut and clarify your values. But after all is said and done, you probably want to sleep on it. After all your hard work, it’s time to let go and focus on something else, giving your mind the opportunity to sift and settle. So give it a day or more, focus on other things, see what comes to the surface.
Whether you are a student trying to find out what should you study or a graduate choosing a career path, if you follow these five basic steps, you can get the most difficult question answered by yourself. All you need to do is to sit, think and reflect and have the desired results.