Don’t worry, it’s not about to get all religious up in here. Nope, instead I’m talking about life-paths. Journeys. Goals. Aspirations. Callings. Name it what you will, everyone on this planet has something they want, need, or were meant to do and at times you’ll feel lost. You’ll feel like you have no idea what it is you should be doing, or you’ll blow so far off course you have no idea how to get back. You might even question whether what your ‘thing’ is, is still the right thing for you (hint: it might not be). To that end, I’ve got a path-finder for you.
Before we get stuck in, I’d like to take a minute to ponder what ‘the right path’ is. Considering I’m no supernatural deity, it’s up to you whether you believe me, but I think the right path doesn’t exist. Instead, there are an infinitesimal number of possible right paths for you out there and which one you choose is down to circumstance and choice. More importantly, the right path in one period of your life can change in the next; it may evolve one to another, or it might be a whole new world. So, bearing this in mind, how can we ever choose a right path? Easy. It’s all about how it feels.
When you’re on the right path you can feel it in your bones. You’re excited, creative, motivated, your soul is literally afire with passion or curiosity or joy. Whichever cocktail of positive emotions makes your eyes light up with the thought ‘fuck yes this is for me’ – that’s what you’ll feel. But, yes there’s a but, you might not feel this straight away. This is the tricky bit, the bit that allows fear to creep in and stop you from trying. Just remember, nothing brilliant happens without a little bit of fear, and because of that I want you to ask yourself this question:
It’s possible that this won’t be the right path for me, but what if it is?
Every experience you open yourself up to adds to your sphere of knowledge, it grows your comfort zone, and it opens you up to even more new experiences. Trying something you (educatedly) think might be the right path for you, will grow you regardless of whether you eventually stick with it or not. On that note, without further ado, let’s do some path finding.
Grab yourself a notebook and a pen (or a laptop and open Word if that’s your jam), find an environment that is free from distractions, and let’s begin.
- I want you to think for a second about everything you need to live a happy life. If you’re already getting ideas start writing, I’ll wait. If you’re struggling I’ll give you some of my needs as an example: I need enough money to pay my bills and be comfortable, I need quality time with my partner and my family, I need time to write, I need time and energy to look after my mental health, I need to feel valued and like I have something of worth to contribute to the world… You get the idea. Write and write and write until you can’t think of a single other thing. No one needs to ever see your list so don’t shy away from anything. Accept yourself for all you are and all you need to thrive.
- Now, I want you to think about times you felt truly purposeful and energised. List five if you can. Are there any themes you can notice in your examples? Make a note of those too.
- What are your strengths? Now remember what I said, no one’s going to read your list… this isn’t the time to be bashful. You are a badass, strong-ass individual – why? Is it because you’re kind? Logical? Courageous? Intelligent? Are you a people person? Can you dance like no one’s watching? Write code? I don’t care how big or small, how general or specific, write. it. down.
- If you had no limitations, what would be on your bucket list? What might you want to do with your time on this Earth? Get scribbling/typing. This is not a commitment. Just let it all flow onto the page. Give yourself permission to dream, to think outside of the box and outside of what other’s have tried to limit you to.
- What impact do you wish to have in this world? If it helps, imagine you made it to 102 before you died – what do you want others to be saying about your life? Really think about it.
- Read over everything you’ve written. Read it twice, or more times. Write more if you think of it. When you feel like you’re done and everything’s sunk in, consider this:
- How can I live the life I just laid out in writing? A life that meets my essential needs, that gives me purpose and energy, that plays to my strengths and allows me to do and be everything I desire? Anything that can meet these criteria is a right path for you.
Some of you may be cursing me right now. I know. I said I’d give you a path finder and I’ve not given you any potential options. The thing is, I can’t. There’s a very strong possibility that I don’t even know you! You, my lovely reader, are the expert on all things you, and you are the only person on this planet who can tell you what the right path is. These steps, however, will help you consider which path is right by making you truly consider what you need and want from life. Only then do you ever have a hope of living in a way that feels right to you.
It might also be interesting to realise that everyone finds a different step as the most difficult. To me, number 2 was the hardest step. But lets be honest that’s not surprising – after eight years of depression I was always going to struggle listing times I felt energised and purposeful (lol). All I can say is: give it a try. Answer what you can as authentically as you can, and see what you discover. It might be beautiful.
Once you’ve got the answer to how you can live the life you want/need, you’ve got to work out how to get there. Stay tuned wonderful people, I’ve got your back.
For now, keep thinking. Mull everything over. Ideas will hit you, potentially over the head very hard in a ‘why didn’t I think of this before’ moment. They also might sneak quietly into your head whilst you’re having a bath. However it happens, take time to think about these ideas. Don’t dismiss them. You are capable of anything and everything you set your brilliant mind to.
As ever, please like, comment, and share the hell out of this post. If this little path-finder works for you, please PLEASE let me know.
Happy living lovelies!