I find it interesting that after years of formal education, and many life experiences, I’m still regularly asking myself this simple question: What Should I Do With My Life? And I know that I’m not the only one!
However, it seems the majority of people don’t give this question much, if any, consideration. They seem content with living lives that fit within the norms of society, and they just get on with it….. as if it is the normal thing to do….. which of course it is because it’s what most of our family members and friends are doing.
BUT….. just because that is what the majority are doing, doesn’t mean that it is right for us, that it will fulfill us, satisfy us, or make us happy. And that’s why, you, I, and many others are left feeling disillusioned when we consider “is this all that I have to look forward to for the rest of my life?”
So, let’s first explore why we can’t fit in with the established consensus reality, and then figure out if there are other ways to live that will provide a better life experience for us.
What Should I Do With My Life?
From birth, our infinite spirits are broken down as we are programmed to conform to rules made by others for the supposed ‘good of society.’ Our education systems prepare us to live mediocre lives and encourage us to be content as ‘one of the herd.’ And it is when our freedom to create our lives the way we want is restricted that we become disillusioned and begin to question ourselves and our life experiences. We have the potential to experience so much more because being human is not a fixed, limited state, but an infinite collection of possibilities.
Living a life within the consensus reality ensures that most people end up living similar lives!
I tried this, living within the rules and doing what others expected of me. I too was a conformist! To be honest, it didn’t suit me….. and because I was the odd one out, it made me question if maybe there is something wrong with me.
Why am I not content to get a job, enter into a long-term committed relationship, and take on a burdensome debt buying a house? I could have kids, and spend the next forty years working to hopefully make enough to pay the bills, buy a few toys, and send the kids to college.
I could also be thankful for the well-deserved two or three-week’s holiday each year that I get to spend ‘quality time’ with my family. After all, this is what my brothers, sisters, friends, and acquaintances did, and they have no regrets, right?
Most people who do these things, still consider themselves to be individuals. It’s true, we are all different. However, we do become ‘more similar than different’ to our friends and neighbors when we follow the same accepted ways of living.
This is because, within our societies, we are educated in similar ways, exposed to similar forms of entertainment, shop in the same stores, etc. and therefore grow up with similar values and beliefs. In some ways, this is ‘beneficial’ as it allows us to fit in and share common ground with those around us. It’s not all bad!
As I said, I did my best to ‘fit in.’ I played along for a little over ten years….. so, it’s not like I didn’t try…. However, I knew in our hearts we are all individuals and are here to express our unique natures. And when we cannot express our uniqueness or creative selves, we feel stifled and unfulfilled.
If you’re feeling like an outsider it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you.
For some reason, from an early age, I knew that normal life was not for me. And much to the dismay of my family and friends, I began living a lifestyle that suited me, instead of doing what was expected of me.
Ever since I broke away from the conventional rules, more than twenty years ago, my life has been somewhat of a collection of trial-and-error experiences to see what works for me and what doesn’t. And looking back, I have no regrets about this…… about putting my happiness and desire for adventure and more experiences before the expectations of others.
And I think that this is how we will get closer to answering the question (What should I do with my life?) for ourselves…. Because, realistically, I think we all know deep down inside, that no one else can answer this question for us.
If we continue to ask others for answers about our lives, we are just going to get their perspective….. and maybe they are not living such inspiring lives themselves?…… so be careful who you ask!
It’s perfectly ok to feel like you don’t fit in with your brother who has three kids, a steady job with good prospects and drives the latest SUV. Or your friend from school who doesn’t like his job but keeps going anyway so that he has money to party on the weekends. Maybe these are not the best people to ask what we should do with our lives.
What experience do they have to give us an answer that will be beneficial for us?
What have I learned about getting the most out of life?
If you meet someone who is genuinely enthusiastic and excited about the possibilities that each new day can bring, then ask them…… because these are the people who are living the happy, fulfilling experiences that we should all be aspiring to achieve.
They may tell you that ‘Our life’s purpose may be as simple as the meaning we give to it!’….. after all, it’s up to each of us to decide what we spend our time thinking about and what we spend our time doing each day…..
Maybe, life is just life….and there isn’t anything we are MEANT to do?
And maybe it is just the fact that we think there is something we should be doing, that we aren’t, that is causing us unnecessary stress and anxiety. What would happen if you let go of the notion that there is some grand plan waiting for you to discover…. something other than what you are doing now that will fulfill you?
What if, instead of a grand purpose, we are here just to experience the everyday moments and learn how to find joy in them? I know this probably doesn’t sound very appealing to you right now, and you’re probably going to close my page now…..That’s because we have been trained/programmed to experience our lives as an external experience (something that is happening outside of ourselves.)
The truth is, in fact, the opposite…. Life is an internal experience! Everything that we experience through sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell is processed within us by electrical and chemical processes within our bodies. And it is the thoughts we associate with those sensations that determine the quality of our experience.
The quality of our lives is an internal experience.
Our happiness or lack of it is, therefore, a subjective experience….. it’s dependent on how we are feeling at any given time. And since our feelings are a direct result of our thoughts, it is our thoughts that determine if we are content, unhappy, worried, fearful, disappointed, etc. with the state of our lives.
This means that up until the present moment, it is our participation (what we have done and haven’t done and our related thoughts) that determines our level of satisfaction. So, if we’re not happy, it’s because of how we have been interacting with the world…… it is WE who have been thinking and doing the things that have got us to where we are now….. NO ONE ELSE HAS BEEN THINKING AND DOING OUR LIVES FOR US…….
And knowing this, it becomes obvious that we are the only ones who have the power to change the quality of our experience….. And our power to effectively create change to make better lives for ourselves begins by changing the thoughts we are regularly having.
BETTER ‘FEELING’ THOUGHTS MAKE US FEEL BETTER…… (pretty bloody simple when you think about it!) Think happier thoughts and you will laugh and smile. Think fearful thoughts and you will become afraid!
So,……….do you know what happens when we feel better? YES, WE FEEL BETTER… and that’s a good enough reason to change the way we are thinking, isn’t it?
In our lives, there should be nothing more important than the way we are feeling!
And because our lives are our responsibility, it is we who have to make our happiness our priority. So, how can we do this?
I’m not feeling so good about my life. What can I do to make it better?
1) Stop worrying about it, about everything, NOW…. Seriously, just stop thinking that there is something wrong with your life.
2) Stop imagining that there is something better and you need to figure out what it is. This just creates suffering in your mind, and your suffering is a result of your intellectual process, not a result of the actual conditions in your life.
3) Accept yourself as you currently are. And accept that your current life is the result of a process of thinking and acting (throughout your life) to get you here. And know that your current reality is not an indication of your future…. unless you continue with the same process that got you here.
4) Realize that you have the ability to create a better, more exciting, more fulfilling future, starting right now! Your future is not fixed, and it contains so many more possibilities than you could ever imagine….. and it begins right now with what you are going to think about and then act upon next, and next, and then later, and tomorrow, and the next day………….
5) If you are really stuck, and have no idea what to do next, start by doing something that is out of character. Take a dance class, enroll in singing lessons, talk to a stranger on the train, go for a drive and check out a location you have never been to before……..
6) Trust that you are not doing anything wrong and that everything will become better as soon as you begin choosing better-feeling thoughts about all aspects of your lives.
The possibilities for a better future are endless and are only bound by the thoughts and feelings you are willing to have that remove you from your traditional habits.
When you try something new, you will either learn whether it was a good idea, or not, had some benefits, or not, and was stimulating, or not…. Either way, you learned more about yourself, and at the end of the day, that is the purpose of your life…… to find out what you enjoy doing and then go out and do it. And then find the next thing, and the next….. the process continues to expand as we evolve into more fearless beings.
Life is to be lived, to be experienced, just for the hell of it, just for the fun, pleasure, excitement, thrill, learning, and expansion, that each of the different things we do provides for us.
Life is an adventure for our eternal souls, and what could be better than learning and experiencing that which we currently don’t know?
If you can learn to live with less expectation and less fear, you will transform your life into a wondrous adventure…..
Shared with love and respect for all souls playing the game of life- may you have an awesome adventure!