Life is complex. One day you’re happy, working on your daily tasks, and the next day you wake up, thinking: “What the fuck should I do with my life?”
Am I right? We’ve all been there. When one of my readers responded to an article last week, I asked her: “How’s it going?”
She said: “Am doing well. Been interesting times figuring out which direction to go to next in my life journey.”
Last week I talked to a friend who was in the same position. And everyone will face the same challenge one way or the other over the course of a long career.
I’ve been there many times as well. No one is immune to being confused. Let’s face it—there are literally a million things you can do with your life.
And most of us realize that we can’t do everything we want. We also have to understand that anything that’s worth it in life is hard to obtain.
Great health, wealth, and happiness don’t happen by themselves. If you want good things to happen, you must take massive action.
But what type of action? What should you do?
I want to share 2 strategies with you that I’ve personally used in the past to figure out my next big move.
1. Burn Your Bridges
Education is all a matter of building bridges. – Ralph Ellison
Look, I can’t tell you want to do with your life. No one should decide that other than you.
But I can tell you about ways that help you to make a decision. People are lazy by nature. If it was up to us, we would protect the status quo, sit at home, and eat cookies all day.
We must realize that without a reason, we will never change.
“But what if I don’t have a reason?”
Force a reason.
I always wanted to live and work abroad for a while. And year after year went by without me taking action.
So in 2014 I got fed up with my indecisiveness. I canceled the lease of my apartment, handed over all my responsibilities at our family business, and forced myself to do something.
Lo and behold, I did. A few weeks later I was on my way to London with an awesome job offer in my pocket from an IT research firm.
You can’t expect good things to happen when you’re living a cushy life. You need a spark. Sometimes that happens from the outside (a family loss, being fired, dumped, etc).
But if nothing happens, you have to create the spark by burning your bridges.
Instead of wanting to change, you must change.
You can also burn the bridges in your mind. To grow, we must say goodbye to old beliefs.
2. Do Nothing
Not all who wander are lost. – J.R.R. Tolkien
I don’t mean ‘eat cookies all day.’ No, I mean don’t try to force anything. It’s the exact opposite strategy of burning your bridges.
“Darius, you’re contradicting yourself.”
So? Life is full of contradictions. Get used to it.
Look at your life. Have you tried burning your bridges? Didn’t work out? Try a different strategy.
I never get why people get all hung up on opposing strategies. Life is dynamic and requires you to adapt all the time.
When I came back to The Netherlands after working abroad for 1.5 years, I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to do. I still had my business, so I didn’t have to worry about money.
But I also wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to do something that mattered. But because I didn’t know what, I just didn’t force anything. I knew I needed a different strategy this time.
So I did my job, spent time with my friends and family, worked out a lot, and just enjoyed my life.
I just stopped worrying and thinking about my next move. That’s very liberating.
And after six months or so, I figured it out. I can tell you how I did it, but that’s not going to help you because you have to figure out how you are going to do it.
And that’s the most important thing about figuring out your next move. It’s called ‘figuring it out’ for a reason. It’s not called ‘here’s your life path served on a platter.’
Just be okay with that. It’s about the journey anyway. You better enjoy every step along the way. Especially the difficult ones.