“What should I do with my life?” is a question that you’ll ask yourself multiple times throughout your life, and most of the time it will be because of too many choices, not a lack thereof.
But let’s be real.
Do you really think someone can give you the correct answer?
Do you really think that someone knows you better than you know yourself?
People’s perspectives are their perspectives. They will share their desires, fears, and aspirations.
Your life is only yours, and you should own it.
What you should do with your life is your choice.
And it is such a liberating thing if you allow yourself to be more self-aware and understand that you live in a permissionless world.
Yes, maybe you just feel like your life isn’t going anywhere.
Or maybe you’ve been working hard and have a good job where there are lots of opportunities, but still don’t know if this is really what you want to be doing 5 years from now.
Even you could be overwhelmed by options.
The problem is that all these choices seem equally valid, so which one should you choose? How will any of them help you achieve your goals? And even worse, they may not actually lead you towards those goals at all.
We’ve all been there. To be uncertain is to be human.
That said, you’re not here to be encouraged. You’ve come to this page in search of a solution.
So, how exactly do you go about doing that?
When it comes to making decisions and moving forward, how do you decide which road to take?
Let me walk you through three steps to help you figure out what you should do with your meaningful life.
What Lights You Up?
The first step helps you identify what makes you happy or excited about living your life.
It gives you clarity on what you love most about being alive.
It might sound silly, but when we talk about our passions, we often forget to consider ourselves as humans first.
We tend to focus on things that make us money.
But who cares if you make $100,000 or $500,000 per year if you are unhappy and empty?
What matters is whether you feel alive while working or creating value for the world.
If you find yourself struggling to define what excites you, try asking yourself: “What would I tell myself 10 years ago that made me proud today?”. This way, you get to see what has changed over time.
You can use this exercise to reflect back on moments in your past that were meaningful to you.
To truly find what lights you up and find the answer to the question, “What should I do for my life?”, I will list a couple of questions that you need to answer for yourself.
Again, don’t expect that you’ll find an answer by reading this post. This is your dream life story, so take it with full ownership of it.
What led you to where you are today?
Something was pulling you in the direction where you are today.
Along the way, there were positive (and negative) things that happened.
These events shaped you into the person you are today.
So, what happened?
The point is to notice what “fired you up”!
You’ll see what I call “micro-moments” of amazing energy output.
What was that for you?
For me, it was always when I was teaching someone else what I had learned.
For you, it might be creating something new. Or helping people overcome challenges.
Whatever it is, think about what ignited you.
You will see that along the way you have your ups and downs, but I want you to focus on your ups.
Task 1: So, what led you to where you are today? You have had your moments of joy and flow state. Write that down.
Who are the people you admire? Who do you care about?
Think about the people around you.
The ones who inspire you.
The ones that you can point your finger at and say, “These are the people that the world needs more of!”
They can be real or imaginary characters.
The main thing is to notice their values and attitudes.
I’ll give a personal example.
I was inspired by Chris Gardner (the guy from the movie The Pursuit of Happiness), who was a homeless salesman. He managed to climb his way to the top and overcome many challenges, but I was inspired by his can-do and relentless attitude.
Task 2: Write down a maximum of three characters and no more than that.
Just write their names and what you admire about them.
Believe me, all of this writing will be worth it.
What are you good at and find interesting?
I am sure that you find something deeply interesting and you are probably good at it, but you are also putting that potential on the side.
This is what most people do, and I am saying this because, to be honest, if you didn’t ignore your potential, you wouldn’t have read this article in the first place. You would be doing what you love.
Here’s the easiest way to find what you are good at and find it interesting:
- What are other people asking you to help them with?
- What skills do you have that other lack?
Task 3: It doesn’t matter how small it seems right now. It just matters that you find something that interests you. Write down the answer and soon we’ll have a clear view of what lights you up.
What do you want to do every day?
This one is easy!
There’s no need to think up a complicated action plan.
But you know that we like to overcomplicate things.
When you wake up each morning, how does your mind work?
Are you internally complaining about everything as soon as you wake up? It’s important to note that these thoughts aren’t bad. They are simply reflections of our internal dialogue.
Defining what you want to do every day is easy if you have answered the questions above.
Task 4: Write down what do you want to do every day.
This is how at the end you should structure these questions…
Complete this, define what lights you up and now we must eliminate almost all the stuff which are pulling you down.
What Drains You?
You need to identify what makes you tired and unhappy.
There is only one way to do this correctly and that is to be 100% honest with yourself.
Ask yourself: What are you doing just to prove to other people that they should respect you?
Are there any habits that make you feel guilty?
If yes, stop immediately. Do not try to justify anything.
Just let go of those feelings.
Guilt is an emotion that comes from within.
Guilt is a sign that you are trying too hard to please someone else.
Elimination is your best friend.
Once you’ve identified what drains you, start eliminating it.
Start with the biggest drainers and move towards smaller ones until you reach zero.
How much time did you spend thinking about what you don’t want to do today?
Did you think about it for hours?
Or maybe minutes?
That means that you’re wasting valuable energy on negative emotions.
We waste so much time worrying about problems that never happened.
We worry about things that might happen, or even worse, we worry about things that have already happened.
The truth is that nothing ever happens exactly when we expect it to.
So why bother being anxious about something that hasn’t yet occurred?
Think about it. If you were going to die tomorrow, would you really care whether you had a job interview next week or not?
Wouldn’t you rather enjoy life while you still could?
And by enjoying life, I mean living without regrets.
Now here comes the crucial part… list all the things that drain your energy.
I mean to the smallest detail possible. Do it.
Have an energy level monitor.
Your internal self-awareness will be tested here.
Once you list all your energy drainers, you need to monitor how you feel.
Is your mood improving? Or deteriorating?
Don’t judge yourself. Just observe.
Keep track of your progress in the following days.
After some weeks, you may notice that your overall happiness has improved.
The goal is to become free from things that are pulling us down. These things are tricky.
They will nudge your mental state to procrastinate because your mind wants to avoid discomfort.
So, monitor your energy levels and what is draining you.
The less you allow others (and other things) to drain your energy, the more you’ll have it for things that are actually worthwhile spending on.
Now that you know what lights you up and what pulls you down, you have your own list of what to do more of and less of.
This is great, but there’s one thing I want to tell you.
I see people who have clarity on what to do and what not to do, but fail miserably…
They don’t take ownership over their actions. They play a victim game.
It is always somebody or something else that is stopping them from living the meaningful life they want.
The truth is, nobody can force anyone to live their dream.
But if you truly believe in yourself, then you’ll find ways to achieve whatever you set out to accomplish.
When you own your decisions, you get rid of excuses.
Owning your choices gives you power.
What do you value?
If you notice yourself falling into this trap of victimhood mentality, ask yourself, what do you value?
What are your lowest standards?
Your lowest standards and personal values are your anchors.
They help you navigate what you will NOT tolerate.
You must identify those things before you can make any meaningful changes.
Rather than listing examples of all the low standards, just ask yourself, what do you not want to see in the world?
If you don’t take ownership over your actions, you’ll most likely see the world that is not like you want it to be.
Set an example for others.
What do you want to do before you die?
Do you want to spend your last day with regret?
Or do you want to leave this earth as someone who lived fully?
Remember, no matter what you choose to do, you’re only limited by your imagination.
Be bold enough to live your truth.
That’s why at the beginning of this article I told you that nobody can tell you what you should do with your life.
Because YOU make the decision. You create your own destiny.
In fact, when you start taking action towards achieving your goals, you’ll realize that everything happens for a reason.
Everything works together so that we can learn valuable lessons along our journey.
It feels good knowing that you made the best decision for yourself.
Combining It All Together
It was not as easy as reading some articles or watching a video which would tell you their version of what you should do with your life, but this was the right way to do it.
1st: You have defined exactly what lights you up.
2nd: You have to list all the things that are dragging you down.
3rd: You understood the importance of taking full ownership of your actions.
When you combine all of these factors, you will have a clear idea of what you should do with your life.
This practice helped me and I believe it can help you as well.
The only thing that might stop you is if you sabotage yourself because you have some unresolved personal issue.
When I work with my clients on their growth, this is what I can notice as a problem very often.
To stop self-sabotage, you can see my course, or you can understand more about yourself by reading more articles.
Either way, it was a joy and a pleasure to write this for you, and I hope you’ll find it useful.
Common Questions About Finding What To Do In Life
I am not passionate about my work. Is this wrong?
Let me tell you something very interesting.
Most people can’t seem to find their passion. They keep searching but end up feeling empty inside.
Why is that? Because most people confuse work for purpose. That’s the biggest misconception.
Work is necessary to pay bills and provide food for your family. But work doesn’t define who you are.
In fact, work often becomes a source of stress because it takes away precious free time.
But finding your purpose isn’t difficult at all. It requires dedication and patience.
When you know what you love to do, you won’t have to search anymore.
What is a good career path?
A career choice is one of the most important decisions in your entire lifetime.
You need to make sure that you pick an industry that aligns with your values and interests. But sadly, often there is bad alignment.
You need to think long term. What does the future hold for you?
Will you stay in this field forever? Or maybe there’s another opportunity out there waiting for you.
The easiest way to answer this is by seeing yourself as someone who has a relentless desire to change something for the better in one area or field.
What is the connection between losing track of time and meaning?
We strive to be in a state of flow or “in-the-zone” throughout our lives.
That’s where you will lose the track of time and that’s where your unique ability to do something extraordinary is born.
Most people feel unstoppable when they are in that zone, for a period of time, and most people create a meaning that revolves around those activities.
How do I choose my dream job?
There are so many options available today that it can become overwhelming (choice overload).
You may even start doubting whether you really want to pursue any particular profession.
That’s why it’s crucial to take a step back from everything else and just focus on choosing one option.
Once you’ve made a decision, then you must follow through with action.
If you are in doubt, you can always ask yourself a universal question: Is this something that the world needs more of?
Can social pressure affect what I will do in life?
If you think that complete strangers should have more say in what you should do with your life, then you need to be honest with yourself and work on loving yourself more.
Pieces of advice you get from anyone are just opinions from their perspective. Nobody knows what they should be doing.
If somebody is blocking your path towards growth, know it is temporary and, ultimately, you are the one who is the master of your life.